Human trafficking awareness event

A local church is getting the word out on how to stop human trafficking.

In honor of National Human Trafficking Awareness Month Second Presbyterian Church in Saginaw Township held an event to inform its members of the growing crisis.

“They need to hear how prevalent it is in our community,” said Linda Mattson, the organizer of the event.

Even though this is a global epidemic, she said it’s taking place right here in Mid-Michigan.

That’s why she and other members of Second Presbyterian Church are working to bring awareness to the community.

They held an informational presentation on human trafficking with Sandra Eagle, the chair of the Midland Regional Human Trafficking Task Force.

“If someone’s making money off someone else and exploiting the vulnerability, that’s human trafficking,” Eagle said.

Eagle said anyone can become a victim of human trafficking, but some are more susceptible.

“People that are homeless, people that are struggling with substance abuse issues, runaway teens,” Eagle said.

In 2017, TV5 did a story on a Mid-Michigan couple charged with sex trafficking a runaway girl under the age of 17.

They gained her trust and forced her into prostitution to feed their drug habit.

This is a real reminder that human trafficking has no border limit.

“In Saginaw Township kind of living in a bubble a lot of times, we don’t think something like this could actually happen in our neighborhoods and our town,” Mattson said. “When in fact, like we’ve heard so much about, it is literally right under our noses.”

To find out how you can help out in the fight against human trafficking, there are multiple resources like the Underground Railroad, Michigan Human Trafficking Task Force, Shelterhouse, and National Human Trafficking Hotline.

Copyright 2019 WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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