Human Trafficking Awareness Month

"Human trafficking is the force, fraud or coercion of another person to compel them to force labor or commercial sex acts," said Director of Human Trafficking Outreach, Gia Hughes.

You may remember the arrest of Alonso Santiagito in August.

He is accused of holding a 17-year-old girl captive in a Dothan motel.

Investigators say he kidnapped the victim in Mississippi and forced her to engage in drugs and prostitution.

"It is an issue in the wiregrass; it's an issue everywhere in the world," said Hughes.

January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month.

There's 29,800,000 slaves worldwide.

Public transportation and highways are a main source of trafficking these victims.

"The interstates, I-20 and I-10 are huge resources for people to get traffic victims from one place to another."

"Victims that stay in a place too long are often noticed as something is not right. You don't have to be moved around to be considered trafficked. But when they move them around it's a lot less easier for them to be caught," said Hughes.

There is a way for the public to help.

“You need to keep your eyes wide open."

Love in Action Ministries has tips on their website to spot victims so you can help put a stop to the problem.

"It is a scary topic and I’m an advocate for any child or adult that is exploited by this. It is a horrible crime and against a person's rights. We just want to advocate for those who can't advocate for themselves."

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