January 12th, 2018
Written by Tagan Trahoon
With January being National Human Trafficking Awareness Month, multiple agencies are working to educate the public.
Each year, numbers are compiled to track reported and verified cases of human trafficking throughout the U.S. CASA of the Flint Hills Director Dena Russell says trafficking is a very prominent issue in all fifty states and in recent years the number of those affected have risen significantly.
With these staggering numbers, a common question among many is what defines a victim of sexual human trafficking. Prior to 2014, only one law was in place which stated that anyone forced to commit sexual acts by forced fraud or coercion was considered a victim. Russell explains how a new law passed in 2014 has broadened the definition.
A major issue in reporting trafficking is that so much of it takes place online. While the U.S. has made some progress towards shutting down online trafficking markets, the issue persists. Russell explains that victims of human trafficking often show the same signs as victims of domestic abuse. If you suspect someone may be a victim or involved in human trafficking It is not encouraged to approach them as you may put yourself or the victims in danger instead you should immediately contact local law enforcement.