Spokane names January ‘Human Trafficking Awareness Month’

Spokane names January ‘Human Trafficking Awareness Month’

The City of Spokane declared January Human Trafficking Awareness month in an effort to shed light on the important issue affecting our community.

Nicole Bishop, with the Spokane Human Rights Commission, hopes the proclamation will start a discussion about human trafficking and help find a solution for the ever growing problem.

Bishop estimates at any given time more than 1,500 people are being exploited nightly.

Bishop said Spokane is an epicenter for human trafficking, ranking in the top ten cities, per capita, in the country.

“It’s really tragic that is this happening right under our noses,” said Nicole Bishop with the Spokane Human Rights Commission.

“And because no one knows about it, it’s so easy for these bad guys to go into a school and pluck girls and boys. Boys are one third of trafficking,” said Bishop.

Bishop said warning signs of someone who may be a victim include dating much older men and suddenly withdrawing from school or activities they once enjoyed.

If you or someone you know is a victim of human trafficking, there is help. The Jonah Project is a local organization dedicated to rescuing human trafficking victims and helping victims start a new life. Call the rescue line at 509-655-7886 for help or visit http://www.jonahproject.org/