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Hundreds of people ranging from social workers to first responders, lawyers, law enforcement officers and mental health therapists are expected to attend the ninth annual The Epidemic and The Game on Saturday, Sept. 17.
“Many human trafficking survivors face difficulties that are seldom talked about, keeping them from successfully changing their lives,” said Debbie Lassiter, D. Div., CEO and co-founder of Convergence Resource Center (CRC), which is sponsoring the program. “Whether it be the grief of returning to a way of life they no longer are accustomed to, mental health struggles, financial burdens, or the process of developing a new identity and healthier being, we’re here to help survivors overcome the Life.”
The three-hour event will include round table discussions along with presentations on the challenges of living after experiencing human trafficking. The program begins at 9 a.m.at Cardinal Stritch University’s campus in Glendale and also will be live streamed online. Registration for The Epidemic and the Game is free and available on Convergence Resource Center’s website.
Lassiter said the program’s theme, “Human Trafficking and Overcoming The Life After,” will feature survivors and their support team members who will talk about what Overcoming the Life is all about and how to be of assistance and aid to survivors making this change.
“I believe that my primary purpose is to be able to help the next woman in need,” said Sarah Demerath, a human trafficking survivor who is now a CRC facilitator, victims advocate and graduate of The Epidemic and The Game. “I have conquered many challenges and hardships in my life, including a 19-year battle with heroin addiction, homelessness, incarcerations and other traumas. I know how hard it is to ask for help and I want survivors to know we will walk beside them on this journey. They aren’t alone.”
Other CRC staff taking part in the program include Desirae Casarez and Dr. Michele Cohen. Casarez is a survivor and a CRC facilitator. Cohen is a psychotherapist specializing in the treatment of complex and acute trauma, secondary traumatic stress, adjustment, anxiety and mood-related challenges, self-esteem, chronic and persistent mental health issues, and grief counseling.
About Convergence Resource Center
Convergence Resource Center (CRC) is a faith-based nonprofit community service organization providing support for adult women rebuilding their lives after trauma with an emphasis on justice involved women and female survivors of human trafficking. It collaborates with more than 50 community service organizations locally and nationally through partnerships and membership in several human trafficking task forces and recently opened an office in Madison. To learn more, call (414) 979-0591 or visit www.convergenceresource.org.
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For More Information
Patrick McSweeney Debbie Lassiter, D. Div.
McSweeney Public Relations Convergence Resource Center
(262) 320-7288 (414) 979-0591