The event, which saw approximately 50 representatives from various agencies, was designed to teach law enforcement officers how to help victims of human trafficking, according to KSBY in California.
It’s estimated one million teens are involved in prostitution each year, according to a 2009 Shared Hope International Report on child trafficking.
[Derek Marsh, with the Orange County Human Trafficking Task Force] says human trafficking on the Central Coast isn’t as prevalent as in larger cities such as Los Angeles; however, he says it’s happened here, often without people being aware of it.
“In our world the victims are the focus of our investigations. We want to make sure we have enough support and relief so our victims can become survivors,” Marsh, the session’s instructor, told KSBY. “… We find more often than not victims are teenage, domestic, local girls, local boys in some cases, who are being taken advantage of when they run away from home.”
The training session continues Tuesday with a focus on victim advocacy, according to KSBY.