Conference addresses uptick of human trafficking in the state

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – State officials, law enforcement and victims advocates are meeting at a human trafficking conference in Manhattan, Kansas to discuss strategies on identifying and stopping human trafficking in the state.

“It’s really looking a little bit deeper because it’s really going on right in front of our communities across the state,” says Tom Beall, the Acting U.S. Attorney for Kansas. He says that one of the problems with addressing the issue is that it’s often out of sight and out of mind.

“The Victims Services Division in the State Attorney General’s Office has seen services gone from two served about six years ago to about 400 in 2015.”

KSNT News met with a trafficking victim at the conference who spoke at the event but wanted to remain anonymous.

“The day I turned 18 I went and hung out with a best friend that I met in middle school. She brought me around prostitution for the first time,” they said. “She forced me to have sex with her pimp and I wanted that life after that because it just seemed like it was easy money.”

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