WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWTI) — Jefferson Community College and the Victims Assistance Center will co-host a presentation by Rebecca Bender, an author and survivor of human trafficking.

The event will take place on Tuesday, December 6 from 9 a.m. to noon in the college’s Sturtz Theater. It is open to the public.

JCC included the following description of the event on the college’s website:

Bender endured a life of human trafficking for six years before escaping in 2004. Determined to make a better future for herself and her daughter, she went to college and earned a master’s degree. In 2014, Bender launched Elevate Academy, an online school for survivors of human trafficking. Today, Elevate Academy is touted as the largest online school serving trafficking survivors in the U.S. and 16 countries around the world. A sought-after expert on human trafficking, Bender assists the FBI, Homeland Security, law enforcement, community leaders, medical professionals and others. She is regularly called upon to testify as an expert witness in investigations. Her personal story is published in her book titled In Pursuit of Love. She is also the author of Exodus: Stop Walking In Circles.

Bender will educate the audience on how to identify and fight human trafficking. Katie Rushlo-Mercado, a youth empowerment specialist for the NYS Office of Children and Family Services, will join Bender to speak at the presentation.

Those interested in attending the event can register online. More information regarding the presentation is available by calling the JCC Student Activities and Inclusion Office at 315-786-2431.