Columbus Concert Celebrates, Unites Women Who Have Survived Human Trafficking

Columbus Chamber
The Columbus Chamber provides connections, resources and solutions that help small businesses and Fortune 500 enterprises grow Central Ohio's economy.

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Nearly 1,000 survivors of human trafficking, sexual assault and domestic violence from Columbus and the surrounding areas will join together on June 19 at 7 p.m. to celebrate their combined strength and individual resiliency in a free concert featuring Grammy-nominated artist, Janiva Magness at the Riffe Center, 77 S. High St.

This at-capacity concert is the brainchild of Franklin County Municipal Court Judge Paul Herbert who presides over the Specialized Docket CATCH Court that is celebrating its 10-year anniversary of helping local victims of sex trafficking.

CATCH stands for “Changing Actions to Change Habits” and is a two-year treatment-oriented program for victims of human trafficking. CATCH Court has served more than 500 women since its 2009 inception. It has been nationally recognized for its success and is now being replicated in other communities in Ohio and across the nation.

Herbert asked Magness, who is one of his favorite artists, to perform a concert solely for women survivors of trauma and their close supporters. More than 20 community partners are working together to create this uplifting concert.

“The greatest joy is to watch a woman overcome that trauma and transition from a survivor to a thriver,” Herbert said. “This concert is a positive and uplifting way to celebrate these women and their commitment to changing their lives for the better. Response to this concert has been overwhelming.”

Magness herself is a survivor of extreme trauma, and she has crafted award winning songs featuring eloquent lyrics that highlight how the fight for recovery and healing can be transformed into beauty and dignity through the power of grit and resilience.

“I have been told that anyone who doesn’t believe in miracles is not a realist. Well, you are looking at and listening to one of those very things—a miracle,” Magness said. “In part because of my love of this music and how it has lifted me up, and in part because someone was brave enough to stand for me when I could not stand up for myself. Support a miracle. You truly can change a lifetime.”

“Not only does this concert celebrate women’s resiliency, but it is also a testament to the collaboration of women leaders in Columbus,” Herbert said.

The Columbus Women’s Commission, CAPA, the Greater Columbus Arts Council and CATCH Court are leaders of the steering committee hosting this one-time only event. All proceeds will benefit Freedom a la Cart, a local social enterprise that employs survivors of human trafficking while teaching them workforce development and life skills. Please visit www.freedomalacart.org to learn more.

Community partners who are participating in this effort include:  ADAMH, Advocating Opportunities, Alvis & Amethyst, Center for Family Safety & Healing, CHOICES, City Attorney Domestic Violence Unit, CORRC & Salvation Army, Freedom a la Cart, Gracehaven, Juvenile Empowerment Court, Maryhaven, Pathways, Rachel’s House, Rahab Ministries, Recovery Council, She Has a Name, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center’s Stress, Trauma and Resilience (STAR) Program, The Switch and YWCA.