Hidden in Plain Sight: Understanding Human Trafficking and What a Community Needs to Do to End This Form of Modern-Day Slavery

August 16, 2016
Hosted by Jessica Pirro

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Guest Information


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Episode Description

Every year, millions of men, women, and children are trafficked in countries around the world, including the United States. It is estimated that human trafficking generates many billions of dollars of profit per year, second only to drug trafficking as the most profitable form of transnational crime. How did human trafficking become so pervasive and what do we need to do to help impact this crime? This show will provide perspectives from victim advocates and investigative experts discussing what is human trafficking, why it is a hidden crime and the collaborative community efforts needed to help victims find safety and justice.

The Journey- Stories of Crisis and Hope

The Journey- Stories of Crisis and Hope

Archives Available on VoiceAmerica Health and Wellness Channel

When crisis occurs there is an emotional and physical impact to ones wellbeing. As a crisis first responder I have seen firsthand the impact of not dealing with crisis and trauma can have on a person’s sense of self, purpose and belief in happiness and hope. The Journey- Stories of Crisis and Hope will provide education and real life experiences dealing with various issues including mental health, rape, domestic violence, suicide. We will talk about the signs and symptoms of these types of crisis, how you can help yourself, a friend or loved one in order to save a life and restore a sense of hope. My goal is to have an open and honest dialogue to help you know that you are not alone, empower you to seek help and begin your road to a life you want and not be defined by crises that have occurred to you. We will share information on effective interventions, cutting edge programming and awareness of services that you can reach out to in order begin their process of healing.

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Jessica Pirro

Jessica Pirro

Jessica C. Pirro received her undergraduate degree in Child and Family Studies and her Masters of Social Work from Syracuse University. She is a NYS Licensed Master Social Worker. Ms. Pirro moved to Buffalo in 1997 and worked for Erie County to set up the Domestic Violence Unit, under the direction of the Wellstone/Murray Amendment Family Violence Option. She began working at Crisis Services in 1999 as the Supervising Counselor of the Advocate Program, the NYS Dept. of Health Rape Crisis Center, and a NYS licensed non-residential domestic violence provider. She was promoted to Coordinator in 2001. In 2006, Ms. Pirro was promoted to Associate Director, charged with overseeing all agency clinical operations 24 hours a day.

In September 2014, she was appointed as Chief Executive Officer and leads the agency’s crisis first responders helping those impacted by crisis with specialty areas around suicide prevention, mental health, domestic violence, rape, elder abuse and homelessness. She was recognized as one of Buffalo’s Business First’s 40 under Forty in 2010 and honored as an Advocate for Change by the It Happened to Alexa Foundation in 2008. She is Co-Chair of the Suicide Prevention Coalition of Erie County, serves as the Project Champion for the Millennium Collaborative Care DSRIP Crisis Stabilization project and is a member of the Health Foundation of Central and Western New York’s Fellows Program. She resides in Buffalo, NY with her husband, step-son and 2 fur kids.

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Episode Directory

August 2016

  • 8/23/2016: The Power of Releasing a Secret: A Discussion with PostSecret Creator Frank Warren Listen Now
  • 8/16/2016: Hidden in Plain Sight: Understanding Human Trafficking and What a Community Needs to Do to End This Form of Modern-Day Slavery Listen Now
  • 8/9/2016: Focus On Prevention: The Fight Against Substance Abuse Listen Now
  • 8/2/2016: Finding the Strength to Break the Silence: Mens Mental Health and Suicide Listen Now

July 2016

June 2016

Kristin Adduci


Kristin Adduci, LMHC, earned her Master’s in Mental Health Counseling in 2006 from the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks, ND. She has been with Crisis Services, in a variety of roles, since 2007. At the present time, she is the Program Supervisor for the Mobile Outreach Program and also has been acting as the Coordinator of the agency’s Crisis Intervention Team Training Project since 2012, where she coordinates and delivers training to law enforcement officers as they develop CIT teams within their jurisdictions. Kristin is presenting on local CIT initiatives at the CIT International Conference in April 2016. View Guest page

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Colleen Babcock


Colleen Babcock serves as Horizon’s Parent & Family Support Coordinator. Colleen strives to raise awareness about drug abuse in the community-at-large but also to help individuals and families struggling with substance abuse - particularly those with opiate addiction to access treatment and to begin and continue their journey to recovery. Colleen’s personal journey with her own son has provided her with education first hand as to how hard it can be to get help at moments of crisis; making her position crucial in midst of the current prescription drug/heroin epidemic. No family gets a manual on how to deal with addiction. Her focus is primarily on the family providing emotional support, hope, reassurance, information and advocacy to ensure their expedited linkage to treatment and support at their most critical moments. Colleen is also a Narcan administration trainer and has trained thousands of individuals in Western New York. View Guest page

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Amy Bleuel


After overcoming many obstacles in her life including bullying, rejection, suicide, self-injury, addiction, abuse and even rape, Amy has found strength and a love for others. Amy struggled with mental illness for 20+ years and has experienced many stigmas associated with it. She now shares her stories around the nation giving hope to others struggling with mental illness. Amy is the founder of Project Semicolon which she began in the Spring of 2013 to honor her father whom she lost to suicide. Through the semicolon symbol many related to the struggle of depression, addiction, self-injury and suicide and their will to continue on. “Project Semicolon” believe that this is not the end but a new beginning. View Guest page

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