CLARKSBURG, W.Va. — Raising awareness and eventually finding a solution to the problem of human sex trafficking is a priority for Shannon Shreve Langford, a volunteer “Ambassador of Hope” at Shared Hope International.
Langford said West Virginia has improved it’s standing with watch dog groups in terms of how it handles the problem of sex trafficking, but believes there is still a long way to go in transitioning from criminal punishment into prevention.
“There doesn’t have to be force, fraud, or coercion with minors,” Langford said on the MetroNews-affiliated “The Mike Queen Show” on the AJR News Network on Tuesday. “We’re doing a fairly good job at punishing traffickers. Where we are lacking is in protecting child victims.”
Sex trafficking, similar to other predatory practices, involves “grooming” victims. Langord said the eventual outcome won’t always involve money, but will always be exploitative.