Yes, It Happens Here

Apex launches "Freedom Week" to raise awareness of human trafficking

Human trafficking is real, even in Western Wake. Learn more as the Town of Apex hosts "Freedom Week," Oct. 1-6, featuring the work of CORRAL Riding Academy.

Two nonprofits featured in the pages of Cary Magazine are shining the spotlight on human trafficking, as the Town of Apex hosts “Freedom Week,” Oct. 1-7.

Taking part in Freedom Week events is InterAct of Wake County, which provides safety and support to survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. InterAct’s executive director is Leigh Duque, a 2017 Cary Magazine Woman of Western Wake.

Also involved is CORRAL Riding Academy, a Cary-based nonprofit that helps girls in high-risk situations heal through equine therapy. Following a screening of “Unbridled,” which was filmed in Apex and presents the therapeutic use of horses in helping trafficked girls, CORRAL staff will answer questions along with Danica Colemean, victim advocate for the Apex Police Department.

Think human trafficking doesn’t happen here in Western Wake? Think again.

In 2016, Apex police raided a business and uncovered a trafficking ring spanning three states and multiple countries. And North Carolina consistently ranks in the top 10 states in the nation for prevalence of trafficking.

“In Apex, while our police continue to follow tips and shut down false business fronts, we’re now going to launch Apex Freedom Week to arm our citizens with the knowledge they need to see the signs of trafficking and provide tips to our detectives,” said Apex Mayor Lance Olive.

“This is necessary for the growth we need to keep pace with criminals that would pass through and set up shop in our wonderful community.”

Mayor Olive has also proclaimed Oct. 1-7 as Human Trafficking Awareness Week.

“I urge the residents of Apex to support the efforts,” he said, “and take action to end human trafficking.”

Here’s the full schedule of Freedom Week events:

  • Sunday, Oct. 1 at 2 p.m., at Apex Police Department: Mayor Lance Olive, Police Chief John Letteney and Jennifer Haigwood of the N.C. Human Trafficking Commission and Department of Labor will speak on human trafficking.
  • Monday, Oct. 2: Local artist Jason Clark will be working on a community art project.
  • Tuesday, Oct. 3 from 5 to 7 p.m., at Beaver Creek shopping center: Visit an information table with nonprofit Interact of Wake County, as part of Apex Night Out.
  • Wednesday, Oct. 4 from 10 to 11:30 a.m., at Peak United Methodist Church: UNC Professor Nancy Hagan and Mike Longmire of the Massage Parlor Board will present on human trafficking in North Carolina.
  • Thursday, Oct. 5 from 6 to 7 p.m., at Eva Perry Library: Pick up literature and learn about educational resources on human trafficking.
  • Friday, Oct. 6 from 6 to 8 p.m., at Apex United Methodist Church: Screening of the film “Unbridled.”

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