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Exposing Human Trafficking Topic for Saint Leo University Symposium in Marietta

May 13, 2015

st leoThe Human Services and Criminal Justice departments of Saint Leo University’s Marietta Education Center will present Exposing Human Trafficking on Saturday, May 16.

Jeff Shaw, attorney and director of Out of Darkness ministry, will discuss human trafficking as well as his ministry. Dr. Felicia Wilson, Saint Leo University associate professor of human services, will be the facilitator for a question and answer session following Shaw’s presentation. The event is free and lunch will be provided.

A study conducted by the Urban Institute for the U.S. Department of Justice in 2014 looked at the sex trade in eight American cities—Atlanta, Dallas, Denver, Kansas City, Mo., Miami, San Diego, Seattle, and Washington. The study showed that sex trafficking was on the rise in the Atlanta area from 2003 to 2007.  Some studies said there is a range of 200 to 300 girls trafficked each month. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) released a study in May 2014,

“Human Trafficking in Georgia: A Survey of Law Enforcement.”

“The 206 participating agencies reported a total of 190 cases of human trafficking in which at least one victim was identified [oftentimes cases have more than one victim],” the report stated. “Of those 190 investigations, the majority involved the sexual exploitation of children, almost one-third involved adult sex trafficking, and only a few labor trafficking cases [involving both minor and adult victims] were documented.”

Human trafficking “is a crime that impacts not only the direct victim, but, communities as well, Dr. Wilson said. “Participants will learn how human trafficking is impacting metro Atlanta and how to recognize those who are being victimized.”

Shaw is director of Out of Darkness, which is the anti-trafficking ministry of the Atlanta Dream Center, a 501c3 tax exempt organization. The ministry’s purpose, according to its website, is to “reach, rescue, and restore all victims of commercial sexual exploitation, that the glory of God may be known.” Exploitation may take the form of stripping, pornography, prostitution, or sex trafficking.

The symposium will take place 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, May 16, at Saint Leo University, 1395 South Marietta Parkway, Building 300, Suite 104, Marietta, GA 30067. While the event is free, registration is required. For information and to RSVP, contact Dr. Felicia Wilson at The symposium will be of interest to students, concerned citizens, human service practitioners, and law enforcement personnel.

About Saint Leo University

Saint Leo University is a regionally accredited, liberal-arts-based institution known for an inclusive Catholic heritage, enduring values, and capacity for innovation. The school was chartered in 1889 by Catholic Benedictine monks in rural Pasco County, FL, making Saint Leo the first Catholic college in the state. Over its more than 125-year history, Saint Leo has provided access to education to people of all faiths, emphasizing the Benedictine philosophy of balanced growth of mind, body, and spirit.

Today the university welcomes learners from all generations and backgrounds, from civilian occupations and the armed forces, and from across the country and more than 60 nations around the world. Saint Leo’s 16,000 undergraduate and graduate students may elect to study at the beautiful University Campus in Florida, at more than 40 teaching locations in seven states, or online from other locations. The university’s degree programs range from the associate to the doctorate. Throughout these rich offerings, Saint Leo develops principled leaders for a challenging world.

Saint Leo University boasts more than 70,000 alumni in all 50 states, Washington, DC, three U.S. territories, and 70 countries.


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