Washington County Launches New Program to Combat Sex Trafficking

September 28, 2017 09:01 PM

Washington County is pushing a new campaign to combat sex trafficking.

The program is called Speak Up, because law enforcement experts say it is common for victims of sex trafficking to keep quiet. The campaign comes with more training for law enforcement and the hotel/motel industry to make sure employees — who often come face to face with the abuse — can identify victims and know the warning signs.

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RELATED: Study Looks at Who Buys Sex in Minn. Trafficking Study

"It's also an issue of homelessness, it's an issue of family violence, it's an issue of chemical and mental health, it's an issue about educational achievement and it's an issue about sexually transmitted illnesses," Lowell Johnson, director of the Washington County Health and Environment Department, said.

RELATED: Authorities Warn Rental Property Owners of Human Trafficking Dangers Ahead of Super Bowl

Washington County Attorney Pete Orput said, "When we team up like this, all of us with the private sector, we are going to make a big difference."

The campaign also works to explain the public health issue surrounding sex trafficking and how the community at large can help prevent it.

Credits

Lindsey Brown

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