Multnomah Co. Sheriff's Office
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News Release
Multnomah County Declares January Human Trafficking Awareness Month - 01/08/20

On Thursday, January 9th, the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners will issue a proclamation to declare January, Human Trafficking Awareness Month.

Human trafficking or more specifically, sex trafficking, happens when someone is manipulated, forced, or coerced into a sexual act for commercial purposes. Portland’s geographic location, at the intersection of I-84 and I-5, makes the area more susceptible to trafficking. Sex trafficking is a complex and pervasive problem and is not confined to any one group of people, but crosses all economic, racial, gender, educational, religious, and societal barriers. As of December 2018, MCSO jail intelligence suggests approximately 595 minors and 1,191 adults are currently victims of sex trafficking.

The Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO), along with the County Board of Commissioners, the Department of Community Justice, Department of Human Services, Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office and many local organizations, maintain their commitment to combat human trafficking through prevention, public safety, and health and human services programs.

Since 2009, 1,049 suspected traffickers have been identified, and more than 1,000 individuals have been cited for purchasing sex. Another 97 have been charged with purchasing or luring a minor in the Portland area.

“The Sheriff’s Office role in fighting human trafficking is more important now than ever because collaborative partnerships are necessary to enlist effective strategies to increase safety, reduce sexual exploitation and reduce recidivism,” MCSO Human Trafficking Sgt. Molly McDade-Hood said. “We should dig deeper to ensure we are providing trauma informed support in the community, in our jails, during investigations and through trial. Collaboration within many systems, cross-county and state lines are essential for the support of vulnerable individuals within our community, sex trafficking victims and survivors.”

We urge all Multnomah County residents to actively work towards the elimination of human trafficking by supporting survivors, holding perpetrators responsible and promoting healthy, respectful relationships.

The media is invited to attend this event in the Multnomah County Board room at the Multnomah Building (501 SE Hawthorne Blvd Portland, OR 97214) at 10:00 a.m. A survivor of human trafficking will be addressing the Board. Human Trafficking Sergeant Molly McDade-Hood will be available for media interviews after the presentation.

View more news releases from Multnomah Co. Sheriff's Office.