Too often, human trafficking goes on in front of our eyes, and we don’t recognize it.
The Ohio State Highway Patrol wants everyone to know the signs.
They are educating people who are out on the road–truckers, bus drivers, rest area attendants, highway department workers and truck stop employees.
Those most vulnerable to human trafficking are females age 12-17, runaways, people from economically depressed areas, people with mental challenges or illegal immigrants.
And you may see them in a car beside you in traffic.
“We may look at people inside a vehicle who seem disengaged,” explained Lt. James Faunda, Ohio State Highway Patrol post commander. “They may not be holding their own driver’s license or documents. The vehicle may have a lived-in appearance. We look for signs of physical abuse. Poor health, things of that nature. We look for people who don’t belong together in a vehicle.”
Lt. Faunda says perhaps there’s an older man driving and a young girl in the passenger seat.
He says maybe they both have the same address, even though they’re supposedly just employer and employee.
He says the passenger may avoid eye contact.
And if you ask the passenger a question, she may stay silent while the driver will answer for her.
To report suspected human trafficking, the number to call is (888) 373-7888.