HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - At least 37 human trafficking cases have been reported in Alabama in 2017, according to the National Human Trafficking Hotline.
The National Human Trafficking Hotline also reports more than 100 victims of human trafficking in Alabama have called its hotline for help this year.
"Human trafficking is very real. It's happening in every community across the country," said Rachel Irby, Executive Director of Unchained Movement.
Irby said there are many cases that go unnoticed. She explained one of the reasons is that the true crime can be masked by other crimes like prostitution.
"Trafficking is something where an individual is forced to perform numerous sexual acts and it benefits another individual. So usually that person is not benefiting personally from the financial gain or whatever for the sex act. The money normally goes to someone else," explained Irby.
She said it's critical that people realize that human trafficking is growing. Irby wants people to know it's easier for children to be lured by predators more than ever before.
"It's important that parents don't get in the mindset that this could never happen to their child. This is an issue that is affecting children from all walks of life. And now because of the internet, they have access to our children like no other time in history," said Irby.
She recommends that parents monitor their children's social media, as that is where a lot of human trafficking cases begin.
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