Sisters of St. Joseph become important voice in local human trafficking initiatives

The hard work of the SSJ Social Justice office and its JPIC Team (Justice, Peace, Integrity of Creation) to increase awareness on the issue of human tracking has spurred local media to reach out to SSJ social justice coordinator, Betsy Wiest, for reaction and comments following a recent multi-state human trafficking raid that included a local massage parlor in Erie, PA. Betsy was interviewed by Brianna Andrews of Erie News Now for a story that aired on August 16, 2019 (click above to watch video).

Because Erie is located on the intersection of I-90 and I-79, is two hours from I-80 and the Canadian border, it is considered a “pass-thru” city for traffickers. Handlers bring their victims to Erie for short periods of time to be sold multiple times before moving them on to a new location.

The SSJ Social Justice has been at the forefront of education and advocacy on the issue of human trafficking awareness in the Erie region.  Working in collaboration with the Crime Victim Center of Erie County and local law enforcement, the SSJ Social Justice office speaks to area organizations and groups, advocates with area legislators, and works to proved signage and other materials to promote a victim hotline number at key places where trafficking may take place (hotels, truck stops, highway rest stops, etc). The local Erie FBI office has encouraged the SSJs to continue its education and advocacy efforts. 

If you would like to become more involved or have a representative speak to your group, contact

If you would like to support the human trafficking education and advocacy efforts of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Northwestern Pennsylvania with a financial donation, click here and designate your gift for human trafficking education and advocacy.  

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