Non-Profits Step Up To Combat Sex Trafficking - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Non-Profits Step Up To Combat Sex Trafficking

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 Moorhead police say sex trafficking is a growing issue and they along with Fargo police. They continue to investigate for offenders and victims. Valley News Team's Ashley Bishop explains  how non-profits are also dealing with this ongoing crime.

Currently non-profit organizations like the YWCA and Youthworks deal with sex trafficking victims on a case by case basis, but they have been working for almost a year on a formal plan and hope to have that in place later this fall.

"People are really coming together to figure out what this look likes and how are we best helpful to these victims. Law enforcement, Social Services, Juvenile Courts, Youthworks The YWCA and state attorney office," says Youthwork Fargo program Manager Jessica Fleck.

The formalized plan will be the same for both North Dakota and Minnesota.

"A unified response across the board... if you contact somebody or were a victim you will get the same response no matter where you are...Cass or Clay county, Fargo or West Fargo and I think that is wonderful," says Fleck.  

6 non-profits including Youthworks and the YWCA decided to formalize a plan after they realized this has been occurring here and they now need to take action.

"I think it is an educational piece and I believe it has been going on for a long time and we just didn't know what it was or we saw it more as a choice like that young lady has a choice to prostitute or not," says Fleck.  

A big thing that Fleck expressed was that most victims are manipulated into sex trafficking and that every victim looks different. If you see suspicious activity near you Fleck says give police a call. Bigger cities like Minneapolis and Sioux Falls  have groups  specifically devoted to help victims of sex trafficking, many times run by survivors. Right now, Fargo doesn't have a group like that established yet.

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