Springfield Women’s Commission honors those fighting human trafficking

Honorees hope to raise awareness of ongoing human trafficking

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – On this International Women’s Day observance, the Springfield Women’s Commission recognized the efforts of four western Massachusettss women to combat human trafficking.

Women’s Commission chair and Springfield City Councilor Kateri Walsh commended the award recipients: Sisters of St. Joseph members Denise Granger and Roberta Mulcahy, Attorney Margot Eckert, and retired Springfield Police Captain Lee Bennett.

Bennett warned that runaways are easy prey for human traffickers.

“The average nationally is 13-years-old,” Bennett said. “Boys and girls who run away have about three days before they get grabbed into a life of prostitution.”

It’s a sentiment echoed by Sister Denise Granger.

“Right now in the city, we’ve had a few arrests,” she said, “and certainly in the commonwealth there’s been many more and it’s prevalent in the United States.”

Speakers urged the audience of Women’s Commission members to help further the awareness of human trafficking to young, vulnerable teenagers.