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Special human trafficking session held Thursday

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DEKALB COUNTY, Ala. - Northeast Alabama Community College hosted an educational session Thursday regarding a topic that can be uncomfortable to talk about for some, but is a very real problem across the state. The special session, called "Trafficking in our Back Yard," featured speaker Tajuan McCarty, founder of The Wellhouse.

The Wellhouse is an organization which provides shelter, support, and anything necessary to victims of human trafficking. McCarty is a victim of trafficking, herself. "But I was trafficked so much to Birmingham from Georgia it became home. God gave me the vision in 2010, and we did our first rescue in 2011. Right now we have about 20 ladies in our program ages 18-56. I've rescued as young as 13 and as old as 59."

The goal of the presentation was not only to raise awareness of the prevalence of human trafficking in the area, but to also help medical professionals identify the signs. Continuing Education Coordinator at Northeast Alabama Community College Donna Moore recognized the need to educate.

"As a healthcare provider myself, I want to make sure our community knows the signs and symptoms, and how to help people. And then we also want to reach out to victims, so that they know where they can get help as well," said Moore.

Alabama is right in the middle of one of the largest human trafficking rings in the country. McCarty and her organization aim to try to fight that, by helping one woman at a time.

"She's a princess, she's someone's daughter. And if we don't reach into the darkness for her hand to show her the light, then we are doing a disservice to her. We can no longer blame her for her victimization," added McCarty.

For more information about The Wellhouse visit www.the-wellhouse.org.