FAIRMONT, W.Va. – Agencies from all of over the state of West Virginia were brought together in Fairmont to speak about human trafficking happening all over the state. They discussed how to recognize its happening in their areas, and what protocols to follow if you do suspect someone is a victim of these crimes.
Kasey Frosell spoke on behalf of the West Virginia Assault Response Team and said this issue is one of the most unreported crimes there is in the state, and the nation.
“We know its happening, but we don’t have the statistics that let us know. It’s one of those things that can go across all genders, all sexual orientations, all minorities, any marginal populations so it can happen to anybody,” said Frosell.
Katie Spriggs is the executive director of the Empowerment Center in the eastern panhandle, and spoke about all the different ways they can assist these victims with getting back on their feet.
“We can provide shelter, crisis interventions, safety planning, and then basic life skills too,” said Spriggs. “We can help them get a job, we can help them stay employed, and also help them with finding ways of transportation.”
The main message they wanted to get across is the collaboration between all officials in a community is the key to ending this problem.
“It is happening and we need to be able to address that, and figure out how it looks and how we need to respond when it happens,” said Frosell. “That way we can have more updated reported numbers for this for the public.”
If you do suspect someone is a victim or unwillingly participating in these crimes, call your local police department immediately or 911. You can always stay anonymous.