With the Cleveland kidnapping case grabbing headlines nationwide recently, as well as sex-crimes closer to home, the Ward 6 Office will hold a sex-trafficking forum to inform parents and youths of the existing dangers and how to avoid them.

"The sad truth is that every one of our kids is vulnerable to this, regardless of race, gender or socioeconomic status," City Councilman Steve Kozachik said. "With all of them surfing social media and 'friending' virtual strangers, no home is a safe place any longer."

The event will be held Thursday in the Amethyst Room at Pima Community College's downtown campus, 1255 N Stone Ave.

Doors open at 5:30 p.m. with the event beginning at 6 p.m.

Emceed by KOLD-Channel 13 anchor Heather Rowe, the forum will open with presentations from three guest speakers. After the presentations, attendees will break into small groups to continue the discussion.

Since sex-traffickers operate in a lurid environment, Kozachik said, people planning on attending the event should be prepared to hear some frank language. But listening to some uncomfortable talk could pay off in the end if it saves your child from exploitation, he said.

"This forum is going to be blunt, honest and will give parents and their kids some real-life examples of how trafficking happens," Kozachik said. "It'll also give them some takeaways they can use to protect themselves from becoming a victim."

For more information, contact the Ward 6 Office at 791-4601.

Contact reporter Darren DaRonco at 573-4243 or ddaronco@azstarnet.com