Raising Human Trafficking Awareness
CHARLOTTE, NC - They are unspeakable acts. Women and children forced into performing labor and sex. It's happening under the radar, right here in Charlotte.
"It's still shocking that in the year 2013, we're combating slavery, but that's what's going on out there," says Brock Nicholson, Special Agent for Homeland Security Investigations.
Victims of human trafficking can be local or those brought into the country looking for a better life.
"These women and children are being used as, basically they're a commodity. Being traded from one organization to another organization, from state to state," Nicholson says.
Because victims rarely come forward...
Special Agents say they need as many eyes and ears in the community as they can get.
"People who are victims of human trafficking don't call 911. That's why need the community to see the signs and help us help the victims," says US Attorney Anne Tompkins.
Friday, the Junior League of Charlotte held a conference on human trafficking.
To goal is to get teachers, health care workers, and others to recognize the signs.
Those include poor mental or physical health and fear or anxiousness around others.
"So that they can see the symptoms when a child comes to them and understand the difference between what may be seen as deviant behavior and a child that has been experiencing something that a lot of us are not familiar with," explaiins Whitni Wilson-Wertz, with the Junior League of Charlotte.