A recent article by ABC’s Kansas City affiliate, KSPR, has revealed some staggering statistics about the region. According to the source, more people in Western Missouri have been prosecuted for human trafficking than any other region in the country. And the problem is only getting worse.
“You can sell drugs once. You can sell a little girl over and over and over again,” said Beth Grant, co-founder of Project Rescue, a Springfield-based ministry that helps women and children escape slavery.
Many local law enforcement agencies, including the Springfield Police Department, are not trained to deal with trafficking victims.
Without that training, a victim can be written off as a criminal. At 18, you’re only a trafficking victim if you can prove force, fraud, or coercion.
Even the U.S. government admits it needs improvement.