New human trafficking training center hopes to save and support victims

A new training center is expected to provide support for victims of human trafficking.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – On Tuesday, groups from all parts of society got together in Lexington to raise awareness about human trafficking, better understand the needs of survivors and ultimately, eradicate the crime.

There are plans to build a training center in the state that would play a major role in training human trafficking shelters across the country. The goal of the state-of-the-art training center is to become the national think tank for research on the changing nature of exploitation, victimization, and how we position an effective response.

Because of the anti-human trafficking work being done in Kentucky, The Samaritan Women-Institute For Shelter Care is moving its headquarters from Maryland to Lexington. Recognized as a national leader in the anti-human trafficking movement, the move to Kentucky will likely have an impact nationwide.

“We are opening ourselves up to partnering to help build a stronger and safer kentucky but also the United States,” explained Jeanne Allert, the founder and director of the Institute for Shelter Care.

According to the National Human Trafficking Hotline website, in 2020, there were 104 human trafficking cases reported in Kentucky. According to Allert, this crime takes many forms and there’s certain challenges associated with it.

Kentucky is the ninth largest state for immigrant and refugee populations. There’s also labor trafficking associated with a number of trades in the state. However, experts say it goes deeper than that and hits much closer to home.

“The issue of sex trafficking of children has often been seen in the familial form, which means it’s family members who are exploiting their children most often for drugs,” explained Allert.

Allert says firefighters will do inspections when warranted, which allows them to notice things that don’t look right. In that case, it can create a domino effect.

“It can lead to a tip that then goes to law enforcement for investigations and then that can then lead to victim service providers,” adds Allert.


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