“Hoosiers work to combat human trafficking” by Jessica Smith

Reaching out to human trafficking victims is incredibly challenging because of the violent and abusive conditions inherent to the servitude. An Indianapolis group of volunteers is trying to safely reach those who need help by attaching contact information to bars of soap. This is an excerpt from a recent article published by WLFI. The source of this excerpt is http://wlfi.com/2014/05/18/hoosiers-work-to-combat-human-trafficking/

Bars of soap are labeled with human trafficking hotline information. Image courtesy of WLFI.

Bars of soap are labeled with human trafficking hotline information. Image courtesy of WLFI.

BE FREE Indianapolis volunteers spent the day passing out information about human trafficking to local hotels, in an effort to raise awareness about the problem.

This is the Indianapolis branch’s first event, and volunteers from BE FREE Dayton came in to help train volunteers.

“It does happen in Indiana and that is the reason that we want to make sure people are aware of what’s happening,” said Tracy Pruitt, president of BE FREE Indianapolis.

About 25 people spent the morning labeling bars of soap with the human trafficking hotline number. Volunteers then dropped the bars of soap, along with a packet of trafficking warning signs to hotels across Indianapolis, because hotels are often where a large amount of crime takes place.

BE FREE hopes hotel workers will place the bars of soap in rooms they deem suspicious, giving possible victims a lifeline.

“They will be the eyes in the community for young ladies and young men that are being trafficked,” said Pruitt.

[…]

“Of the six women we encountered Wednesday, none of the six could speak any English. Only one had a visa, the others just had passports. They can say enough English lines to offer the different types of sexual favors, and when you go in, you’ll hear them practicing those lines. The girls live here. Today, the girl was cooking food as we entered. And, they don’t leave. They have no idea where to go. They don’t have cars here. They don’t have any kind of transportation. We’ve asked what city they were in, and they don’t even know,” IMPD Nuisance Abatement Sergeant William Carter told I-Team 8 on Friday.

[…]

Pruitt says she hopes the bars of soap will help spread hope to trafficking victims throughout Indianapolis.

Bars of soap are labeled with human trafficking hotline information. Image courtesy of WLFI.

Bars of soap are labeled with human trafficking hotline information. Image courtesy of WLFI.

“There are places that they can go, and there are people that are looking for them, to find them, and to bring them back to their families,” said Pruitt.

This is a significantly shortened excerpt. To read the full article, please visit the website WLFI http://wlfi.com/2014/05/18/hoosiers-work-to-combat-human-trafficking/

Jessica Smith reports for WLFI.