Scientology Forum Raises Awareness About Human Trafficking
Sex trafficking in Portland was the topic of a human rights open house and forum at the Church of Scientology. The purpose: to engage the community in helping victims of this crime.
Sex trafficking in Portland affects children as young as 8 according to a Portland State University study and the average age of children being trafficked is 15. Raising awareness about this issue and what the individual can do to be alert and take action was the focus of an open house held at the Church of Scientology Portland at 309 SW 3rd Ave.
The Church of Scientology Portland Director of Public Affairs Cherie Gross began the program with an overview of the issue, including the importance of educating youth on their human rights. She introduced the human rights initiative the Church supports, United for Human Rights, and the educational materials the Church makes available free of charge to educators, community organizations and law enforcement for their use in making this and other human rights abuses known and understood.
The forum featured a presentation by a sergeant of the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Department who works in a special unit that uses intelligence collected at the jail to assist in identifying sex traffickers, purchasers, and victims. The common comment by those attending the open house was that they had no idea of the extent of the problem. This was further pushed home by the screening of a documentary on sex trafficking of minors in Portland, titled Waiting for the Light. Produced in 2015 by the Junior League of Portland, the film includes interviews with law enforcement, victims and perpetrators and shows the extent of the situation and what the individual can do to take action.
The Church of Scientology Portland opened its doors in the city’s historic downtown quarter in May 2013. The Church’s home is the landmark Sherlock Building, originally constructed in 1893 and listed today on the National Register of Historic Places. The Church is featured in an episode of Destination: Scientology on the Scientology Network, which can be streamed at Scientology.tv and is available through satellite television, mobile apps and via the Roku, Amazon Fire and Apple TV platforms.
The Scientology religion was founded by author and philosopher L. Ron Hubbard. The first Church of Scientology was formed in Los Angeles in 1954 and the religion has expanded to more than 11,000 Churches, Missions and affiliated groups, with millions of members in 167 countries.
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