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Ocean Springs church discusses human trafficking

Ocean Springs author Johnnie Bernhard spoke to a crowd of about 40 people before reading an excerpt from her novel about human trafficking.
© Provided by Biloxi-Gulfport WLOX Ocean Springs author Johnnie Bernhard spoke to a crowd of about 40 people before reading an excerpt from her novel about human trafficking.

OCEAN SPRINGS, Miss. (WLOX) – St. John’s Episcopal Church in Ocean Springs hosted a discussion on Wednesday about human trafficking.

Ocean Springs author Johnnie Bernhard spoke to a crowd of about 40 people before reading an excerpt from her fourth novel, “Hannah and Ariela.”

It tells a story of human trafficking.

“He went to work for the cartel, driving drugs and people all over the place,” she read to the room.

Bernhard also shared what she learned throughout her research and writing process regarding human trafficking, especially along the I-10 corridor.

“It’s now the number one crime in the world,” she told WLOX. “Every 30 seconds, someone is human trafficked in this country.”

With a book sale to follow, a portion of her proceeds are being donated to the Gulf Coast Center for Nonviolence.

“It’s very important for the community to know what is going on in the community,” Stephanie Piper with the Center said.

Piper is the sexual assault program manager and works with human trafficking victims across the Coast.

She also shared her insight and firsthand stories with the group.

“Together as a community, we are more likely to get rid of domestic violence, sexual assault, human trafficking, intimate partner violence,” she said. “I just think that we need more people against it than those that are ignoring it.”

The event was organized by vestry member Melanie Allen.

“It happens in our own backyard,” she said. “Human trafficking is an issue we became aware of because we’ve been working with the homelessness situation here in Ocean Springs. So, as part of outreach, we thought it was great to have this program.”

Bernhard added, “It’s really not so much about the book, but I want people to have conversations with their children and their family about what human traffic is and what we can do to prevent it.”

Bernhard’s book is available on Amazon.

Her next book signing will take place on Saturday at Lemuria Book Store in Jackson.

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EYES ON TRAFFICKING

This “Eyes on Trafficking” story is reprinted from its original location.

ABOUT

PBJ Learning is a leading provider of online human trafficking training, focusing on and prevention education. Their interactive Human Trafficking Essentials is used worldwide to educate professionals and individuals how to recognize human trafficking and how to respond to potential victims. Learn on any web browser (even your mobile phone) at any time.

More stories like this can be found in your PBJ Learning Knowledge Vault.

 

EYES ON TRAFFICKING

This “Eyes on Trafficking” story is reprinted from its original online location.

ABOUT PBJ LEARNING

PBJ Learning is a leading provider of online human trafficking training, focusing on awareness and prevention education. Their interactive Human Trafficking Essentials online course is used worldwide to educate professionals and individuals how to recognize human trafficking and how to respond to potential victims. Learn on any web browser (even your mobile phone) at any time.

More stories like this can be found in your PBJ Learning Knowledge Vault.