Contra Costa County "Day of Action" against human trafficking

KTVU – The Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office held a “day of action” on Saturday to raise awareness about human trafficking.

Representatives from the district attorney’s office partnered with a handful of law enforcement agencies and community-based organizations to pass out posters to certain businesses.

The partnership is a way for the agencies to implement a state law passed in 2013 that requires specified businesses like airports, train stations, urgent care facilities and certain bars and massage parlors to post notices with human trafficking hotline numbers for victims to seek help.

On Saturday, the posters were distributed to specified businesses in Martinez, Concord, Walnut Creek, and Pleasant Hill.

“We see the whole range of trafficking, from domestic child sex trafficking to adult sex trafficking, as well as labor trafficking cases,” Alex Madsen with the Services for Victims of Human Trafficking Project in Contra Costa County.

The county hopes the posters will also encourage the public to report unusual behavior.                                         

“It’s community members that see some situation and think something doesn’t feel right here and they’re calling law enforcement,” she said

Dana Filkowski, Supervisor of the Domestic Violence Unit at the Contra Costa District Attorney’s Office, said human trafficking comes in many forms and sometimes victims do not realize they are in danger. She called human trafficking a community problem that needs a community response.

“If we all learn to recognize it and if we all learn what we can do to stop it, then we can make a difference together in our community,” Filkowski said.

If you or someone you know if being forced to engage in any activity and can’t leave, whether it is commercial sex, housework, construction, factory, retail, restaurant work, or any other activity, call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center at 888-KEY-2-FRE(EDOM) or 888-539-2373.

For immediate, local help, contact Community Violence Solutions Crisis Line at 1-800-670-7273 or the Contra Costa Crisis Center at 211.