Toledo area human trafficking survivor working to raise awarenes - News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Toledo area human trafficking survivor working to raise awareness

BEDFORD TOWNSHIP, MI (Toledo News Now) -

Toledo is the third largest recruitment hub for human trafficking in the United States. Thirty five percent of victims are sold by their own family members.

It's a problem not just in the city of Toledo, but in the surrounding area as well.

A human trafficking survivor from the area spoke out Wednesday night at Bedford High School.

"This is happening in every zip code. That's it. It's happening everywhere," said human trafficking survivor Theresa Flores. "I myself was trafficked in Birmingham Michigan when I was 15."

Flores spoke to a packed gymnasium of about 200 people, hoping to raise awareness and teach them what to look for.

"How better to make sure it doesn't happen by educating the parents, teachers and students," said Flores.

Flores says at almost every presentation she gives, someone comes forward and says they too have a story.

Michigan State Police say one of the problems they run into investigating cases like this is that the victims are too often too scared to come forward. Police are hoping the community learns some of the signs of human trafficking,  and can help be a voice for those victims.

"These are our kids, our future generations and they deserve better," said Monroe County teacher Amanda Magoon.

If you know or suspect anything about human trafficking, call the hotline at 888-373-7888.

Copyright 2014 Toledo News Now. All rights reserved.

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