Clark State Sexual Violence Prevention team plans human trafficking awareness event

Credit: Bill Lackey

Credit: Bill Lackey

The Clark State College Sexual Violence Prevention team will host an event centered around human trafficking prevention for women later this month.

Sanctuary Night: Harm Reduction for Sexually Exploited Women will be held at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 18, with presenter Hannah Estabrook and Mandie Knight.

Attendees will learn information about human trafficking, including signs, the lived experiences through survivors and learn about the survivor-centered program in Columbus.

“It is important to bring awareness to this topic,” said Melinda Van Noord, director of counseling services. “Trafficking can be a very hidden crime and is more pervasive than many realize.”

Sanctuary Night was founded in 2017 to provide a safe, consistent environment for women who visit. Once a week, women were offered a warm meal, clothing, hygiene items, a safe space, and if requested, were connected to partners who help with community resources and support.

Van Noord said Sanctuary Night is a trauma informed organization that uplifts survivors and includes them in decision-making at every level of their organization.

“Their strong focus on empowerment is inspiring, and we are looking forward to learning more from these talented and passionate presenters, Hannah Estabrook and Mandie Knight,” she said.

Estabrook has been working as a clinician in the mental health field for over 17 years and has specialized in providing direct services to survivors of the sex trade and sex trafficking. She co-founded Sanctuary Night because she wanted to imagine a more neighborly response to vulnerable women on the streets of Columbus — one that didn’t require the traumatic experience of getting arrested in order to access services.

Knight is an ambassador on the Attorney General’s Human Trafficking Commission, was recognized with an award of commendation at the 2023 Human Trafficking Summit, volunteers with Child Survivor Day Camp, was previously Freedom A La Cart’s Butterfly Program manager, and has volunteered with Sanctuary Night for several years, is on the Survivor Leader Advisory Panel, and now the full time operations manager.

Ohio ranks among the 10 worst states in the nation for human trafficking, according to the Office of the Ohio Attorney General’s 2020 Human Trafficking Report.

“Clark State’s Sexual Violence Prevention Team selected this topic to help our campus members and the community better understand this crime, how to recognize vulnerable individuals, and how to support survivors in healing,” Van Noord said.

The event is free and open to the public. Eastbrook and Knight will speak in the LRC room 207/209 on the main campus at 570 East Leffel Lane. An RSVP is encouraged, but not required, to Van Noord at 937-328-7961 or

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