EAST LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Experts say that many believe human trafficking is an issue that doesn’t hit close to home, but they want people to know it is a rising problem.
In fact, it happens in our own communities.
“It’s in every neighborhood, it’s in every community, it’s in every race, every economic. We have a problem in our society right now that little girls are being sold, and then they’re trying to figure out how to survive after that,” said Shari Montgomery, the founder and executive director of the House of Promise.
Running for a cause: that’s what dozens of people did today on MSU’s campus to join the fight against human trafficking.
“What better way than to just come out and run and support us?,” said Montgomery.
Montgomery is the founder of the House of Promise, a safe place for survivors.
She says it’s important people know how common the issue is.
“It is their loved ones that are selling them, it is their boyfriends that are selling them, they get hooked on drugs and then they get lost,” said Montgomery.
The U.S. State Department estimates that more than 600,000 people are trafficked across international borders every year, 80 percent of them being women.
“In health care facilities, it’s something that is like under-assessed due to lack of awareness,” said Caley Gibson, the president of MSU’s Nursing Student Association.
Gibson helped plan today’s race. She says she wants people to know it’s never too late to make a difference.
“Having events like these is so important because it raises awareness and I think it’s good steps in the right direction,” said Gibson.
Montgomery says her organization needs all the help that it can get.
“It is very key to have a house like ours to get their mental health and their physical health back to where they have a fighting chance to survive,” said Montgomery.
If you’d like to join the fight against human trafficking, check out Seen on 6.
Organizer’s of today’s race say they’ve raised close to $10,000, all of which will be donated to the House of Promise.