Cable Bridge lights up blue for National Human Trafficking Awareness Month

KENNEWICK, Wash. — The lights on the Cable Bridge went from white to blue on Monday afternoon to raise awareness for National Human Trafficking Awareness Month.

Support, Advocacy and Resource Center (SARC) and Numerica Credit Union have teamed up to continue the conversation about this issue. SARC’s human trafficking program started in May 2017. Since then, they’ve helped more than 200 victims of trafficking in the Tri-Cities. They say it can happen anywhere — not just big cities.

“A law enforcement can be doing their part,” said Desiree Reynolds, Program Director of Human Trafficking of SARC. “A social service agency can be doing their part, but we really do have to work together as a community to be the eyes and ears when we can’t be there.”

About 5% of men make up their clients. The youngest they’ve seen is 2-years-old and the oldest being 60.

“The clients that we see the most of are the 12-18-year-olds — that’s 40% of our clients here, which is one of the reasons we really want people talking with their family members, talking with their kids, talking with community members,” Reynolds said.

SARC also teamed up with Numerica and other banks for their flashlight campaign. It encourages banks to be aware and recognize red flags for deposits and withdrawals by human trafficking suspects. Reynolds does the training for this campaign.

The lighting of the Cable Bridge looks ahead to the second annual Shine the Light on Human Trafficking Walk on Jan. 31. More than 200 people are expected to walk across the bridge and come back around to raise awareness.

The walk starts at 4 p.m. and ends at 6 p.m. in the Lampson office building parking lot on the Kennewick side of the bridge.

If you or someone you know is a victim of human trafficking or needs help, SARC has a 24-hour crisis line. You can call (509) 374-5391.