Several people from throughout eastern North Carolina attended a Human Trafficking 101 class at Sheppard Memorial Library on Tuesday.
Pam Strickland is the CEO of ENC Stop Human Trafficking Now.
Strickland was the lead speaker at the session and said, “If you see someone who is being exploited and taken advantage of it’s your business.”
Strickland added, “Once the person is involved in the relationship and begin to trust the perpetrator that’s when they begin to make demands.”\
According to the National Human Trafficking Hotline, North Carolina ranks 10th in the country for human trafficking.
In 2017, there were 221 confirmed cases. Most related to sex or labor trafficking.
“We know because of our huge agricultural industry in the east that we have a lot of people that are very vulnerable to being victims of labor trafficking,” said Strickland.
Strickland said spotting human trafficking can be hard to do but offered key things to look for.
“For instance a young girl with a much older man who is obviously not her father not related to her that seems to be controlling,” Strickland said. “She might seem nervous around him.”
Strickland hopes more people will become aware of their surroundings.
“If their gut says something is wrong it probably is,” said Strickland.
The National Human Trafficking Hotline is: 1 (888) 373-7888