9OYS Special Report: Funding needed to fight human trafficking

On Your Side

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Many people in the U.S overlook the problems of human sex trafficking.       

North Carolina is actually among the top ten states in the nation for this crime. 

There are many coalitions and organizations working together to put an end to this crime, but those groups say there’s a clear, strong need for more funding and resources to fight the trafficking and help its survivors.

Their road to recovery can be long and painful.

Some victims are lucky to get the treatment they need, like Vicki Dalia. 

“I used therapists, I used therapists who were knowledgeable in the particular area, I still use therapists,” says Dalia.  

She continues to explain that others aren’t so lucky, “There’s a lot of them that didn’t come from families with money and influence and stuff like that. They just don’t have some of the resources that I had.” 

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to providing all the necessary resources to a survivor. 

Traci Klein is the director of True Justice International and she states, “A lot of the girls don’t know their rights, they feel like they were complicit in an illegal act and they don’t realize while they were being trafficked that there is something called an expungement.”

This means there is a need for pro bono attorneys who can help expunge records and represent survivors in court. 

Pitt County’s Coalition against human trafficking focuses on education and awareness. 

Melinda Sampson is the community outreach coordinator for N.C. Stop Human Trafficking and she says, “we have quarterly 101 sessions just for the community members so they know what the signs of human trafficking.”

Educating the public for warning signs is very important in the fight to eradicate this crime.

After a victim is rescued, the human trafficking survivor has a long road to recovery. 

“They need a long period of time to receive healing and the trauma counseling and all the resources that they need to be able to be productive citizens,” says Jonathan Chavous, the COO of Cry Freedom Missions. 

Survivors want more done to prevent others from falling into the trap of trafficking. 

“Until we pass bills and legislation that’s mandatory and they’re going to get some kind of consequence for not following through majority of them aren’t going to do it,” says Dalia. 

Each survivor has their own story, like Ashley, who restored her life with the help of Cry Freedom Missions. 

She says, “I never knew that I was still valuable. If you can just remind somebody of that today no matter what they’re going through that they’re still valuable and that they’re still worthy of a good life please do that because you never know what somebody else is going through.”

It’s important that if you see something, to say something. 

You can save someone’s life by calling the National Human Trafficking Hotline at (888)373-7888. 

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