Fighting against human trafficking can seem like fighting against the darkness. No matter how hard you try, there’s no stopping something so big and so powerful, and every time you feel like you’ve achieved a small victory, a problem pops up somewhere else. It’s the ultimate game of whack-a-mole, but the moles have been replaced by human lives, and the game is actually a global crisis.
By some estimates, 100,000 individuals are trafficked in the U.S. each year, most of them women and many of them children. Month after month, we read stomach-churning reports of sex trafficking from across the U.S. There is a role each of us can play in fighting trafficking by simply understanding what to look out for, but a broader knowledge needs to occur as well to better prevent trafficking, intervene when it does occur, and help survivors rebuild.
That’s why the Sturgis® Motorcycle Rally™ teaming up with these organizations and is announcing the “Fast Ride”. The Fast Ride is a collaboration between four organizations to raise funds and awareness to combat human trafficking. Before and after the ride come hear about what all is taking place around the country to combat trafficking. Hear from survivors that have been in the trade and escaped. Come ride with the members of these organizations that are doing something about trafficking and find out how you can help.
The proceeds from the Fast Ride will benefit the following organizations.
RIDE MY ROAD: www.ridemyroad.org Ride My Road is an ongoing project by Lauren Trantham to raise funds and awareness for survivors. Her 10,000-mile solo motorcycle ride in 2016 was the beginning of a deep passion to support and photograph domestic survivors. Through photography, motorcycles and public speaking Lauren continues to support the movement to end domestic sex trafficking. Ride My Road has grown into a national collective of motorcyclists who advocate for survivors by raising funds and awareness.
FIGHTING AGAINST TRAFFICKING: www.fightingagainsttrafficking.org
South Dakota Senator Lynne Hix-DiSanto and Trafficking Survivor Sally Richardson have teamed up to provide a unique and powerful opportunity to spread awareness of Human Trafficking. By advocating for change in current practices at women’s shelters, implementing effective strategies to decriminalize minor and adult victims and bringing exposure for missing persons who are believed to be victims of human trafficking they are changing the way Human Trafficking is understood in South Dakota. They educate hotel and motel staff, hospitals and medical clinics, parents, adults, and teens through community and school programs. They work with law enforcement and are trauma informed. Fighting Against Trafficking demands responsive and uncompromised political leadership and they collaborate with other groups fighting to eradicate human trafficking and for justice to ensure South Dakota is doing its best to combat this issue.
THE EPIK PROJECT: www.epikproject.org
Recognized as a national leader in combatting the demand for sex trafficking, The Epik Project has disrupted 70,000 attempts to purchase sex in the last four years. Epik’s mission is to bring men into the fight to end demand. They have chapters in Portland, Oakland, San Diego, Dallas, Detroit and Kansas City and are now inviting LA area men to join the effort. By using technology and with enthusiastic support from law enforcement, survivors, advocates and community officials Epik is helping to reduce the demand that drives sex trafficking. Tom Perez, Epik’s founder is an avid biker and ready to ride.
The Fast Ride will be held Wednesday, August 7th. Ride will leave from 6th & Williams at 9:00 a.m. Check in will open at 7:30 a.m. Swag Bags and T-shirts will be given to all paid riders and passengers. Lunch will be provided. Cost $79.00
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