YWCA of Silicon Valley

Stuck in Traffic? So Are They

YWCA Silicon Valley Launches the Stuck In Traffic? Initiative to Educate the Public about Human Trafficking


San Jose, CA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 08/15/2012 --Carlos and Paula were an ordinary couple living in the Rose Garden section of San Jose. They were admired by neighbors, friends and family as successful entrepreneurs owning several restaurants in the area. Nobody noticed that they had men and women living in their garage, carefully guarded and forced into restaurant work for no pay.

Minh appeared to be an ordinary San Jose teen. She did well in school and excelled on the soccer field. Nobody noticed the warning signs that Minh was being sold for sex to adult men on a daily basis throughout San Jose.

Could you recognize the warning signs?

Probably not.

Most residents of the Silicon Valley wouldn’t be able to. In fact, most residents don’t even know there are trafficking victims living enslaved among us here and now.

The YWCA Silicon Valley aims to draw attention to this important human rights issue with a year-long public awareness initiative to provide the public with accurate information about human trafficking. The Stuck In Traffic? Initiative seeks to ensure that everyone in Silicon Valley knows that slavery exists in our community and that we can work together on solutions.

The Stuck In Traffic? Initiative launches this month with a series of events during FREEDOMweek. FREEDOMweek runs from August 21st – August 26th and features six free events presenting a comprehensive view of human trafficking, including domestic minor trafficking, slavery in our supply chains, and the impressive efforts of a new era of abolitionists working throughout the Silicon Valley. Among others, the week’s events highlight a local teen actively involved in the fight against trafficking; an award-winning investigative journalist, Julian Sher, with a provocative perspective on prostitution and our modern “Pimp Culture;” and trafficking survivor, Carissa Phelps, who overcame all the odds to become an attorney, author, and advocate.

After FREEDOMweek, the Stuck In Traffic? Initiative continues with programs for college students, healthcare workers, and the faith community in addition to bus advertisements and educational materials available throughout the South Bay.

With support from the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors along with many partners, including Not For Sale; South Bay Coalition to End Human Trafficking; Bay Area Anti-Trafficking Coalition (BAATC); California Against Slavery (CAS); San Jose Police Department’s Human Trafficking Task Force and ECPAT USA, the YWCA is declaring freedom from modern-day slavery in Silicon Valley.

For more information about the Stuck In Traffic? Initiative or any of the FREEDOMweek events, please visit http://ywca-sv.org/programs/HT/human-trafficking-freedom-week.php

For over 106 years of service, the mission of the YWCA Silicon Valley has remained steadfast to empower women, children, and their families, and to eliminate racism, hatred, and prejudice. We continue to provide a broad range of services that transform the lives of a diverse community. Each year our programs serve over 18,000 individuals in the areas of Rape Crisis, Domestic Violence, Youth Services, Counseling and Child Care. Our incredible strength is in our dedicated staff, volunteers, donors, community members and business leaders who share our vision and passion. The YWCA Silicon Valley is located at 375 S. 3rd Street, San Josè, CA 95112. For more information about the YWCA Silicon Valley, contact (408) 295-4011 or visit http://www.ywca-sv.org.