DETROIT (WWJ) – In an effort to reduce human trafficking in Detroit hundreds of volunteers took to the streets armed with little more than soap.
Some 200 volunteers handed out little bars of soap to area hotels reports WWJ’s Beth Fisher — just before the start of the North American International Auto Show.
The soap has the National Human Trafficking hotline number on them.
Theresa Flores, a former victim, says the demand for girls, trafficked through sex for sale — increases during big events.
“I was trafficked here in Detroit from the time I was 15 to 17 and just didn’t know how to get out of it, didn’t know anybody to talk to,” said Flores.
Flores was able to get out of the trafficking when her family moved from the area.
“We look on Backpage dot com and we know that the ads on Backpage for the girls for sale it usually quadruples – so there are usually 285 girls for sale each night during the auto show,” said Flores.
Flores says they’re focusing on high risk hotels — but they know it happens everywhere.
“We know because of the auto show a lot of the missing kids will be through here and trafficked and so we are asking motel owners to look at our missing children’s posters to see if they recognize anybody and to take the free soap – to put it in the bathrooms in case a girl in there and in need of help would have a phone number to call,” said Flores.
She says that last year a motel owner did recognize a child that was on a poster … and that the effort is paying off.
The story on Human Trafficking is a continuing series that WWJ is addressing throughout the week.
If you think someone is in need of help or you are in need of help … Call 1-888-373-7888 or Text BeFree (233733).
The National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC) is a national, toll-free hotline, available to answer calls and texts from anywhere in the country, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every day of the year.