Windsor

'One kilometre at a time': Cycling from Windsor to Ottawa for human trafficking awareness

A cross-country bike tour with a purpose began in Windsor Tuesday morning. Dominique Holley is riding 1,100 kilometres from Windsor to Ottawa to bring attention to human trafficking. 

'You can take one step, you can get educated' says Dominique Holley

Dominique Holley is riding 1,100 kilometres from Windsor to Ottawa to bring attention to human trafficking.  (Dominique Holley/Facebook)

A cross-country bike tour with a purpose began in Windsor Tuesday morning.

Dominique Holley is riding 1,100 kilometres from Windsor to Ottawa to bring attention to human trafficking. 

When Holley came up with the idea, she didn't even own a bicycle.

"I think people [assumed] I was pretty athletic," said Holley. "But the truth of the story was when I decided I was going to bike I hadn't ridden in years."

Holley's also in the process of making a documentary about human trafficking — something she's been working on for about a year. She decided to take her passion for raising awareness of human trafficking on the road. 

"About four years ago I started getting more educated about what [human trafficking] looks like in Ontario," said Holley. "I don't think people are aware. They think it looks like what it looks like in [the movies] ... where primarily women get pulled off the street."

Holley said while that kind of thing does happen to a small percentage of people pulled into human trafficking, more often than not there's a level of emotional manipulation that has occurred over time.

As she starts her ride, Holley said she didn't do a whole lot of preparation. 

"For me it's just one kilometre at a time," said Holley. "I think that can also be parlayed to someone who doesn't know anything about human trafficking. You can take one step, you can get educated."

Holley plans to give talks at various awareness events in more than 25 cities along her route. 

Think of it as long distance cycling - with a purpose. Tomorrow, Dominique Holley is embarking on an 1,100 kilometre bike ride - from Windsor to Ottawa - to raise awareness about human trafficking. To tell us why she's doing it, Holley joined us in our Windsor studio. 7:03

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