WILBERFORCE — The Department of Justice secured convictions against 526 human traffickers during fiscal year 2018.
Of those, 501 involved predominantly sex trafficking, up 30 from fiscal year 2017.
In an effort to bring more awareness locally, Wilberforce University is hosting a human trafficking panel, presented by the Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling Program.
Four women will make up the panel for the program, which is set for 6-8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 23 in the university aerobics room. The featured panelist is Taniece Temple, a human trafficking survivor from Toledo.
Temple was 13 years old when her pastor Anthony Haynes, started sexually abusing her and forcing her to have sex with anyone he chose. The abuse lasted more than three years until she received a call from Haynes’ stepdaughter.
“She basically told me to consent to it, to say that it never happened and I started crying,” Temple told a Toledo TV station in November. A school counselor noticed Temple was shaken and eventually the FBI was notified.
The pastor’s wife and stepdaughter pleaded guilty to witness tampering Tuesday and Haynes is locked up for life, according to WNWO in Toledo. Temple told her story on the Tamron Hall Show and will speak out about that and the non-profit she started called “Pretty, Loved & Destined” to help empower all women.
Also joining the panel are Tanya Folks from the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, Donna Pierce from Dayton’s Oasis House — which offers hope and support to women survivors of trauma, violence, sexual exploitation, and substance abuse — and Teresa Merriweather, CEO of Trafficked Lives Matter Hand-in-Hand — a Columbus-based organization that provides trafficking awareness to police department personnel.