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Speaker: Vanessa Perkins, Bailiff to the Honorable Judge Paul Herbert
Topic: The effects of Human Trafficking and the Benefits of CATCH Court
About Our Speaker
Vanessa’s story begins in the small town of Nelsonville, Ohio where she was sexually abused for years and began coping from a young age with drugs and alcohol. She was eventually trafficked in Columbus, where she also became involved with the criminal justice system. Her last arrest in 2009 afforded her the opportunity to opt into CATCH Court, a specialized docket for survivors of sexual exploitation and trafficking.
After a period of time where she was focused primarily on her own healing and recovery, she worked for a couple of years at a nonprofit social enterprise called Freedom ala Cart, where she was able to develop skills that would ultimately allow her to enter a different kind of workforce. She was hired by the Columbus City Attorney’s Office in 2013 where she was promoted multiple times, until finally in 2018 she accepted a position as Bailiff to the Honorable Judge Paul Herbert. Instead of standing in the middle of the courtroom to check-in with her CATCH Court Judge, Vanessa now sits right next to him, helping him carry the mission he started.
Vanessa has educated thousands of people, presenting at conferences such as the End Violence Against Women International conference, the National Association of Drug Court Professionals national conference, the International Human Trafficking & Social Justice Conference. Most recently, she presented to the Chamber of Commerce in Washington, D.C. Vanessa is most definitely a Survivor Leader, paving the way for other survivors behind and beside her.