Fullerton – Senator Ling Ling Chang (R-Diamond Bar) spoke at “Freedom Has a Name,” a Human Trafficking Awareness Event, on saturday , Jan 19th , with human trafficking survivor and keynote speaker Shari Ho.
The event featured a panel discussion and performers, and broadcasted live and moderated by a KWAVE morning host. Cal State Fullerton President Framroze Virjee delivered an opening remarks.
Shari Ho was sold by her father when she was seven years old, escaping after twenty years of captivity. Shari’s mission is to help other human trafficking victims find hope through the survivors group she leads. Shari’s new books My Name is Also Freedom and Freedom Was Just The Beginning will be released and autographed at the event.
Senator Chang has been a longtime advocate of victims of human trafficking. In 2018, she fought alongside important advocates to secure $10 million in funding for service providers. Recently she introduced SB 35, calling for the creation of a comprehensive human trafficking task force and study in California.
California is ranked #1 in the U.S. for most trafficking cases, nearly double the margin of Texas which is ranked #2. Figures show 89% of victims are female and 25% are minors. California hotline calls have increased by 248% from 2012 to 2016. Thanks to funding from programs like the Human Trafficking Victims Assistance Fund, between April 2016 to March 2018, a total of 6,211 victims in California were provided services such as education, counseling, shelter, and legal assistance. During the same time period, Los Angeles and Orange Counties assisted 2,836 victims.