It is National Human Trafficking Awareness Month. This is how a local organization raises awareness

JACKSONVILLE, NC (WNCT) – Tuesday was National Human Trafficking Awareness Day, and to help raise awareness, many organizations across the country wore the color blue.

North Carolina is ranked number 10 for human trafficking nationwide. The local organization True Justice International said last year they served more than 100 human trafficking survivors right here in eastern North Carolina.

“Our first thing we do is support survivors of human trafficking in our region,” said Traci Klein, Executive Director of True Justice International.

Documentary showing the reality of human trafficking in NC to be released in January

The organization is a non-profit organization with a location in Jacksonville and a safe house in New Bern. They raise awareness in hotels, in strip clubs and educate the whole community.

“Without awareness, we cannot prevent it. To the right? We don’t know what we don’t know. So just be aware, ”Klein said.

On Wednesday, the organization will visit a local school to continue raising awareness. They also provide trauma counseling to survivors and addiction recovery. Survivors often have addiction issues as a result of the situation they find themselves in and need to recover from the addiction to help them.

“People look at them and say, ‘Oh, she’s just a prostitute, or she’s just a drug addict’ and she’s not. These are the people who matter. Someone’s daughter, someone’s son, someone’s mother, someone’s sister, ”Klein said.

In raising awareness, they recommend familiarizing yourself with the signs that a person is being trafficked.

Some signs that they say you can watch out for are branding any kind through tattoos, a kid not wearing age-appropriate clothing, lower grades in school, and more frequent runaways.

“It doesn’t mean that they are trafficked, but there are definitely red flags that you would like to examine and deepen,” Klein said.

If you or someone you know needs help, True Justice International’s phone number is (252) 631-5111.

Aubrey L. Morgan