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Huntsville organizations focus on child exploitation

There aren’t any recently confirmed reports of child human trafficking in Huntsville, however child sexual abuse can be a pathway.

Organizations in Huntsville are focusing their attention on protecting our children from abuse.

On Wednesday morning, the Huntsville/Madison County Chamber of Commerce met with members of the community to address youth exploitation and human trafficking. Their goal is to fight this crisis one conversation at a time.

“What I would challenge is that parents should be looking for is the opportunity to have meaningful conversations with their kids to create those opportunities and to have that where you de-stigmatize talking about these issues. Kids are more aware. Tell them the truth about these things,” said National Children’s Advocacy Center Executive Director, Chris Newlin.

There aren’t any recently confirmed reports of child human trafficking in Huntsville, however child sexual abuse can be a pathway.

Newlin believes conversation adults have with kids can help kids and teens be more open to each other. “One of the things that we can really do is really empower teenagers to help one another and to be on the lookout for each other,” he added.

Safe Harbor Youth Executive Director Lynn Caffery is a survivor of sexual child abuse and human trafficking. “Once I found out I was a victim, and I was an over-comer, I was a survivor; I took every program that prison had to offer,” said Caffery.

Her story turned from tragedy to triumph where now she can help those who have experienced the same trauma she has. Caffery says Safe Harbor Youth, Inc. is open to youth ages 16 to 22 in the area.

“They need to be able to know that they can get to us, and that we do everything that we can,” she added.

Tomorrow night Safe Harbor Youth, Inc. will host their 1st Annual Battle of the Minds fundraiser. It starts at 5 p.m. at the Jackson Center.