WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Wilmington Police gave a presentation Wednesday night about human trafficking, to educate people about what they say is a hidden crime.
Department spokesperson Linda Thompson says the educational program was spawned from a nationwide challenge by radio personality Ricky Smiley.
Thompson explained to parishioners of Union Missionary Baptist Church that Wilmington is a hot spot for human trafficking partially due to the Port of Wilmington and the access to major highways.
She says many sex workers are being forced to do so against their will.
“I just don’t think people wake up and say ‘I want to be a prostitute,'” Thompson said. “I think there are life situations and circumstances that get them in that situation and a lot of times they have someone, a pimp or someone who is managing them, and forcing them to do it.”
Thompson says look out for warning signs, like if someone you know suddenly becomes distant, or leaves home and starts interacting with unsavory characters.
‘A Safe Place’ in Wilmington provides shelter and supplies to women who have been victims of human trafficking. To find out how you can donate much needed supplies, click here.