Human trafficking can happen in any community.
On Friday, students at the Muskingum Valley New Tech Academy learned about the epidemic and the red flags to look for. Sister Nadine Buchanan works with anti-sex trafficking agencies to try and stop the fastest growing criminal industry in the world that forces men, women, boys and girls into labor or prostitution. Sister Nadine says Ohio is 5th in the nation for being a popular hub for human trafficking, and says predators prey on children from broken homes who have low self-esteem.
"And they approach a child and say, 'oh you have such beautiful eyes.' It doesn't have to be a little girl, it can be a boy, it can be a teenage boy or a teenage girl and then they get that flattery and they say, 'I have a photograph studio just down the street, if you want to come with me, I can photograph you.' Well there is no studio and they end up going into the car and never seen again," explained Sister Nadine Buchanan, O.P.
Sister Nadine says human trafficking happens everywhere, even in Zanesville. One thing she hopes the students take away from her visit is that prostitution and human trafficking are not glamorous lifestyles.
"Movies like Pretty Woman, they glamorize it, they make it a fairy tale and it's anything but a glamorous life. I know two women in Columbus who were so beaten around the face that had to have metal plates put in their faces at Ohio State University Medical Center. It is not a glamorous lifestyle."
Sister Nadine and an organization called SOAP, attend large events across the country to talk with hotel and motel management about how to spot someone that is being trafficked.
National Human Trafficking Hotline: 888-373-7888 OR 911