Valley Crisis Center had its first Free Yourself from Human Trafficking (F.Y.H.T.) Event in Merced on January 5th, 2017 and in Los Baños on January 19th, 2017. We brought awareness to our community in hopes of reaching out to victims and survivors of Human Trafficking. Our mission is to serve men, woman, and children of all ages to overcome this tragic ordeal, and create positive and healthy life choices.
21 million people are affected by Human Trafficking each year, and we are here to ensure that all lives that are affected by this criminal act are supported, and not blamed for what they have gone through. Many community members were present at our events in hopes of change, for a better Merced County. We want to thank everyone who took the time to come out and support us in our first event. This is the first step to changing our mindset and ensure that no one else becomes a victim of Human Trafficking. We were very fortunate to have a great guest speaker that is not only a Founder and CEO of Breaking the Chains in Fresno, but also a survivor of Human Trafficking, Debra Woods. She brought with her a powerful life story in hopes of shedding light on the subject. We also want to extend our gratitude towards the mayor of Merced Mike Murphy, and the mayor of Los Baños Mike Villalta for attending and speaking at the events of their respective city. By having the support of the mayors of both Merced and Los Baños shows the impact Human Trafficking has on our community and the dedication they have to spreading awareness to end this inhumane practice.
We are all very dedicated to stopping these traffickers and putting an end to modern day slavery and the suffering of victims. Human Trafficking does not only affect foreign countries, but in fact, it is here in our small community of Merced County. We must unite and open our eyes to the realities of exploitation in our own back yards. We hope to continue this event and bring awareness every year with the support of our community and our community leaders.