January is Human Trafficking Prevention Month

VENTURA, Calif. – As January marks Human Trafficking Prevention Month, the Ventura County
District Attorney’s Office reaffirms its commitment to combatting this terrible crime and standing in
solidarity with victims.

Today, the Ventura County Board of Supervisors proclaimed the month of January as Human
Trafficking Prevention Month and January 13, 2024, as Soroptimist STOP Human Trafficking
Awareness Day in Ventura County. Human trafficking remains a pressing global issue, and it
impacts millions worldwide. But it also occurs in our local communities throughout Ventura County.

With a steadfast dedication to justice and protecting the vulnerable, the Ventura County District
Attorney’s Office actively collaborates with law enforcement agencies as a member of the Ventura
County Human Trafficking Task Force, non-profit organizations like Soroptimist International, and
community stakeholders to prevent, investigate, and prosecute cases related to human trafficking.

Contact: Joey Buttitta
Title: Communications Manager/PIO
Phone: (805) 767-3400
Email: Joey.Buttittta@ventura.org
Approved: SW
Date: January 9, 2024
Release No.: 24-002

“Our office is committed to ending human trafficking in Ventura County,” District Attorney Erik
Nasarenko said. “We recognize the urgency of this cause, and we will continue to pursue justice for
survivors while holding predators accountable.”

Throughout Human Trafficking Prevention Month, the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office will
be engaging in a series of outreach initiatives aimed at raising public awareness, educating
community members, and fostering a better understanding of the signs and impacts of human
trafficking. These efforts include educational workshops, outreach campaigns across various
platforms, and partnerships with local schools and organizations to provide resources and support.

• Wear blue! National Human Trafficking Awareness Day is recognized each year on
January 11. Blue is the international color of human trafficking awareness, and you can join
and support the nationwide awareness campaign by wearing blue, taking photos, and
posting on social media, on January 11, and throughout the month.

• Thursday, January 11, 2023, from 6:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.: Join us at the Soroptimist
Simi Valley, STOP Human Trafficking Event and hear from the human trafficking awareness
panel, including District Attorney Erik Nasarenko, along with other local dignitaries and
professionals. Save your spot here: https://www.soroptimistsv.org/iwillnotbesold
• Saturday, January 13, 2023: Soroptimist’s International, 17th Annual STOP Human
Trafficking Walk & Live Panel event. District Attorney victim advocates will staff a Family
Justice Center (FJC) informational booth and other FJC partner agencies will have booths
as well. Please find additional details via the following link:

• Monday, January 29, 2023: “Empowerment Beyond Exploitation: Addressing
Human Trafficking, Disability, and Accessing Resources” training. Taught by Deputy District
Attorneys Rikole Kelly and Melissa McMurdo at the Carmen Ramirez Family Justice Center
at 555 South A Street in Oxnard. This event welcomes practitioners, social workers, law
enforcement professionals, and the public. We aim to educate about the signs of human
trafficking in individuals with disabilities, understand the unique vulnerabilities and barriers
faced by this intersection, and explore resources available for support and assistance.
Furthermore, the Ventura County District Attorney’s encourages community members to join the
fight against human trafficking by remaining vigilant, knowing the signs, and reporting any
suspicious activities to local law enforcement.

In addition to proactive measures, the District Attorney’s Office remains committed to providing
comprehensive support and resources to survivors of human trafficking. Our victim advocates
collaborate with service providers to ensure survivors receive the necessary assistance, protection,
and care they need to rebuild their lives.

If you or someone you know might be a victim of trafficking, call 9-1-1. If you think you might be a
victim and want more information, call 1-800-636-6738 (adults) or 1-805-261-1212 (minors). For
more information on the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office’s initiatives or to report
suspected human trafficking activities, please visit the Human Trafficking page on our website