Human trafficking is the world’s fastest growing crime, it’s one topic that’s not often discussed. One conference is hoping to put an end to that silence.
“It affects all of our children, it affects both boys and girls, every demographic, this is something we should be talking about,” says Tina Frundt, a victim of domestic sex trafficking.
“At the age of 13, I was forced into a sex trafficking situation with a pimp.”
She was lucky enough to escape and share her story at The Child Next Door: Quad-City Human Trafficking Conference.
“Being here is a little close to home for me because I also was brought to truck stops in this area,” which Tina says is a common place for trafficking.
Around 300 people attended and organizations like Braking Traffik say they’re not surprised with recent arrests in Muscatine, IA.
“Victims of human trafficking have been identified in the Quad Cities and people are concerned,” says Cathy O’Keeffe, executive director for Braking Traffik.
Local law enforcement says trafficking is a problem, “In this area it is a concern and we do see it here in the quad cities,” says Chief Phil Reddington, Bettendorf Police Department.
Chief Reddington says targeting the predators isn’t that easy, “It’s all different ages, it’s all different professions so the suspect in these cases are hard to pin point.”
One former mother, whose adoptive daughter was a trafficking survivor, was taken from Cedar Rapids, IA.
“She went grocery shopping was approached and disappeared for a year,” says Ruth Buckles.
Ruth says it’s crucial for people to talk about this issue.
“I think parents sit around and think if we don’t talk about it, it won’t happen, well if we don’t talk about, it will happen.”
According to the International Labor Organization, there are 25 million victims of human trafficking worldwide on any given day and in terms of dollars generated it’s only second to drug trafficking according to the U.S Department of Health and Human Services.