ELMIRA, NY (WETM) – The Chemung County Safe Harbour is hosting a free event to help you add tools to your toolbox to help keep your children and teens safe.

The free event will be held at Broadway Academy located at 1000 Broadway Street in Elmira, on Thursday, April 28th starting at 5 PM and lasting until 8 PM. The event is free, however, registration is required. You can sign up by utilizing the link below or the QR code as well.

During the event, participants can select two sessions to attend and all participants can participate in the Question and Answer session as the last group. The Topics and times of the sessions are listed below:

Shawna Has a Secret

5:00-6:00 & 6:15-7:15
Come check out Shawna’s bedroom and learn ways that drugs and paraphernalia can be hidden in plain sight.

Love 146

5:00-6:00 & 6:15–7:15
Love 146 is a human rights organization that journeys alongside children impacted by trafficking. Learn about human trafficking, how it can impact your children, and what you can do to prevent it.

Internet Safety

5:00-6:00 & 6:15-7:15
Know what to look for to keep your children and teens safe online.

How to recognize and report concerns of child abuse

5:00-6:00 & 6:15-7:15
Identifying and reporting child abuse/maltreatment/neglect to law enforcement and/or child protective services.

Group Question and Answer Session

Opportunity to ask questions, and discuss reactions or worries about what you have learned.

You can register by clicking on the QR code or using your smart device’s camera.

You can download and print the flyer for the event below.

Facts about human trafficking from the Chemung County Safe Harbour Website:

  • Of the child trafficking survivors identified in New York State, 85% had prior involvement in the child welfare system.  [Gragg et. al, 2007]
  • Approximately 100,000 to 300,000 minors are at risk of being trafficked in the United States [U.S. Dept. of Justice]
  • More than 80% of reported trafficking victims are female and more than half are children. [U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security and Polaris]
  • In 2016, the National Human Trafficking Hotline received the fifth-highest substantive human trafficking reports from New York State.  The hotline takes calls from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. Territories. [ National Human Trafficking Hotline]
  • The human trafficking industry generates an estimated $32 billion in profits each year. [ U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security and Polaris]

History of the Safe Harbour Program in New York State and Chemung County

In January of 2012, the New York State Office of Children of Family Services (OCFS) received funding in the New York State budget to support Safe Harbour legislation.  The New York State Safe Harbour for Exploited Children Act (2008) protects commercially sexually exploited children by recognizing them as victims and paves the way for better outcomes. 

Through this funding, OCFS implemented a state-wide child welfare-based response to the commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC) and child trafficking.  Safe Harbour: NY aims to enable New York’s child welfare and allied youth service systems to screen, identify, and respond effectively to the needs of children and youth trafficked for sex and or labor and improve system response.

As of January 2019, Chemung County received Safe Harbour Seed Funding from New York State OCFS to initiate education, awareness and planning on a local level.