Human trafficking activist visits PRRD

·1 min read

Cathy Peters, a retired teacher, presented her views on human trafficking and child sex exploitation to the Peace River Regional District this week, appearing as a delegation at the March 25 board meeting.

Peters describes herself as former inner city ‘life skills’ teacher, steering high-school students away from gang life and the sex industry for 40 years in Vancouver.

No community is immune to the sex trade or human trafficking, said Peters, who launched her ‘Be Amazing’ awareness campaign earlier this year.

“Human sex trafficking and sexual exploitation for the purpose of prostitution is the fastest growing crime in the world, and it’s in B.C.,” said Peters, adding that 13 years is the average age of those recruited.

Peters said the COVID-19 pandemic has worsened the issue, and offered to speak at length with any local municipalities interested in her campaign.

Chetwynd Mayor Allen Courtoreille says he's interested in learning how he can help.

"I've grown up in communities where this hasn't been talked about. It's all been held back, because we did not learn how we were to participate," said Courtoreille. "It's quite disturbing to think that children are being used in this way."

Dawson Creek Mayor Dale Bumstead thanked Peters for the presentation, adding he would pass on her offer to speak with city council to their CAO.

Tom Summer, Local Journalism Initiative, Alaska Highway News