GREENVILLE — Beverly Weeks, director of the Wayne County Pregnancy Center and Cry Freedom, will speak at the Pitt County Coalition Against Human Trafficking’s January meeting as part of Human Trafficking Awareness Month.
The meeting will start at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 17, at Sheppard Memorial Library, located at 530 Evans St. in Greenville.
Cry Freedom, born about five years ago and operated out of the Wayne Pregnancy Center in Goldsboro, is an organization that works to find women and men embroiled in sex trafficking and the sex trade.
Weeks facilitates hotel rescues at areas across eastern North Carolina as well as a prison ministry where she — or another representative of Cry Freedom — goes to offer educational classes.
Cry Freedom’s premise is to go and find possible victims of sex trafficking, build a relationship with the victim and, when they are ready for escape, be there to facilitate their rescue and recovery.
“Cry Freedom’s model of building relationships with possible victims of sex trafficking and women mired in prostitution is not only a revolutionary one, but a courageous one,” said Pam Strickland, ENC Stop Human Trafficking founder and Pitt County Coalition Against Human Trafficking facilitator.
“Beverly Weeks’ message needs to be heard by other anti-human-trafficking advocates, and people need to know that sex trafficking is an injustice that affects women right here in our communities. Mrs. Week’s perspective and work are invaluable in the fight to rescue victims and — additionally — in building up our communities in eastern North Carolina on principles based on compassion and boldness.”
As part of Human Trafficking Awareness Month, the coalition will host a documentary screening of “Be the One” Thursday, Jan. 31, beginning at 6 p.m. at the Goess Student Center at Pitt Community College.
The Pitt County Coalition Against Human Trafficking was created to increase collaboration among agencies and organizations addressing human trafficking in Pitt County. Through collaboration, the coalition builds awareness of sex trafficking and labor trafficking in the county. The organization works to increase the identification of sex and labor trafficking victims locally, as well as improve short-term and long-term outcomes for identified victims. The coalition also works to prevent human trafficking.