Human trafficking problem in the Chippewa Valley - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Human trafficking problem in the Chippewa Valley

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Colfax (WQOW) - When you hear about human trafficking, your first thought may stray overseas or to a big city far from here.  The reality is, this crime exists in the Chippewa Valley.

In 2012, two girls from Eau Claire were rescued from a sex trafficking ring in the Twin Cities, they're among several survivors in our area.  The Fierce Freedom group of Eau Claire is devoted to changing laws, identifying traffickers and helping victims. 

Executive Director Jenny Almquist says step one is acknowledging the threat, "It's our hope and our passion to just really lift the lid on it so that we can take a look at it because it's going on.  So we might as well look and see how we can be a part of the solution."

Almquist says they're working with the Wisconsin Department of Justice to draft laws separating the gray area between prostitution and human trafficking.  The group is hosting an informational meeting in Menomonie Tuesday, January 88th from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the First Congregational United Church of Christ to help the public identify and assist victims of trafficking.

If you suspect human trafficking or are a victim, please call the national hotline at 1-888-373-7888, its available 24 hours a day.  For more information on Fierce Freedom visit their website.

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