Tri-County Human Trafficking Task Force combating rising human trafficking cases

Published: Dec. 20, 2021 at 4:58 PM EST|Updated: Dec. 20, 2021 at 7:50 PM EST
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CHARLESTON COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - Charleston County ranks second in the state for reported human trafficking, and the co-chair of Tri-County Human Trafficking Task Force says cases are rising.

The Tri-County Human Trafficking Task Force was created in 2018 to help streamline the care for survivors and to help law enforcement. Co-Chair Lauren Knapp says they get phone calls every day from law enforcement saying they’re on the way to rescue victims.

“We are working behind the scenes with many subcommittee chairs to try to help implement this continuum of care, to help law enforcement, to have successful cases, but to also make the survivor whole,” Knapp said.

She says the pandemic has posed even more of a challenge.

“Placing a victim of survivor of human trafficking in a hotel room isolated is not best,” Knapp said.

She says the reason why this is happening has to do with Charleston being a tourism destination, paired with the city’s growth and its location off of I-26.

“It’s a tourism industry here very very much so but we’re also growing as a medium to large city and that’s a problem you’re gonna see with the prevalence of this area,” Knapp said.

“We’re more about making survivors become a productive member of society and make people aware it might be happening right in front of you and it’s not what you think and see in the movies,” Knapp said.

Last year the S.C. Attorney General’s Office reported that was a 360% increase in the number of human trafficking victims in the state.

To help human trafficking survivors in the Tri-County area click here.

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