Forest City – The Winnebago County Board of Supervisors announced today Winnebago County has joined a statewide coalition to end human trafficking in Iowa. The Iowa Businesses Against Trafficking (IBAT) initiative is spearheaded by the Iowa Secretary of State’s Office. The goal is to have Iowa’s business community raise awareness and help prevent human trafficking.
Membership in IBAT is open to any business or entity that operates in the state of Iowa and shares a commitment to taking steps to promote awareness of human trafficking and the Iowa Safe at Home program. Safe at Home is an address confidentiality program for survivors of human trafficking and other violent crimes.
Organizations that join IBAT are asked to complete two tasks each year: “Learn Something,” and “Do Something.” Businesses will commit to “Learn Something” by educating employees, customers, and industry partners on the signs and impact of human trafficking in Iowa. Businesses can “Do Something” by empowering more people to take action to prevent human trafficking in Iowa.
Supervisor Susan Smith stated, “Winnebago County will not allow human trafficking in our County. Winnebago County is joining IBAT to work together with Secretary Paul Pate and the State of Iowa to make a difference.”
IBAT was launched by Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate in January 2022.
Pate went on to say, “We’re building an army to combat human trafficking in Iowa, and I hope every county in the state will join this effort. By joining IBAT, Winnebago County is showing a commitment to its people and a dedication to fighting this problem. Together, we can make an impact across Iowa and become a model for the rest of the nation.”
The Board of Supervisors also issued a proclamation on August 9, 2022, declaring Winnebago County is taking a stand against human trafficking by joining IBAT.