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Sex trafficking exposed as the secret criminal enterprise


THEY CALL THE SECRET CRIME. IT IS CALLED OPERATION CROSS-COUNTRY LED BY THE FBI. THE AGENCY SAYS 200 SEX TRAFFICKING VICTIMS WERE LOCATED ACROSS THE COUNTRY AND TAKEN TO SAFETY. ERIC EVERSON FROM PITTSBURGH’S POST-NEIGHBORHOOD WAS AMONG THE SEX TRAFFICKERS ARE BUSTED. ALSO, PITTSBURGH ACTION AGAINST HER RIBS AS VICTIMS COME FROM EVERY COMMUNITY. >> THE UNSTABLE HOME LIFE, IF THERE IS SUBSTANCE ABUSE HAPPENING. THEY FOCUS ON THAT. THEY LOOK AT THAT IF SOMEONE IS SEEKING LOVE AND AFFECTION. IT HAPPENS EVERY SINGLE PLACE THAT WE EXIST. >> SEX TRAFFICKING VICTIMS ARE NOT TYPICALLY MOVED AROUND THE COUNTRY. IT IS A CRIMINAL ENTERPRISE WHERE VICTIMS ARE PASSED AROUND AND ABUSED IN LOCAL NEIGHBORHOODS. THE PUBLIC IS ENCOURAGED TO LEARN ABOUT SEX TRAFFICKING AND BE VIGILANT. >> SHE LOOKS LIKE SHE IS BEING — SHE LOOKS LIKE SHE IS IN A VULNERABLE SITUATION. IF SHE OR THAT PARTICULAR VICTIM DOES NOT LOOK FULLY ENGAGED AND AWARE OF THEIR SURROUNDINGS. >> THEY OFFERED TO SUPPORT THE VICTIMS BY EDUCATING THE PUBLIC ABOUT THAT CULTURE OF ABUSE. >> WE WILL PROVIDE COUNSELING, THERAPY SERVICES. THEY ARE NOT AS SCARED. THEY KIND OF NAVIGATE THEM THROUGH THE SYSTEM BECAUSE IT IS INTIMIDATING. QUITE ORGANIZATIONS TRYING TO PREVENT SEX TRAFFICKING SAID THE PUBLIC AND GET INVOLVED BY CONNECTI

Sex trafficking exposed as the secret criminal enterprise

Groups fighting against sex trafficking are speaking out on the heels of several arrests in the area during the past week.This follows an aggressive move against the criminal enterprise by the FBI, called Operation Cross Country, where more than 200 victims were located and taken to safety, including in Pittsburgh.Pittsburgh Action Against Rape and the Blackburn Center in Greensburg are among the organizations educating the public about how traffickers pick out their victims, gain their trust and then trap them.”It happens in rural, urban, suburban communities and neighborhoods. It happens every single place that we exist,” says Lisa Perry, executive director of PAAR.Renee Reitz, of the Blackburn Center, said victims can be children, teenagers and adults, regardless of gender.”An unstable home life, if there’s substance abuse happening, addiction, mental health concerns, so they focus in on that, and also they look at if someone is seeking love, affection,” Reitz said.Law enforcement and groups fighting sex trafficking say victims are easily targeted on the internet.Educational and training workshops are available to the public to learn how to spot victims and be vigilant in preventing sex trafficking.The Blackburn Center and PAAR offer services to the public on a regular basis.”We’ll provide counseling, therapy services, advocacy support, so when they’re going to hearings, they’re not as scared, and we kind of navigate them through the system because it is intimidating,” Reitz said.

Groups fighting against sex trafficking are speaking out on the heels of several arrests in the area during the past week.

This follows an aggressive move against the criminal enterprise by the FBI, called Operation Cross Country, where more than 200 victims were located and taken to safety, including in Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh Action Against Rape and the Blackburn Center in Greensburg are among the organizations educating the public about how traffickers pick out their victims, gain their trust and then trap them.

“It happens in rural, urban, suburban communities and neighborhoods. It happens every single place that we exist,” says Lisa Perry, executive director of PAAR.

Renee Reitz, of the Blackburn Center, said victims can be children, teenagers and adults, regardless of gender.

“An unstable home life, if there’s substance abuse happening, addiction, mental health concerns, so they focus in on that, and also they look at if someone is seeking love, affection,” Reitz said.

Law enforcement and groups fighting sex trafficking say victims are easily targeted on the internet.

Educational and training workshops are available to the public to learn how to spot victims and be vigilant in preventing sex trafficking.

The Blackburn Center and PAAR offer services to the public on a regular basis.

“We’ll provide counseling, therapy services, advocacy support, so when they’re going to hearings, they’re not as scared, and we kind of navigate them through the system because it is intimidating,” Reitz said.



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