Battling the Global Issue of Human Trafficking
The Salvation Army and the Spousal Abuse Sexual Assault Center (SASA) hosted the first Human Trafficking Prayer and Education Vigil.
The advocates joined forces to tackle the global issue, and bring attention to human trafficking. Advocates said the odds of rescuing a victim is one in 100, but through education and a safe haven they could save lives.
Salvation Army officials said many people are shocked to discover that the illegal trade of men, women, and children happens in their own community.
Kerry Huber, with SASA crisis center, said human trafficking is an issue happening in our own backyard.
Huber said "They transport victims on the I-80, and stop along the way and continue going, so we are seeing cases here in Nebraska, there has been several people already, people have been convicted, sometimes this conviction is through child abuse because that's easier to convict to the mouth than human trafficking."
Major Abe Tamayo with the Hastings Salvation Army said "These are not people who choose this lifestyle, they are crying out for help and we need to respond to that cry for help, and help them escape that situation."
Most cases of human trafficking both local and global that these officials have seen, involve issues of sex trafficking along with some labor trafficking. SASA officials see about eight to 10 cases per year.
SASA officials said in many cases the crime can be difficult to pin-point and prosecute because if the right questions aren't asked it could be considered prostitution or domestic violence rather than human trafficking.
Warning others of the signs of human trafficking victims, officials said they'll be able to prevent others from becoming victims.