Community members recognize National Human Trafficking Awareness - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Community members recognize National Human Trafficking Awareness Day

[Source KSWO] [Source KSWO]

LAWTON, OK (KSWO)- January 11th is National Human Trafficking Awareness Day.

According to the National Human Trafficking Hotline website, human trafficking is defined as a form of modern-day slavery in which traffickers use force, fraud, or coercion to control victims for engaging in commercial sex acts or labor services against his/her will.

Non-profit organizations like She Is Safe, in Duncan, focus on rescuing women and girls from human trafficking internationally and raise awareness to prevent further exploitation in places around the globe.

 The organization said they concentrate primarily on women and girls because approximately 90 percent of those trafficked are female.

Indonesia Country Director for She is Safe, Deanna Sanders says her hope is to spread the word about human trafficking to let others know how they can help prevent the worldwide problem.

“Awareness is key,” said Sanders. “Awareness in not just that it’s happening and the numbers but that there are specific people, and be aware of some of the factors that are involved."

Sanders has been with the organization for over five years.

She said during that time she is now able to recognize signs that a someone may be involved in human trafficking.

“Those that are vulnerable,” said Sanders. “They find themselves in life situations where either they are a runaway or they have financial burdens that they don't see another way out or they are tricked into it."

She said victims who are a runaway and homeless youth are the most at risk.

“Within 48 hours of a child running away a human trafficker globally will find them,” said Sanders. “So that is a plea to those on a day like today. Invest in children, in your own family, community, your church wherever you are."

Daryl Nobis and his wife have done exactly that this past month raising money to run a marathon in Cape Town, South Africa to stop human trafficking.

Nobis said being a day of awareness is just another reminder of why he made that decision.

“We actually got to meet some ladies that were in it,” said Nobis. “They had been out for a couple years but were rescued from it. It's amazing to hear their stories because you think you know a little bit about it but you have no idea what they put women and children through."

Sanders said although it takes a while for many of the women and girls to move past their traumatic experiences, her organization will continue to help as much as they can.

"They start to feel safe,” said Sanders. “They start to feel they are loved and accepted and not judged for their past. We try to relay to them that they are a woman of value and don't have to live the past that they do.”

Copyright 2017 KSWO. All rights reserved. 

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