In response to recent media reports about a case involving a former Toledo police officer, The University of Toledo Human Trafficking and Social Justice Institute is hosting a news conference at noon Friday, May 25, at the Kent Branch Library, located at 3101 Collingwood Blvd.Dr. Celia Williamson, a UT professor of social work who defends the rights of women and girls on a local, national and international level, organized the event along with the Lucas County Human Trafficking Coalition to discuss the importance of words and to educate the public on child sex trafficking.
“Language is a powerful way of denigrating oppressed populations who society views as less valuable,” said Williamson, who is the director of the UT Human Trafficking and Social Justice Institute. “When an alleged victim is 14 years old, she is not a ‘child prostitute’ or ‘under-aged prostitute.’ Child sex trafficking is modern-day slavery.”
Williamson wants to decrease the stigma associated with alleged child sex trafficking victims and rally the community to support them.
“We want to assure child victims who may be out in our community that we want them to come forward and get help,” Williamson said. “The community also needs to know the proper language to use when discussing the topic of commercial sex with a child.”