Human Trafficking On The Rise, Orange County Launches Awareness - New York News

Human Trafficking On The Rise, Orange County Launches Awareness Campaign

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(FOX 11) Human trafficking is the fastest growing organized crime generating $32 Billion dollars a year. In Orange County, law enforcement has been actively seeking perpetrators and rescuing the victims.

Out of the many discovered, 65% are U.S. Citizens. One of them is Oree, a 19 year old who was trafficked from the age of 11 to 15. She told us the man who forced her into prostitution, initially promised to love and protect her. She says, "He told me things that any average man would tell a woman. I love you, I care for you, I'm gonna keep you safe I'm not gonna hurt you." But within days, Oree says the man became violent and threatened to kill her if she didn't do exactly what he demanded.

Human Trafficking experts describe that kind of approach as 'Guerrilla Pimping'. "You feel like, how can this person who loves me, beats me. How can this person loves me and lets 50, 60 other men have sex with me or rape me or mistreat me," says Oree. Police say Oree's story is being repeated over and over. Orange County Sheriff, Sandra Hutchens says, "There are an estimated 20 million victims worldwide. California is one of the nations top destinations for trafficking of human beings."

For that reason, Orange County is launching a new human trafficking awareness campaign called "Be The One To Help Out". Banners reminding people to report anything that seems unusual will be placed inside approximately 500 Orange County buses. Officials for the OC Transportation Authority say, "We transport through these buses one million people a week here in Orange County. That is two million more eyes. A million mouths that can describe crime, articulate crime and most importantly report crime." Other human trafficking experts shared horrific examples of what is happening to some women. "We have seen women literally kidnapped and held hostage in hotels to be serially raped for money from their perpetrators," said Lita Mercado from Community Service Programs.

Susan Patterson who authored, 'How You Can Fight Human Trafficking' says,

"People are under the misnomer that it's happening in Mexico and Thailand but not here. And I think what they don't realize is how much more money can be made here than in those countries."

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