Parents gather to bring awareness to child trafficking at WV capitol

Regional News

CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — A rally Saturday at the West Virginia State Capitol saw concerned parents who say not enough attention is being put on child trafficking in the U.S.

The rally’s organizer and those participating say the issue needs to be “brought to light” and no longer “pushed under the rug.”

“I feel like this is going political and this is not political at all, this is because this is from my heart and I know that this is happening,” said Jackie Kuhn, the rally’s organizer.

The demonstrators donned signs that read “Babies Lives Matter” and “Silent No More.”

“I myself have been a victim of human trafficking, I myself was a victim of child abuse, 80 percent of addicts were abused when they were young,” said Judy, a demonstrator at the rally.

Kuhn says it’s happening in our own backyards and people need to be more vigilant.

“Over 800,000 kids go missing every year in the U.S. alone. We need to have laws and stuff in place to where like if something were to happen, such and such and such, you can report the human trafficking,” said Kuhn.

According to the National Human Trafficking Hotline, in 2019 West Virginia had 38 human trafficking cases reported.

Nationally there were 11,500 cases reported and most human trafficking victims are female and foreign.

Last week two local men from Dunbar and Nitro were arrested for allegedly soliciting and traveling to engage in sex with minors.

Both are charged with felonies which carry sentences of five to 30-years in prison.

If you are a victim of sex trafficking, you can report it to the local authorities or call the human trafficking hotline at 1-888-373-7888.

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