Shining Light on Human Trafficking
ANebraska woman warns about human trafficking, saying it happened to her and itcould happen to others.
Children or adults can be taken advantage of and sold into slaveryhere in the United States.
Itdoesn't just happen in the movies, it doesn't just happen somewhere else. Itcan and does happen close to home. That's the message of Central Nebraska HumanTrafficking Outreach who spoke out at the Dawson County courthouse.
Thegroup marked a big red 'X' on people's hands in hopes of striking upconversation. The goal, get people talking about how human trafficking happenswhere people least expect - even right here in Nebraska.
Rachel Davis was among those forced into the world of humantrafficking at the young age of six. She suffered for ten years in Omaha andsaid the first person to sell her was someone she knew - her next–doorneighbor.
"Once you are vulnerable, being exploited, it only takes asecond for the wrong person to walk in at the wrong time to notice that theycan exploit you and take that next step to make a profit off of you," saidDavis.
Advocates say her story isn't unique and human trafficking is fartoo common in Nebraska.
"I–80 is a main corridor for drugs and guns and it's a main corridorfor selling of human beings as well," said executive director for CentralNebraska Human Trafficking Outreach, Leticia Bonifas.
Local advocates are doing whatever they can to draw attention tothe issue. Recently a man was shackled and trapped in a glass box as part of alive display to spark curiosity in those walking by.
"I want people to acknowledge that it happens, educatethemselves on the issue and get involved," said Bonifas. Those who wentinto the box were silent, representing those for sale and bonded into slavery.Their biggest hope is an involved community that can serve as a voice to thosethat are suffering in silence.
After escaping from her life in human trafficking, Rachel Davishopes that sharing her story can save someone else from going through what shedid. Now with the help of organizations like the "End It Movement,"she has dreams of a slavery free Nebraska.
"What gives me hope now is seeing people beginning to engagethe issue and start to see how serious of an issue it is," said Davis.
The movement's goal is for people to take action and be the voice forthe 27 million people they say are trapped in slavery around the world. Anotherawareness movement is expected in April.