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.

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

Trafficking Ritual 2017 and Interfaith Toolkit on Human Trafficking

Download these tools for worship and action ideas: Trafficking Ritual 2017 and the  
Interfaith Toolkit on Human Trafficking (both .pdf)

Read La Crosse task force continues fight against human trafficking, Jan. 7, 2017 La Crosse Tribune
Watch Efforts combat human trafficking locallyWKBT News Channel 8, Jan. 6, 2017

Traffik 2017 exhibition
Aug. 30 - Sept. 29, 2017
9-5 p.m.

Viterbo University Art Department invites all to attend an upcoming-juried exhibition displaying works of art that respond to the issue of human trafficking. Visit the Viterbo University Exhibit Gallery, third floor of the Fine Arts Center, 929 Jackson St., La Crosse, WI.

Task Force meets with Kosovo delegation

Kosovo delegationThe issues of domestic violence and human trafficking were discussed at length in November, when a group of five delegates from Kosovo, along with a facilitator, traveled to La Crosse to meet with staff at New Horizons, and members of the law enforcement and the judicial systems. The delegate also met with the La Crosse Task Force to Eradicate Modern Slavery. 

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. Toolkits were mailed to all Wisconsin Catholic parish contacts in early 2016. 

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.

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

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