The “Iowa Preventing Abuse” conference opens tomorrow in Cedar Rapids. Preventing Abuse Foundation president, Tony Nassif, says they will focus on several points. “One, the human trafficking, child abduction/exploitation, drug cartels, the border crisis and basically protecting women, children and families,” Nassif says.
He says the conference has a couple of goals: “We’re going to focus on educating the people, motivating them to act, and showing them what they can do to be part of the solution,” according the Nassif. Nassif has been conducting the conferences for more than 10 years and has held several in Iowa. “The first thing that we focused on was child abduction, the single abductor. Because at that time I didn’t know about human trafficking — this goes back 10-15 years,” Nassif says. “Then I started getting connections of information about what is called human trafficking. Then I got connected to the White House, State Department.” He says they continued adding on connections to federal agencies and other organizations as their scope grew.
Nassif says the southern border crisis has become an issue too, as he says the open border is a pipeline for the drug cartels to conduct drug and human trafficking. “And so there’s a very vast connection to the opens borders, human trafficking, the drug cartels, and now they are linking into the gangs,” Nassif says.
A variety of state and national speakers will make presentations at the conference. Nassif says Iowa may not seem like it has any connection to the big city drug cartels and gangs, but he says “People who think the drug cartels are operating in big cities, the human trafficking is in big cities, let me tell you something. At my last conference in Cedar Rapids, my experts — not opinions, we don’t deal with opinions — my expects showed maps of the activities of the drug cartels in Iowa, Iowa. And we are going to expound on that at this conference,” Nassif says.
The interstate highways that run across Iowa are a link to the trafficking. “One of the biggest problems have been the truck stops. Now there are groups that are fighting it, but the thing is, this country is a sinkhole 10 minutes before it is going to collapse,” according to Nassif. “And our call, our clarion call, is to trumpet the warning that — yes there’s a problem — but we’ve got the solution.”
Nassif says there are still a few spots open at the conference and you can register by going to www.PreventingAbuse.org.