A group of activists are preparing to host a walk in Manitowoc to raise awareness for the ever-growing problem of child sex trafficking.
The walk, which was organized by Jay Meeks, Missy Wendorf, and Travis Maurer, will be taking place this Saturday. Missy explained that they “Want to bring awareness to the fact that it’s probably a bigger deal than people think that it is.”
Informational pamphlets will be handed out at the walk, so the public can become more informed about the topic of child sex trafficking.
Missy also explained, “There is a misconception that trafficking means moving people from place to place, and that is not true. A lot of times it’s family members, their parents, people that they know…or people who get coerced into the situation…and they feel stuck.”
Travis told us that, according to the Child Rescue Coalition, 94 cases of child sex trafficking have been reported in Wisconsin so far this year, not including the many cases that go unreported. 76% of all cases in the state emanate from Milwaukee. He also explained that child sex trafficking is a $150 billion industry globally.
He said he got involved because, although he doesn’t have and children of his own, people close to him do, and “I just want them to grow up in a safer world where they can go to the park without being worried, or walk into a grocery store without anybody snatching them up.”
The walk on Saturday will begin at 1:00 PM at the Manitowoc/Two Rivers YMCA. Missy, Travis and Jay have made some signs, but participants are encouraged to bring their own if they so choose.
The group will then walk along Maritime Drive to South 10th Street, where they will travel south to Washington Street, and over to Washington Park.
Water will be provided, and children are welcome and encouraged to join.