Human trafficking is a horrific crime that’s on the rise in our area. It’s a crime that is hard to identify and resources for victims are limited in West Virginia.
Wednesday law enforcement officials, social service workers, and community organizations met to learn how to identify human trafficking and raise awareness.
By the time the training is over, more than 250 people will have completed the session gaining a better understanding on how dangerous human trafficking is, how to identify the crime, and how to help victims get help.
One of the speakers was a survivor who got involved with human trafficking when she was just 25 years old. She shared what she describes as a horrific experience as a way for the crowd to connect a face to the story.
“Survivor after 6 years of being trafficked I was just done with leading that horrific life so I tried to take my own life and God found me in the basement of a crack house and not only saved me with his grace and glory but also gave me an amazing purpose,” said Jennifer Kempton, survivor of human trafficking.
Jennifer has been a survivor now for three years and has started Survivors Ink, a non profit organization in Columbus, to raise awareness and helps victims cover up their branding tattoos with a new piece of art or have it removed.
The three day training is being put on by the YWCA, West Virginia state police, WV Fusion Center and Homeland Security through a community impact grant provided by Community Foundation for the Ohio Valley.