Sex trafficking topic explored

Invariably there are some topics that most people don’t much talk about. The issue of human sex trafficking might be one of those.

January is slated as the month to draw awareness to the crime, and a local group is sponsoring a presentation at 1 p.m. today at the central branch of the Mesa County Library.

The presentation will include a video, “Chosen” by Shared Hope International, and video clips from “Very Young Girls,” a documentary about human trafficking of 13- and 14-year-olds.

Most people think human sex trafficking in the U.S. may be more relevant to larger population centers, but people trafficking children may be traveling through Grand Junction at any given time, according to Sister Faye Huelsmann.

She is a member of Exposing the Web of Human Trafficking Team with a mission to “eliminate the buying, selling, or exchange of persons for the purpose of sexual exploitation.”

“We’re trying to get some awareness here in Colorado,” Huelsmann said. “The issue is at least getting more known. I don’t know if it’s getting any worse.”

Huelsmann said some children can be kidnapped and forced into sexual slavery, but others may be runaways and lured by a person who initially is kind to them. 

“There may be some kind of abuse at home and children run away thinking they are going to make it on their own,” she said. “(Predators) lure them through a guise of kindness and friendship. Once they get them captured, they tell them they have to pay for expenses.”

Huelsmann said the presentation will be appropriate for children ages 12 and older.

Group members want to inform teenagers about the realities of human sex trafficking because they or their friends may have information about teenagers who are at risk of becoming prey to someone who may want to exploit them.

Huelsmann said the group is available to conduct presentations to other organizations. For information, call Huelsmann at 210-7708.


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