Join Our Army to Battle Human Trafficking
We’re building an army to battle human trafficking in Iowa, and I want you to join. January is National Human Trafficking Prevention Month, and my office just launched the Iowa Businesses Against Trafficking (IBAT) coalition. Every business in the State of Iowa is invited and encouraged to join this effort.
Making Iowa a Trafficking-Free State
We are building a statewide, grassroots coalition that will unite with one common mission: To make Iowa a trafficking-free state. I believe if Iowa’s business community comes together, we can accomplish that goal. Whether it’s a large corporation or a mom-and-pop store on Main Street with one employee, every business can join, and every business can make a difference.
Human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery, and it must end. Whether it’s sex trafficking or labor trafficking, this issue affects thousands of people across the U.S., and it happens right here in Iowa.
I believe our business community can make the difference. We are asking businesses that join IBAT to commit to do two things: “Learn Something” and “Do Something.” Your business can help educate employees and customers about the signs and impact of trafficking. Something as simple as handing out a brochure or making a social media post can make a difference. It can create a ripple effect that goes across the state.
Businesses can tailor the program to fit their needs, and it might look different for every business. Resources are available on our newly launched website, IBAT.Iowa.gov. Businesses can go here to learn more about the program, get information about human trafficking and signs to recognize it and to register to join IBAT.
We worked closely with the Iowa Network Against Human Trafficking to launch IBAT. They pointed us to valuable resources and have provided a lot of information that you will see on the website. We could not have done this without their help.
Membership in IBAT is open to any business or nonprofit organization 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. Both IBAT and Safe at Home are administered by my office.
We know that Safe at Home provides protection for Iowans who need it. My office is also the business portal for the State of Iowa. We maintain the contact information for every active business entity registered with the state. So, my office is reaching out to all 260,000 of them. We’re asking them to become a member of IBAT and join this cause to end human trafficking in Iowa.
By joining this alliance, businesses will receive statewide recognition on the IBAT website and on my office’s social media pages. A window decal and social media toolkit will be sent to every business and association that registers. We ask you to display this decal prominently in their business. When customers visit, they will know that you are taking a stand to help prevent human trafficking in Iowa.
Several of Iowa’s largest trade associations already joined IBAT. Within three days of our announcement, 300 more businesses and organizations applied for membership. They are taking a stand against human trafficking and committing to “Learn Something” and “Do Something.”
This is an important mission that my office is taking on, and it’s not one we enter lightly. I’ve heard the stories from survivors and from law enforcement personnel here in Iowa about cases of human trafficking. And they’re horrific.
No human should be subjected to this. Together, we can put a stop to it. I’m asking Iowa’s business community to join us in this effort. Let’s make Iowa a trafficking free state. Together, we can do it.
The Partnership's Public Policy team engages with local, state and federal officials to create public policy that generates economic growth, business prosperity and talent development in Greater Des Moines (DSM). The Partnership is a nonpartisan organization.
Paul Pate is serving his third term as Iowa's Secretary of State. His office oversees elections and business filings for Iowa. Pate has won national awards for voter education and election cybersecurity. He is also a nationally recognized small business leader. Paul and his wife Jane live in Cedar Rapids.