HomepageNewsUrsinus Hosts Forum on Preventing Human Trafficking in Southeastern Pennsylvania

Ursinus Hosts Forum on Preventing Human Trafficking in Southeastern Pennsylvania

Partnering with PA State Representative Joe Webster, Ursinus College hosted a policy roundtable discussion on Thursday, September 28, with over 50 members of the community to discuss ways to combat the emerging threat and support impacted communities across the region.

Increasingly prevalent across the globe and throughout the United States, Pennsylvania has reported some of the highest rates of human trafficking cases in the last decade. With Montgomery and Chester counties making up 17% of the reported cases according to data by the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts, Ursinus College partnered with the office of Representative Joe Webster (HD-150) to hold a difficult but necessary conversation on the root causes of the growing issue and ways to curtail its devastating impacts on our communities.

The day’s programming began with a look into the work of the Greater Baltimore Medical Center’s SAFE & Domestic Violence Program, where under the leadership of Laura Clary, the unit has expanded its team, range of services, and scope of district and city partnerships to support victims of domestic violence and human trafficking through an advocacy-based empowerment approach.

Transitioning to the keynote event, we were joined subject matter experts in the fields of law enforcement, victims support, and intervention services to hear more about the lived experiences of victims, the heroic stories of survival, and scalable patient-centered initiatives. Our panelists included:

  • Laura Clary MSN, RN, FNE-A/P, SANE-A: Clinical Program Manager, SAFE Program
  • Michael Rogozinski MSN, RN: Chief Nursing Office for Prime Healthcare at Roxborough Memorial Hospital
  • Kelly Cummings DNP, RN, MJ, NEA-BC: Associate Chief Nurse, Corporal Michael J Crescenz - Dept of Veterans Affairs Medical Center
  • Mike Jackson: Chief, Lower Providence Police Department
  • Carole Truskett: Human Trafficking Survivor
  • Kelly Truax BS: Community Outreach Coordinator, GBMC

“In Pennsylvania, it is imperative that we renew our commitment to eradicating human trafficking and addressing the crucial issues of domestic violence and sexual assault within communities across this commonwealth,” stated Representative Joe Webster. “I had the privilege of holding a panel and an engaging discussion on safe centers that included leaders, local organizations, non-profits, and legislators to assess Pennsylvania’s areas of improvement and chart a path forward. I am grateful for Ursinus College’s unwavering enthusiasm and collaboration in hosting this event and look forward to their continued partnership in addressing these critical issues we are facing.”

At Ursinus, the fundamental belief in “the common good” calls for the college to equip students with the inspiration and commitment to lead meaningful change—not only in their careers, but the communities in which they serve. Through dialogues on societal issues like these, Ursinus hopes to be an institutional partner in efforts to combat the social injustices and inequities that both directly and indirectly affect thousands across Montgomery County and beyond.

According to the Pennsylvania Office of Victim Services, anyone who is a victim of human trafficking or suspects that someone else has been, please access the following resources:

  • Call 911 if you are in immediate danger.
  • Call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline at 1-888-373-7888.
  • Text the letters “Befree” or the numbers 233733 to reach the National Human Trafficking Resource Center.
  • If you suspect that human trafficking activity is present in your community, report a tip online.

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