Human trafficking a problem in rural areas too

Human trafficking a problem in rural areas too
Woodville, OH (Source: WTOL)
A large crowd showed up for the presentation (Source: WTOL)
A large crowd showed up for the presentation (Source: WTOL)

WOODVILLE, OH (WTOL) - You may think human trafficking is a big city problem, but it's happening in rural parts of the area too.

And that's what they talked about Sunday in Woodville.

A town hall meeting was sponsored by the group Two Villages Initiative.

That would be Woodville and Elmore.

"We used to think if you lived in the country you were away from everything. Now children carry these pc's in their back pocket called cell phones. There's a lot of information, preying on social media," said Jayne Klett of Two Cities Initiative.

Folks heard from law enforcement and support agencies learning that in Ohio the average age for being forced into prostitution is thirteen years old.

And the FBI reports human trafficking is the second best criminal activity for organized crime.

Drug trafficking is number one.

"Because there are people that are willing to have sex with children and pimps and get those girls out of those places," said Jeff Wilbarger of The Daughter Project, an agency that rescues victims of human trafficking.

In the last two years six cases of human trafficking have been investigated in Ottawa County.

So what can parents do?

"Parents need to know who their friends are, who they're talking to on social media and take a look at their phone every now and then," said Det. Sgt. Amy Gloor of the Ottawa County Sheriff's Office.

She adds whether you live in Toledo, Woodville or Elmore there's one way parents can save their kids from human trafficking: get involved in their lives.

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