Zanesville Rotary speaker: ‘In Ohio, there is a lot of trafficking that takes place’

Local News

ZANESVILLE, Ohio – Global human trafficking generates $99 billion every year. On average, that’s $11 million an hour.

The Zanesville Rotary Club welcomed a speaker Tuesday for Destiny Rescue. The organization aims to be an international anti-trafficking for rescuing individuals who have been trafficked and restoring their lives.

Director of Corporate Partnerships Rick Baltzersen says human trafficking happens everywhere in the world.

“Trafficking is a huge problem around the world it affects every city, state, country and in Ohio there is a lot of trafficking that takes place. And basically, the University of Cincinnati recently did a study that identified certain risk factors that put people in line for being vulnerable for trafficking. A lot of those risk factors include homelessness, sexual abuse, drug addiction, there’s many others.”

Baltzersen says the majority of trafficking occurs online and will begin with “grooming.” According to the Ohio State University, perpetrators groom their victims to draw them away from their home or to gain the trust and dependency of young victims. A victim may come to regard this person as a “boyfriend.”

“Most traffickers do try to lure their victims by grooming them and so online safety is very important. If you’re a parent you need to monitor the sites your children are going to. And traffickers are very skilled unfortunately at tricking individuals online and making it seem like they’re someone they’re not. That’s all meant to lure someone and then trick them.”

For more information about the organization, go to their website.

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