Fall conference will focus on sex trafficking, crimes against children with disabilities


Nationally recognized experts on crime against children with disabilities and youth sex trafficking will headline a Nov. 3 conference at the Niagara Falls Conference and Event Center.

“Safe at Home: Seeking Solutions for Adult and Child Victims of Family Violence” will be the 19th annual Safe at Home conference to be held in Niagara. It is co-sponsored by the Niagara County Family Violence Intervention Project, the Niagara County Department of Mental Health, the Niagara County Department of Social Services and Catholic Charities of Buffalo, Inc., Niagara Services.

This year’s keynote speaker will be Scott J. Modell, Ph.D., deputy commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services and former deputy commissioner of the state’s Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. A former professor at California State University in Sacramento, he is a previous director of its Autism Center for Excellence.

“Children and adults with disabilities face a much higher risk of violence than those without disabilities,” said conference organizer Ann Marie Tucker, executive director of the Child Advocacy Center of Niagara at Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center. “Dr. Modell is an international expert on crimes against persons with disabilities and will be a tremendous resource for the child welfare professionals, law enforcement authorities, victim advocates, educators and other service providers who attend our conference.”

Attendees also will hear from featured speaker Tina Frundt, founder and executive director of Courtney’s House in Washington, D.C.  By providing direct services to domestic sex trafficked youths from 11 to 21 years of age, Courtney’s House and Frundt have helped more than 650 survivors get out of trafficking situations.

A nationally renowned spokesperson on the issue of domestic sex trafficking and a survivor of commercial sexual exploitation, Frundt also trains law enforcement and other non-profit groups to rescue and provide resources to victims and has been featured on numerous television shows including the OWN Network’s Our America with Lisa Ling and the CNN Freedom Project.  She has testified before Congress about the need for greater protection and services for trafficked persons and recently was appointed by President Obama to the Advisory Council on Human Trafficking.

Conference workshops will help participants address the growing problem of substance abuse as it relates to family violence as well the relationship between adolescent maltreatment and delinquency.
For more information and to register, visit www.cacofniagara.org or call (716) 285-0045.


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