Sokaogon Chippewa Community News
Sex Trafficking Presentation Informs Community
“Sex Trafficking that’s happening in the northern part of the state is focusing largely on children, and our most vulnerable young adults, so it’s good to get information out to them early and as often as possible,” said Forest County Sheriff Detective Sergeant Michael Short.
Trafficking is happening in all 72 counties in Wisconsin, including Forest County. It is a massive, $32 billion industry with more than 100,000 children who are victims in the United States, and this number does not include those who are deemed missing. There are 26,000 runaways in Wisconsin every year, and one out of three of those will be approached by a sex trafficker within 48 hours. Sex trafficking is also estimated to increase by 39% in Wisconsin during the 2020 Democratic Convention that will be held in Milwaukee due to the influx of people there at that time.
A primary reason for the industry’s growth is due to organized crime finding that human trafficking is more lucrative than selling drugs. Drugs are a one-time product that needs to be replaced, whereas with trafficking, they can repeatedly use a person.
Social media is a main way that traffickers find victims. They also appear wherever kids hang out, including malls, casinos, around the schools and at parks.
Traffickers are called pimps. Victims approach them for a multitude of reasons seeking shelter, money, food, basic needs, love, adventure, gifts and to seek the love of “family”. Of these, the desire for love, adventure or attention are the most prevalent, with many victims coming from broken homes.
blackmail, isolation from friends and family, physical violence, threats, drug debts and alcohol. They make victims feel that staying with them is the victim’s only option.
“If you see something, say something. If you see something that’s strange or looks suspicious, report it to the proper authorities whether it’s a child or a teen. You can report it to a guardian, an adult or school counselor, but try to get the word out on the signs and stuff to look for. And get them to report to the proper people,” said Forest County Sheriff Detective Sergeant Tom Robinson.
- They are frequently tired
- They drop friends
- They have a much older lover
- They have personal or family struggles
- They are constantly absent from school
- Signs of abuse, alcohol or drugs
- An increase in expensive items
If you suspect someone is being trafficked or is in danger of being trafficked, contact someone! You may call 911, Wisconsin 211 or the Polaris Project at 1-888-373-7888. Don’t go home alone, and always remember that you might be the only voice for a victim!