The Van Wert County Courthouse

Friday, Jan. 27, 2023

YWCA to offer “Glow Bowl” event

VW independent staff/submitted information

January is Human Trafficking Awareness month and the YWCA of Van Wert County invites the community to join them in bringing awareness to this crime and provide assistance to survivors of human trafficking in the area.

The YWCA will hold its annual Blackout Human Trafficking – Glow Bowl event (bowling under black lights) at Olympic Lanes to raise funds for human trafficking survivors housed at the YWCA. Those who are rescued are in need of therapeutic services and transportation, as well as safe housing. This year’s event will take place from 1-5 p.m. Sunday, February 5, at Olympic Lanes in Van Wert. A silent auction and raffles will also be held. Silent auction items may be viewed at www.ywcavanwertcounty.org.

There are a three types of trafficking that victims could experience with the most prevalent being sex trafficking (73 percent) followed by forced labor (14 percnet) and finally a combination of those two. Nationally, Ohio ranks fourth in human trafficking incidences. In 2016, an estimated one out of six endangered runaways reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children were likely child sex trafficking victims and the average age of girls who are forced into sex trafficking is 12-17 years of age. (Statistics from Polaris and National Human Trafficking hotline.)

The mission of the YWCA of Van Wert County is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all. Human Trafficking, at its core, strips people of their dignity and freedom, treats victims as commodities for purchase to the highest bidder and subjects them to abuse by their captors and others who exploit them.

The YWCA encourages social media users to visit their social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram) to learn more about human trafficking. Additional information about human trafficking, domestic violence and sexual assault services may be found on the YWCA website.

“Social media can perpetuate myths about trafficking. We want our community to join us in the fight against human trafficking with accurate information that they can share in conversations and on social media with others,” Jamie Evans, Director of Survivor Services said.

The events page of the website includes information about silent auction items that will be featured at Glow Bowl. Items include passes from SkyZone and Laser Tag, gift certificates to Proximo and Hoppy Gnome and tours of Debrand chocolate factory and more. A raffle featuring $100 of Baker Street gift cards is also being held. Those interested in raffle tickets may find information on the website on how to purchase tickets.

“We hope many people take the time to attend this fun and informational event,” said Julie Schaufelberger, YWCA of Van Wert County Outreach Coordinator. “The funds raised from Glow Bowl are vital in serving all of the survivors we help by providing housing, transportation and therapeutic services.”

POSTED: 01/24/23 at 4:45 am. FILED UNDER: News