Eau Claire (WQOW) – The realities of sex trafficking were brought to light Saturday by Fierce Freedom, an organization that’s looking to inform the Chippewa Valley about the issue to better combat it.
The non-profit hosted a conference called Hidden in Plain Sight and brought in a variety of speakers, from trafficking survivors to local law enforcement to talk about their experiences with trafficking.
Cat Jacoby, program coordinator at Fierce Freedom, said the event taught people to identify the signs of sex trafficking as well as dispel myths that surround it.
“I think a big one is that it couldn’t happen in a small area, you know, a small Wisconsin city or even in rural communities,” said Jacoby. “However, if anybody, if you, have a smart phone or access to the internet, you could be trafficked. You could be exploited that way.”
Jacoby added that another common misconception is that only women are trafficked, when in fact it could happen to anyone, and in a variety of ways.
One guest speaker, a survivor of sex trafficking, said most people assume victims get kidnapped, but in her case she was coerced by people in her life who she considered friends.