President Trump proclaimed January as National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month to raise awareness about this terrible epidemic that affects over 25 million people.
Human trafficking is defined as commercial sex or labor induced by force, fraud or coercion, and it’s happening right now underneath our noses. So what do you need to be on the lookout for so we can help stop this epidemic?
Karen, an Ohio Valley Resident, said, “It’s everywhere we live. It’ a sad world we live in today.”
7News asked Ohio Valley residents whether they know the signs of human trafficking. Dean said, “No I don’t really.” Bri said, “I don’t think so honestly.”
Not many people recognize the signs of human trafficking. Bri said, “The only things is like you hear people coming up to cars when you’re sitting in Walmart and stuff like that, but those are huge signs. It’s the little things I think I probably could be missing.”
Signs of human trafficking can include physical abuse, poor health, lots of cash on hand, people that don’t look like they belong together, and many more. Karen said, “You see the young girls standing on the corners and you know that they’re not there just to stand there especially when they look at you riding by.”
And you can be the one who can potentially save someone’s life. Karen said, “We’re all suppose to try and help somebody in this world, and if you can help just one person especially in this kind of situation, I think that would be awesome. So I mean, just take notice you know don’t be afraid. Don’t be afraid to ask somebody something because that’s how you learn and that’s how you find out things, and that’s how you can help people.”
If you see suspected human trafficking, you can call (888) 373-7888 to make a report.
West Virginia’s Attorney General Patrick Morrisey will be holding an informational session about human trafficking Wednesday night in Wheeling. It will be at 7:30 PM at the Bethlehem Apostolic Temple.