Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration (FSPA)

Modern Lives. Sacred Traditions.

Human Trafficking

Human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery where people profit from the control and exploitation of others. As defined under U.S. federal law, victims of human trafficking include children involved in the sex trade, adults age 18 or over who are coerced or deceived into commercial sex acts, and anyone forced into different forms of "labor or services," such as domestic workers held in a home, or farm-workers forced to labor against their will." - Polaris Project

Human Trafficking task force logo

La Crosse Task Force to End Modern Slavery

This task force is made up of more than 50 persons including FSPA and affiliates, law enforcement, education, legal, social service and health care professionals working together to raise awareness about the incidence and response to victims in the La Crosse, Wisconsin area. Specifically, the task force works in the following areas highlighted below.

NEW! The Faces of Human Trafficking video series
The Franciscans Sisters of Perpetual Adoration-founded Task Force to End Modern Slavery partnered with Breaking Free, one of the nation’s leading organizations for working with victims and survivors of sex trafficking, to create “The Faces of Human Trafficking” video series. The series will be launched throughout January 2018, Human Trafficking Awareness Month. 

Meet Terry
Terry presented "Combating sex trafficking" at UW-La Crosse during Social Justice Week held in April. The La Crosse Tribune covered the event. Read "Eliminating demand key to combating sex trafficking."  


MORE! Watch "The Faces of Human Trafficking" series and learn more about events and available toolkits including the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Day of Prayer toolkit. Watch WKBT Investigates Human Trafficking featuring a Wisconsin human trafficking survivor

Environmental Refugees and Human Trafficking
by Jeanne Christensen, RSM, board member U.S. Catholics Against Human Trafficking

Following recent climate disasters, Hurricanes Harvey and Irma and the earthquake in Mexico, members of the U.S. Catholic Sisters Against Human Trafficking believed it would be helpful to share a module entitled “Human Trafficking and Environmental Refugees”.

A brief excerpt from the module states: “In June 2014, the number of refugees worldwide exceeded 50 million children, women and men.  Half of these refugees are children, many traveling alone or in groups. Millions of these refugees are people displaced because of environmental disasters. Moreover, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change notes that in the coming years millions of people will be forced to relocate due to effects of climate change, including shoreline erosion, coastal flooding or disruption of normal farming practices. Today analysts predict that this crisis in the making will affect 150-200 million men, women and children by 2050, or roughly one in every 45 persons on earth…Read more Environmental Refugees and Human Trafficking

U.S. Catholic Sisters Against Human Trafficking host prayer vigil in Washington D.C.

In October 2017 the U.S. Catholic Sisters Against Human Trafficking hosted a prayer vigil in front of the White House as part of their board meeting held in Washington D.C. 

Public Awareness
Wisconsin-based toolkit
In partnership with the Leadership Conference of Women Religious and Communicators for Women Religious (Wisconsin region), a human trafficking toolkit for Wisconsin parishes is now available online. 

Center of Concern releases "I am Miriam"
an anti-human trafficking 
video and companion website, Against Humanity


La Crosse Task Force releases public service announcement

Advocacy & Victim Services
Advocacy activities support victims and survivors of modern day slavery by assisting them to access help for complex trauma-based healing. 

Community Mobilization & Training
Key individuals and groups in our community who represent contacts in the first lines of defense against human trafficking are identified. Other groups are engaged that can collectively influence change through raising awareness about problems of human trafficking and creating community networks of support. Opportunities for training of professionals are identified and proposed. Details of hosting training opportunities are organized and appropriate follow-up activities and relationships are attended to.

Data Collection
Seeking to understand the extent and nature of problem of human trafficking in the La Crosse, Wisconsin-area, research is undertaken with data collection concerning the nature of the problem and the extent to which it exists. Assessment of trends is an ongoing effort.

Task Force releases La Crosse-area survey findings
In Spring 2015, the La Crosse Task Force to Eradicate Modern Slavery conducted an informal needs assessment in order to provide direction for continuing efforts.  The Data Collection sub-committee created an initial outline to help guide the assessment and identified three key areas which needed further examination: 1.) Resources for victims, 2.) Training needs in the community, and 3.) Prevention efforts.  Survey findings were released in early 2017. Read La Crosse Area Survey of Resources for Victims of Human Trafficking.

Safe Harbor and Legislation
Legislation regarding human trafficking is monitored on the local and national levels through communication with local, state and national legislators. The creation of an advocacy community for the passage of safe harbor legislation in the state of Wisconsin is given particular emphasis.

News Media

-Watch Efforts combat human trafficking locallyWKBT News Channel 8, January 2017
-La Crosse task force continues fight against human trafficking, La Crosse Tribune, January 2017
Did you know? This document (.pdf) defines human trafficking, explains the types and explains how to identify a victim.- 

WPR’s News Makers. features Sister Marlene Weisenbeck and the director of The Salvation Army’s PROMISE Program
La Crosse Tribune: highlights the recent conference, "Stopping the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children"
- Sister Marlene Weisenbeck represented the La Crosse Task Force to Eradicate Modern Slavery during an interview with La Crosse's WIZM1410
- Task force members urge awareness: "Awareness is the first steppingstone toward the eradication of this horrific crime. In addition, laws need to be in place to protect victims and prosecute perpetrators and consumers." Read more at La Crosse Tribune Take a stand to fight human trafficking. 


National Hotline: 888-373-7888 or text BeFree to 233733
La Crosse County District Attorney 608-785-9604
La Crosse Emergency Services 608-785-9634
City of La Crosse Police Department 608-785-5962
La Crosse Country Sheriff's Department 608-785-5942

PRAYER'S and trafficking prevention tools are provided in USCCB's National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month & Day of Prayer Toolkit.

BE a knowledgeable consumer and make sure what you use and consume is free from forced labor. Ask companies to investigate and prevent human trafficking in their supply chains and report on progress.
TALK about child labor and human trafficking with friends, family and co-workers to share learning and raise awareness.

Learn More
Video: Understanding Human Trafficking
Human Trafficking resources and toolkits

Get Involved
La Crosse Task Force - Sister Marlene Weisenbeck,
The Human Thread - Catholics for Clothing with a Conscience
Catholic Charities
5-Stones: Fighting the Giant of Sex Trafficking  

Reflections and Prayers
St. Josephine Bakhita Prayer Card (.pdf)
More reflections and prayers (.pdf)
Prayer Service for an End to Human Trafficking (.pdf)

Prayer Request