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  • Sara Doan, Northeast Arkansas News

Nonprofit shares tips for National Human Trafficking Prevention Month



JONESBORO, Ark- President Biden declared January National Human Trafficking Prevention Month.


Hope Found of Northeast Arkansas, a nonprofit combating human trafficking through education and services, is sharing awareness of the billion-dollar industry during this prevention month.


“A lot of times human trafficking is the unseen crime, because it happens within family dynamics, or with a boyfriend. It’s not typically what you see in the movies where someone is chained up,” said Kyleen Taylor, survivors advocate at Hope Found.


Taylor says a big myth about human trafficking is it only happens in big cities, not our communities.


But that is false- in 2022, Hope Found assisted over 50 people impacted by human trafficking and sexual exploitation in the region.


“So, it’s going to be the checkout girl at Walmart or your youth in a youth group at your local church by may be a church member." She continues, "so, it’s important we know the signs because those being trafficked might not even know they’re being trafficked.”

From labor to sex trafficking, Taylor says we can all do our part to be observant and raise an eyebrow if a red flag pops up.


“Do you see beds in the back room at the restaurant or nail salon? Are the workers living there? Are they coming back and forth in a big van together?" Taylor said when talking about how one can spot possible labor trafficking.


"In sex trafficking, I would say, do they have an overprotective parent or boyfriend that's controlling their finances? Who is controlling where they can go? Who can they go with?"


Hope Found co-founder Megan Brown will be a guest speaker at Grow NEA this Saturday at 10 a.m. inside the Arkansas State student union auditorium. Brown will share education and resources about human trafficking.


Taylor says she hopes it shows the community we’re better when we work together.


“Having a community in an area that is less susceptible to [human] trafficking. And about making relationships with those who are most vulnerable, then they are less vulnerable to traffickers. So, we’re hoping the community gets out, keeps their eyes open and be intentional.”


If you or someone you know needs help, you can reach out to Hope Found at 1-877-688-HOPE.


You can register for Grow NEA by emailing grownea2018@gmail.com

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