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Mayor inks proclamation

Submitted photo Elkins Mayor Van Broughton proclaims January 2021 as Stalking Awareness Month and Human Trafficking Awareness Day.

On Jan. 25, Elkins Mayor Van Broughton proclaimed January 2021 as Stalking Awareness Month and Human Trafficking Awareness Day.

He signed these alongside Phyllis Skidmore, executive director, and staff for Centers Against Violence, JJ Johnson, Youth Health Service, Gillian Adams, Family Resource Network, Margaret Falletta, D&E College, and Allyson Smoak, Randolph County Prosecutor’s Office

January is Stalking and Human Trafficking Awareness Month, but Centers Against Violence works on these issues year-round.

In 2019 in West Virginia, 38 cases of human trafficking were reported to the national human trafficking hotline. Nationwide, 22,326 victims and survivors identified in 2019. Of that, 14,597 were sex trafficked, 4,934 labor trafficked, 1048 both sex and labor trafficked, 1,747 were not specified. 4,384 traffickers were identified, and 1,912 suspicious businesses were identified. In 2019, the number of identified trafficking situations that originated from text grew by 33% from the previous year (compared to 7% growth in identified trafficking situations originating from calls).

A 2011 survey found 5.1 million women and 2.4 million men had been stalked the previous year. One in every six women and one out of 19 men in the United States have been stalked in their lifetime. Many times, the stalker is someone the victim knows:

Skidmore

Almost three out of four stalking victims know their stalkers in some capacity. The most common relationship between the victim and perpetrator is a current or former intimate partner.

A total of 66% of female stalking victims were stalked by current or former intimate partners

As an agency, Centers Against Violence works with domestic and sexual violence survivors, child abuse, human trafficking, and stalking. Officials worry that fewer people are reporting now than ever with the current pandemic. This means that the services offered are more vital to protecting those being victimized by these crimes.

Centers Against Violence fights daily to help our communities in six local counties — Randolph, Tucker, Barbour, Upshur, Webster and Braxton.

If you or someone you know needs support, you can speak with an advocate 24/7 at the main office at 304-636-8433, or you may call the 24-hour hotline at 1-800-339-1185. There is a text hotline where you can contact an advocate at 304-840-SAFE.

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