Bridgeport organization informs public on warning signs of human trafficking
An organization in Bridgeport is informing the public on signs to watch for when it comes to human trafficking.
CEO and President of The Center of Family Justice, Debra Greenwood, says contrary to popular belief, more than half of sex trafficking victims and survivors are male.
"In Connecticut, the highest number of young people being trafficked are from Lower Fairfield County," said Greenwood.
"Most times people feel this only happens to women," Greenwood said. "It's not necessary for people who have come from other countries."
Starting with the virtual panel discussion, The Center for Family Justice aims to dispel myths surrounding human trafficking.
"The hope is that we start the conversation and get to educate, show signs of awareness," said Greenwood.
Panelists explained how agencies and organizations collaborate to stop and investigate cases of human trafficking.
"A child might be willing to provide that social worker with a little bit of information that they wouldn't necessarily tell a cop,” Thomas Harper a Detective for Bridgeport Police Department said. “So, it's things like that and this awareness and this teamwork that we can combat trafficking of any kind."
"When you see something, you have to say something," said James Myers, a sergeant for the Bridgeport Police Department.
Harper and Myers said a majority of these cases start on the internet.
"A new phone or a new item, something that is promised to a young person, someone meets someone online," added Greenwood.
The month of January is Human Trafficking Prevention Month, and it's designated to educate the public about human trafficking and the role it can play in preventing and responding to human trafficking.
Anyone in need of help can call the center's 24/7 hotline 203-384-9559.