What to do if you or someone you know has fallen victim to human trafficking

Ohio County

WHEELING, W. Va. (WTRF) — You might not realize it’s a problem in today’s age, but, unfortunately, it is. The US State Department says there’s around 24.9 million victims worldwide as we speak.

Human trafficking can happen anywhere.

It’s not just a crime you hear about happening in distant countries. It can happen somewhere you least expect…. in places you drive by everyday, or the neighbor you live in.

“Human trafficking can happen to anyone, and a trafficker can be anyone.”

Molly Holden, Wheeling YWCA

Wheeling YWCA’s Molly Holden says trafficking even happens around here… often by people the victim’s know. But it’s not something that only happens in scary alleys. It can be more subtle.

“You’re in a situation where someone is say, ‘I want you to go have sex with this person for money, so that we can pay our bills. Show how much you love me’.”

Molly Holden, Wheeling YWCA

Holden says it usually starts with someone vulnerable in society. That could be someone who needs help with basic necessities, like housing, clothing, and food. A trafficker then targets that person. They might make assaults, threats, or false promises for their own demands.

Once there, that person might feel trapped, but Holden reassures us there’s a way out.

“We are not ashamed of where you’ve been, and we’re more than happy and willing to help you find the value within themselves, just know that they’re okay and what happened is not their fault.”

Molly Holden, Wheeling YWCA

YWCA says if someone has loads of money and expensive clothing, but it doesn’t match their financial means, that’s another sign.

If you notice any of these signs, call 911 or you could call the 1(888) 373-7888 for help. It’s available 24/7.

Copyright 2022 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


More Video

Trending Stories

Don't Miss

WTRF 7News Twitter