Human Trafficking in Wisconsin: Next Steps for Professionals

Understand how to identify victims of trafficking and what services and efforts in our Wisconsin community are available to help. Explore next steps you can take to end human trafficking on both a global and local level.

Key Program Information
Categories Continuing Education Health Care Human Services
Program Type Non-Credit
Delivery Format Face-to-Face

Who Should Attend

Health Care Professionals, Human Service Professionals, Social Workers, Counselors, Psychologists, Therapists, Educators and Law Enforcement Professionals.

Partial head shot of a young girl wearing a blue hoodie

Program Description

Takes steps to end human trafficking in your community

Approximately 300,000 children are at risk of being sex trafficked in the United States. One in three runaways will be lured toward “prostitution” within 48 hours of leaving home. The approaching Super Bowl in Minneapolis attracts traffickers who see potential for higher demand of their services, but it spreads farther than the Minnesota metro. Human trafficking happens all around us, not just at major events, and not just in major cities like L.A. or Chicago. How does this impact our local community?

Human trafficking is an issue that happens in many places you wouldn’t expect. Understand exactly what this means in legal terms, then explore why it happens in rural areas around the U.S. and associated risk factors. Discuss cases that have come out of Wisconsin, and learn how to be a resource for collaboration.


You will learn:

  • How to identify victims and at-risk individuals of human trafficking
  • What services and resources are available to support victims
  • Current efforts being made in our community to fight human trafficking
  • Next steps we can take as a community to combat this issue


Ryan Dahlgren is a Lieutenant in the Patrol Division of the Eau Claire Police Department, commander of the afternoon shift and the south district. In his 14 years with ECPD he has served in various capacities including Patrol Officer, Special Operations Section Sergeant, Detective, and Detective Sergeant. Prior to being hired with the Eau Claire Police Department Ryan was a trooper with the Wisconsin State Patrol for 5.5 years. Ryan holds a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from UWEC.

Dr. Wendi Ehrman is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics in the Adolescent Medicine Division of the Medical College of Wisconsin.  She is board certified in Adolescent Medicine and has been practicing for 24 years.  She is currently the medical director of the Milwaukee Adolescent Health Program, which provides comprehensive care to high-risk youth in central city Milwaukee.  Dr. Ehrman has also worked at the Vel Phillips Juvenile Justice Center for the past 15 years providing health screens, acute care and reproductive care to the detained youth.  Over the past 5 years, she has been involved in a number of collaborative efforts involving law enforcement, mental health and community agencies targeting the improvement of health care services to high-risk youth, specifically those who have been sexually exploited and trafficked.  She is a member of the community based Human Trafficking Task Force and CAYSE, Comprehensive Approaches to Youth who have been Sexually Exploited. She has been the PI on two Healthier Wisconsin Partnership Program grants entitled Proactive Outreach for Sexually Exploited Youth and is a collaborative member on a federal Office of Juvenile Justice, Delinquency and Probation grant that provides specialized mentors to youth who have been exploited. Her current POHSEY grant focuses on helping medical providers better identify and provide health care services for youth who have been sexually exploited. 

Jodi Emerson is the Director of Public Policy and Community Relations at Fierce Freedom, a non-profit that raises awareness and educates the public about domestic human trafficking. Jodi has always been an active member of her community by volunteering for a variety of different organizations and when she learned about human trafficking and that it was happening in the community she lived in, she knew she needed to be part of the solution. Jodi is a member of the Wisconsin Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force, co-chairs the Implementation work group of the task force, is a member of the Wisconsin Anti-Trafficking Consortium and is the developer of the Be Aware Campaign, a training program that fights human trafficking in the hospitality industry.

Dr. Angela Rabbitt is board certified in General Pediatrics and Child Abuse Pediatrics. Her clinical duties include the provision of medical care to children and adolescents when there are suspicions of physical or sexual abuse or neglect. Her research interests involve assessing the knowledge and confidence of medical providers in recognizing and responding to youth at risk for commercial sexual exploitation, and in the assessment of educational programs meant to address knowledge gaps in this area.  She has lead multidisciplinary initiatives in Wisconsin to develop protocols for the investigative, medical, and advocacy response to potential victims of maltreatment and sex trafficking. She is a member of the Wisconsin State Anti-Human Trafficking Taskforce and national committees to improve the medical response to sexually exploited youth. Through these committees, she has participated in the development of educational programs for the response to human trafficking at the state and national level.

Amanda Colegrove is the Safe Harbor Expansion Coordinator for the Minnesota Department of Health.  She is managing the process of integrating labor trafficked youth up to age 24 into Minnesota’s response to human trafficking.