Attacking Trafficking, a local faith-based group dedicated to ending human trafficking, will hold a prayer service to end human trafficking on Sunday, Jan. 23, at 2 p.m. at St. Alban’s Episcopal Church, 3510 W. Central Park Ave., in Davenport.

Attacking Trafficking is comprised of local faith groups united in their fight against all forms of human trafficking and to offering help and healing for survivors, according to a group release, which notes that January is Human Trafficking Awareness month.

More than 20 years ago, the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) of 2000 enshrined the United States’ commitment to combating human trafficking domestically and internationally, according to the State Department. In 2010, by presidential proclamation, President Obama declared January “National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month” and every year since, each president has followed this tradition.

President Biden has proclaimed January 2022 as “National Human Trafficking Prevention Month,” reaffirming his Administration’s commitment to protect and empower survivors of all forms of human trafficking, to prosecute traffickers, and to bring an end to human trafficking in the United States and around the world.

The QC prayer service, now in its 10th year, will include remarks from retired Davenport Police Officer Hank Jacobsen. He will talk about how trafficking affects our community, what other crimes are associated with it and why it matters to the public. He will be including information from law enforcement.

Just before the new year, ​​Ghislaine Maxwell was convicted of the recruitment and grooming of underaged girls for her late partner, Jeffery Epstein, with the intention of sexual exploitation and trafficking. The case of such a rich and powerful individual involved in a sex-trafficking scheme “brought a brighter light to the extremely real problem of human trafficking in the United States, as well as around the world,” according to the Organization for World Peace (OWP).

While finding well-representative data about human trafficking is difficult due to its illegal and manipulative nature, the U.S. State Department estimates that worldwide, there are around 24.9 million people trafficked or currently used in trafficking schemes at any given time, the OWP says.

Statistics pertaining to trafficking in the U.S. widely vary, some estimating up to 300,000 people trafficked each year. “While these numbers are staggeringly high, there is little public awareness of the issue, and even less recognition by the media,” the organization says. “Due to this lack of awareness, the rise of human trafficking within the country during the COVID-19 pandemic has gone widely unnoticed.”

Attacking Trafficking will hold its annual service Sunday, Jan. 23 at St. Alban’s Episcopal Church in Davenport.

Attacking Trafficking on Jan. 23 will also give a brief overview its 2022 priorities. The group will provide ways that community members can engage to help end trafficking in Iowa. For more information, visit Attackingtrafficking.org, check out its Facebook page, or email attackingtrafficking@gmail.com. Reservations are not required.