Human trafficking tool kit connects community with resources - WNEM TV 5

Human trafficking tool kit connects community with resources

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Human trafficking is a very real problem in Mid-Michigan.

"Everybody's realizing that the issue is major," said Peter A. Levine, Genesee County Medical Society.

People are forced to do something they don't want to do, primarily in the sex trade. But it’s not just a problem for far away countries or people trafficked into the United States.

A young woman when to a local job fair and left with a man and a woman, thinking she was going to work at a local company.

"They were no sooner out of the parking lot when the man pulled out a gun, laid it on his lap and told her about the game change," said the Rev. Christina Tipton, a counselor for human trafficking victims.

The woman was forced into prostitution, and finally managed to call for help and escape, three weeks later.

Human trafficking usually involves sex trafficking, but sometimes people are forced into slave labor.

"There are people who are working for no wages and living in conditions that are totally unfit for human habitation," said Lindsey Younger, Genesee County human trafficking task force.

Now there's a tool kit out to help law enforcement, health officials and the community know how to recognize and deal with human trafficking.

"The tool kit has an overview of what human trafficking is, how people are trafficked what it looks like, what traffickers look like and then how to identify trafficking victims," said Kristin McBride, human trafficking program coordinator.

The toolkit also has information to get trafficking victims in touch with resources, including police and county health officials.  

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