On Thursday the 24th, we held the 23rd Circle of Friends Luncheon at The Townsend Hotel in Birmingham. Over 300 individuals from across metro Detroit gathered to learn more about how human trafficking, and child sex trafficking in particular, has impacted lives in Oakland County.
As described in our previous post, our guest speaker, Theresa Flores, was able to draw directly on her own experience as a sex trafficking victim while attending high school in Birmingham. Her appearance at our event was her first time back in the area since she escaped her traffickers and moved with her family to Ohio as a teenager.
The intensity of the emotions in the room was palpable as Theresa recounted her story, just a few miles from the places where her abuse took place. Feedback from those in attendance was universal – their eyes had been opened to the threat children face everywhere, and they left with a deeper understanding of the necessary conversations to have to ensure our children stay safe.
From everyone at CARE House, we’d like to thank Theresa for her courage and her candor. You can learn more about Theresa, her books, and her organization S.O.A.P. at her website. We’d also like to thank Sheriff Michael Bouchard for speaking at the event, and to Kris and Andy Appleby for opening their gorgeous home for our Preview Party.
Thanks as well to WWJ, WXYZ, Fox 2 Detroit, The Oakland Press, and Nolan Finley for their coverage of the event – you can check out those stories below.
- Birmingham child sex trafficking survivor returns for first time to speak about local reality of child abuse
- Metro Detroit sex trafficking survivor says more protection is needed for kids in every neighborhood
- Woman sold in sex trafficking ring as high school girl returns to Birmingham