Shirley Frey, from the Department of Human Trafficking, gave the Stryker Rotary Club information about this issue that is alive and well among us. Shirley, a retired schoolteacher, and guidance counselor, wanted to stay active following her retirement.
She got involved with the Rescue & Restore Coalition to assist the victims. Human Trafficking is most prevalent in the area of labor, where people are forced to work for little or no pay or benefits.
Sex trafficking, while less prevalent, targets children that are usually between the ages of 11 and 14.
The Traffic Victim Protection Act was signed into law in 2000. This law was the first major step in acknowledging and fighting against this terrible practice.
Shirley explained to the group that people exposed to these conditions have a difficult time finding a place in society, and assistance is very important.
She also said 1 in 7 runaway children end up being victims.
Those convicted of breaking this law are subject to multiple severe penalties including a first-degree felony with 10-year mandatory prison sentence.
More work is being done in the area of training recognitions of those who have fallen victim to this crime.
This training is now mandatory for many jobs who deal with the public and especially children. Shirley Frey spoke as a guest of Stryker Rotarian Betty Beck.