GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Greenville is making January human trafficking awareness and prevention month.
It’s a sign of efforts to end this ongoing problem in the city and the east.
On December 29th, Greenville police went to the Baymont Inn on an overdose call. But officers investigating the OD death of a 16-year-old girl, found out the case was linked to human trafficking.
They arrested 21-year-old anthony cox on charges including statuatory rape of a child, promoting prostituion, and more.
But experts say this is just one incident of many in Greenville. One of the factors in human trafficking is people don’t know it’s happening around them.
“Human trafficking in an individual that is younger than 18 if there’s any exchange for sex for anything, it’s automatically human trafficking. If it’s 18 and older there has to be one of three elements. There has to be force, coercion or fraud,” explains Jonathan Chavous with Cry Freedom Missions
Human trafficking takes many forms, and victims usually know their abusers.
Advocates say people can help by alerting authorities if something doesn’t seem right.
Police and advocates say they cannot fight this alone. You can save someone’s life by calling the National Human Trafficking Hotline at (888)373-7888.
If you are interested in learning more about the warning signs of human trafficking you can connect with the N.C. Stop Human Trafficking Coalition in Greenville here.