TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - Human trafficking, knowing how it works and who's at risk are major keys to stopping the crime from happening.
We attended a public information session on Friday to learn more on the issue.
According to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center, Florida ranks third in the nation for the number of human trafficking cases.
According to the Survive and Thrive Advocacy Center, just last year, 2,247 human trafficking cases involving people under the age of 18 were reported in Florida.
The Survive and Thrive Advocacy Center works out of the Big Bend Area and hopes to decrease this number.
The Kearney Center filled with people who wanted to know the basics of how to spot human trafficking and how to stop it.
Some of the main topics at the meeting included knowing what behaviors put someone at risk of becoming a victim, identifying characteristics that put people at risk of becoming victims, and educating potential bystanders about how they can take action.
One organizer expressed why fighting against this issue is so important.
"Those people who are vulnerable to being human trafficked, the people who need help if they are being trafficked, to me its just a basic human right to be free from this," said Robin Thompson, Executive Director of Survive and Thrive Advocacy Center. "I want to do whatever I can as a member of the community, as and attorney, as an advocate to help anyone who is affected."
One of the main points Thompson taught people on Friday was if anyone comes across a suspected victim, immediately report it to police and sheriff departments so they can investigate it.
Organizers of the event warn people that after natural disasters, such as hurricanes, reports of human trafficking are at their highest because confusion is high and people are at their most vulnerable.
So, it's important to stay aware of your surroundings. To find out more ways you can get involved visit surviveandthrive.org