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Salvation Army Fights Trafficking in North Carolina

Salvation Army Fights Trafficking in North Carolina

Flag of North Carolina (USA)

The Salvation Army in North Carolina is doing their part to help victims of human trafficking with Project FIGHT.

FIGHT is an acronym for “Freeing Individuals Gripped by Human Trafficking.”

(Yeah, it does seem like an obvious attempt to make an acronym for the word “fight.” But they made it work, right?)

North Carolina is one of the top states in the Union for human trafficking. In 2013, 623 calls to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center came from North Carolina. That put it in 12th place out of all the states.

Why is North Carolina such a hot spot? Multiple situations conducive to trafficking are all present, such as major highways leading up and down the East Coast, military bases, tourist destinations, and the movement of low-wage, immigrant workers through the area.

So in Wake County, the Salvation Army is “engaging with community members, service providers, and other professionals who may know where human trafficking is occurring in their neighborhood.”

They’re trying to track this problem and identify hot spots.

They train groups and individuals in how to recognize trafficking, and how to spread awareness of it in the community.

They’re also working with survivors on a case-by-case basis. Their two specialized case managers help victims with safety, housing, food, and clothing. They also help with:

  • Physical and mental health needs.
  • Legal help and guidance.
  • Education and life skills.

A sense of disorientation can be a big impediment for trafficking victims, even if they’re US citizens—which many are (although many are immigrants, too). One of the big indicators that a person is being trafficked is if they can’t tell you where they’re staying, or don’t know where they are or how to get around. Pimps and traffickers often transport victims along a circuit, and don’t keep them in one city for extended lengths of time. That means that even if a victim is from the US, they may not know exactly what city they’re in. They may also be kept in buildings with barred and boarded windows, so they can’t get a sense of where they are.

That’s why Project FIGHT’s case managers help with immigration services, and in getting people oriented to the area, culture, language, and local laws.

Project FIGHT has rescued 109 people from trafficking—both sex and labor trafficking—in the past three years.

***

L. Marrick is a fiction writer and freelance copywriter. 50% of proceeds from her book Working Girl, a memoir of her time working for a professional escort, go to sex trafficking non-profits. She waxes poetic about swords and the Renaissance Faire at her author blog. She looks all professional-like at her copywriting site. You can connect with her on Facebook and Twitter @LMarrick.

© L. Marrick 2014. The content of this article, except for quoted or linked source materials, is protected by copyright. Please contact the author at the above links to request usage.


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