Human trafficking is a big problem in Michigan


LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Believe it or not, human trafficking is a real problem right here in Mid-Michigan. In fact, our state has among the highest number of trafficking cases in the nation and one local woman who’s lived the horror first hand, shares her story.

“It’s physically abusive…it’s a lot that goes along with it…like you don’t forget it, if you’re ever in it…you never forget it,” said Mary Harris who is a former victim of human trafficking.

From the time she was 19 until she was 21, Harris was trapped in a human trafficking ring.

“It’s traumatizing because you’re…you’re in a situation where you feel like you have nothing else that you can do,” Harris said.

She knows firsthand that human trafficking isn’t just a global issue. It’s something that happens every day and everywhere, even in places you wouldn’t expect and committed by people you would never suspect and Dr. Jeff Brodsky agrees.

“It’s the fastest growing crime not only in the world but also here in America,” Human trafficking expert Dr. Jeff Brodsky stated

According to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center, 74 cases of human trafficking have been reported in Michigan alone so far this year.

Michigan is either number two or number three in the nation as far as human trafficking that takes place,” Organizer of the Barefoot Mile Todd Butler said.

Human trafficking is a form of modern slavery. Brodsky says it’s so prevalent here because of the state’s borders with Canada and access to the great lakes.

“It’s a nightmare…no child should be used for this purpose,” he said.

But despite the horror, there are survivors and many women like Harris do find the strength to escape.

“Once you’re out, you fight to stay out…and you try to never go back,” Harris said.

And to any current victims, Harris says never give up.

“There is hope…there’s hope.”

You can help stop the problem. If you have any click on the “Seen on 6” icon. You can anonymously report a case of human trafficking there.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Michigan Headlines

More Michigan