How to recognize the signs of human trafficking

PADUCAH – If you don’t think human trafficking is a problem in the Local 6 area, you’re wrong.

The National Human Trafficking Hotline reports the following number of human trafficking victims identified since 2007:

  • Kentucky: 465
  • Missouri: 609
  • Tennessee: 659
  • Illinois: 1,369

Nationally, that number stands at 162,660. Those are just the victims known to law enforcement. It’s believed many more cases go unreported.

You can be part of the solution. The Polaris Project urges you to look for people with the following signs:

  • High security measures exist at the work and-or living locations: opaque windows, boarded up windows, bars on windows, barbed wire, and security cameras
  • Is fearful, anxious, depressed, or submissive
  • Exhibits unusual fear or anxious behavior when topic of law enforcement is brought up
  • Avoids eye contact
  • Poor physical health
  • Lacks health care
  • Has few or no personal possessions
  • Is not in control of his/her own money, has no financial records or bank account
  • Is not allowed or able to speak for themselves —A third party may insist on being present

To learn more about the signs to look for that may indicate human trafficking is taking place, click here.

To track the human trafficking issue in your state, click here.

A safe house for trafficking victims is located in Paducah. To learn more about Victory Through Grace Ministries, click here.

Another local resource that helps specifically with victims of sexual violence is the Purchase Area Sexual Assault & Child Advocacy Center. Click here to learn more about this agency that services eight west Kentucky counties.

If you suspect human trafficking is happening, contact your local law enforcement or call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888.

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