Jan. 9 event looks at protecting children

On Jan. 9 Gorge Ecumenical Ministries will host a workshop on “Recognizing and Responding to the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children.”

All area clergy and other professionals are invited to attend this gathering at Hood River Valley Christian Church from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

A light lunch will be served.

The workshop will help participants to define the issue of CSEC/prevalence/recruitment methods; and to provide information and ideas on ways clergy, congregations and citizens can help.

The presenter will be B. Milele Hobbs, a licensed commission minister of the Christian Church in Oregon (Disciples of Christ) who has served for more than 30 years in social services, specializing in work serving adolescents and families affected by poverty, addictions, mental illness and abuse/neglect and various trauma.

An evening workshop will be held at the same location from 6:30 to 8 p.m. for parents and other interested adults.

Hobbs retired from Mt. Hood Community College Steps to Success Program in 2003. She has completed training and become a volunteer speaker/educator on this issue since 2010.

“I am extremely passionate about this issue; that it will take a major outcry and uprising from everyday people to end this child abuse and financial exploitation.

“I feel obligated to share what I’ve learned because I think most everyday citizens’ first thought is, ‘It doesn’t happen here or anymore,’” she said.

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