Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O'Malley and Clear Channel Outdoor recently unveiled a public awareness campaign designed to heighten community awareness about human trafficking, mobilize the public and offer assistance to victims.
O'Malley said her office and Clear Channel have collaborated for many years to deliver important messaging about human trafficking to communities throughout Alameda County and the greater Bay Area.
She said January was National Human Trafficking Awareness Month, so it was a time for a renewed sense of determination and action aimed at stopping the commercial sexual exploitation of children and teens and the commercial labor exploitation of workers.
O'Malley said the 2019 public awareness campaign consists of billboards and bus shelters visible in neighborhoods and from roadways throughout the county.
She said the billboards present a stark reminder that the Bay Area remains a hotspot for the commercial sexual exploitation of children and teens, while the bus shelters message directly to individuals who are at risk or are currently trafficked for sex or labor.
"My office continues to work tirelessly to put an end to these dangerous and exploitative criminal enterprises," O'Malley said in a statement.
O'Malley said, "We are dedicated to prosecuting offenders and protecting and assisting victims. At the same time, it is vital to maintain a community focus on the fact that these crimes happen here, in our cities, and to our children, neighborhoods and loved ones."
Bruce Qualls, the vice president for public affairs for Clear Channel Outdoor's San Francisco office said, "We are honored to continue using our media to assist in the District Attorney's efforts to rescue these nearly defenseless victims of exploitation."
Qualls said, "Using this highly visible form of media, we'll continue sending a clear message to victims that help is available and to traffickers that they will be prosecuted."
O'Malley said her office is a leader in the state and the nation in addressing and prosecuting human trafficking cases and in enabling victims to escape exploitation.
She said that over the past dozen years, her office has prosecuted more than 650 defendants for human trafficking-related offenses, with an 82% success rate.
O'Malley said her office currently has active cases against 48 defendants charged with human trafficking and related offenses.
Those wishing to report human trafficking can call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center's 24-hour hotline at 1-888-373-7888 or text "BeFree" (233733).