“[Human trafficking] happens everywhere,” said McHenry. “Accept that it happens and be aware of it and the warning signs.”
“A lot of times we just rush through our day and we don’t really take a second to say ‘wow, that girl hasn’t been to class in two weeks,’” she continued. “Has anybody noticed? Has anybody paid attention to her? Become aware of the issue, then tell five people.”
Awareness is key to solving the issue, from every standpoint.
“Be the best in your profession and educate those in your profession regarding human trafficking, because the way the nurse responds is different than the doctor, than the teacher,” said Walsh. “Bring awareness of this crime to your particular field.”
If you recognize any of the signs of human trafficking, report it to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline (888-373-7888), Bellefaire JCB’s 24/7 Homeless and Missing Youth Hotline (216-570-8010) or the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center’s Project STAR 24/7 Hotline (855-431-7827). As McHenry notes, “If you see something, say something.”