Both law enforcement professionals and the general public benefited from a special conference on human trafficking that took place on Wednesday in the University of Montana Center.

Clinical Faculty member of the School of Social Work. Kat Werner, said the day was a success for all who attended.

Seattle-based expert Peter Qualliotine was the featured presenter.

“Peter talked a lot about commercial sexual exploitation through the lens of gender-based violence,” said Werner. “Thinking through the overlap and correlation of domestic violence, sexual violence and human trafficking, he presented to a full house of both professionals and the public, he talked about how we could recognize signs and indicators of sexual exploitation and how we can advocate for accountability for the harms that sex trafficking causes. How do we hold, not just traffickers but sex buyers accountable for the harm that they are causing.”

Werner said Qualliotine dug deep into the very basics of societal norms for sexuality.

“How do we raise our boys and what are the messages that we are sending to young children around what it means to be a boy or girl,” she said. “All of that ties into our understanding about prostitution and human trafficking.”

Friday, January 11 is National Human Trafficking Awareness Day.

Werner and Missoula Police Detective Guy Baker will be on Talk Back later in January to provide our listeners and Facebook Live viewers a deeper look into the issue of human trafficking.