We have finally convened and begun this 8 month journey, driving state-to-state across the U.S., researching human trafficking in the sex trade. We want to thank each and every person who has donated to our research up to this point. We would not be able to do this without your support.
We began our research in Indianapolis, Indiana. Although the hectic atmosphere around the Super Bowl made it more difficult than normal to connect with individuals in law enforcement, government organization’s and non-governmental organization’s (NGO), we were still able to connect with numerous organizations combating human trafficking in the region. We had the opportunity to hear about efforts to combat a potential increase in sex trafficking during the super bowl. These efforts included strengthening laws against human traffickers, pimps and johns; passing out soap bars to hotels and motels in the area with the Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline number for trafficking victims to see when they are in the bathroom cleaning up before, or after providing services; passing out campaign cards ‘Don’t Buy The Lie’ to bars and clubs around the city, which promoted the truth about sex trafficking to potential buyers of sexual services; and training over 2,000 social service providers to recognize victims of trafficking. We will soon be publishing a more in-depth piece on our findings in Indiana.
Our next short stop was overnight in Nashville, Tennessee where we were able to speak with a local domestic violence shelter regarding its services for trafficking victims. Although our stay was short it was a great introduction to the city, and we hope to return in a few months for a comprehensive look at human trafficking issues in the area.
We currently find ourselves in Atlanta, Georgia. After less than 24 hours we can already tell that Atlanta was a necessary stop during our research tour of the U.S. The coalition among NGO’s, government organizations, law enforcement, shelters and the education sector seems to be closely interlinked. Everyone we have met with so far has been extremely helpful in answering our questions and connecting us with additional people active in the field of anti-human trafficking work. We look forward to the rest of our time in Georgia with many more meetings to go, and will be ready to update our readers with a plethora of information on issues of human trafficking in Georgia, as well as collaborated efforts and various approaches to combat it.