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CAPA Charity Ball to be held in the Searle Center on Sat­urday Collegian|Archives

Raising awareness about local human traf­ficking will be at the fore­front of the Child Abuse Pre­vention and Awareness of Hillsdale County fourth annual children’s charity ball this Sat­urday at the Hillsdale College Searle Center.

“Human traf­ficking is def­i­nitely a big topic right now in social media and the news,” CAPA Exec­utive Director Christie Campbell said. “It is hap­pening and we want to shed light on the topic for the com­munity.”

In the fourth year of the charity ball, CAPA con­tinues to choose topics to further its awareness and pre­vention efforts. For the past three years, CAPA has raised $15,000 each year for pro­gramming efforts, Campbell said. These pro­grams have ranged from pur­chasing safe-sleep sacks for infants to offering sex abuse pre­vention classes.

“Our goal is to raise awareness and pre­vention efforts in Hillsdale County,” Campbell said. “We want to have the public ear on things that are hap­pening on a daily basis.”

Jeremy Norwood, assistant pro­fessor of soci­ology at Spring Arbor Uni­versity, will address charity ball attendees regarding human traf­ficking at a local level. CAPA Board Pres­ident and Ball Chair Megan Stiverson said Norwood will talk about what human traf­ficking is, and what it looks like in the local area.

Stiverson said her role as a family court referee and juvenile court admin­is­trator in Hillsdale County has exposed her to local human traf­ficking.

“What I’m seeing is a hot-button topic that has a new def­i­n­ition of what con­sti­tutes human traf­ficking,” she said. “I see juve­niles come in to court and we’re finding that in many cases, they have been traf­ficked sex­ually.”

Stiverson said that traf­ficking doesn’t always occur in the ways that people nec­es­sarily expect. Espe­cially with the increase in tech­nology, she said, traf­ficking can often take place in the means of inap­pro­priate images or text mes­sages sent.

“There are still people who would say we don’t have human traf­ficking here,” she said.

The evening will include a casino royale theme with raffle and silent auction. Inter­ested parties may call CAPA at 517 – 437-3100 for more infor­mation.

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Josephine von Dohlen
Josephine von Dohlen is a senior from Minneapolis, Minnesota who appreciates the communicative power of journalism and the community that it fosters. A graduate of the National Journalism Center in Washington, D.C., she has previously interned with Catholic News Service and the Santa Barbara News-Press. At Hillsdale, she is a member of the Dow Journalism Program and majors in American Studies. Email: jvondohlen@hillsdale.edu