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Here’s a look at how two Colorado Springs nonprofits are working to combat human trafficking

Colorado Springs, Colo.
Contact the national human trafficking hotline.
Contact the national human trafficking hotline.(humantraffickinghotline.org)
Published: Oct. 21, 2021 at 7:46 PM MDT
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - According to the U.S. Department of State an estimated 24.9 million people worldwide are victims of human trafficking. Human traffickers’ prey on people of all ages, races, backgrounds exploiting them for profit gain.

11 News recently spoke to representatives from two Colorado Springs organizations that are dedicated to battling back against the horrendous practice.

Exodus Road recently launched a free online program you can sign up for, that teaches you how to identify potential trafficking in your community, with an online course that guides you through training, intervention, and aftercare support. Click here to take part in the “TraffickWatch Academy.”

“On our TraffickWatch Academy U.S., we actually have two modules, one is human trafficking global, it gives you statistics about human trafficking globally, definitions, it’s kind of a primer or foundation of what human trafficking crime is,” Laura Parker the President and Co-Founder of Exodus Road in Colorado Springs explained. “The second module dives into specifically human trafficking in the United States. We also provide follow-up resources that give people practical ways to start engaging counter trafficking right where they are.”

The intervention process of the academy will guide you through search and rescue and give you the knowledge to help spot victims of human trafficking. You will gain the insight and awareness to utilize what will help you engage with others in your community to prevent trafficking.

Another Colorado Springs organization, Reclaiming Hope, works to educate people on the recovery process when victims are rescued from human trafficking. Reclaiming Hope recently rebranded their organization after going by Restore Innocence for several years.

“One of the very first ways a lot of people interact with us is by doing donation drives,” said Executive Director Sues Hess with Reclaiming Hope. “We’ve had companies, churches, women’s club, different things do product drives for us. We take the product that they have donated, we put them into backpacks, those backpacks are then shipped all across the nation. Almost twenty different items in each bag, they include hygiene items, comfort items, and clothing.”

After experiencing such trauma, many survivors are in need of a safe place to receive emotional and physical support. You can sign up to become a mentor through the online program by clicking here. You can also donate items by clicking here.

If you are a human trafficking victim or have information about a potential trafficking situation, call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC) at 1-888-373-7888 or text 233733. NHTRC is a national, toll-free hotline, with specialists available to answer calls from anywhere in the country, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can also submit a tip on the NHTRC website.

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