Local organization working to abolish sex trafficking

Sex trafficking event. (WDTN Photo)
Sex trafficking event. (WDTN Photo)

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – As the All-Star Game approaches, a Dayton based organization is doing its part to free those, being sex trafficked.

According to Be Free Dayton, Ohio ranks fifth in the nation for human trafficking and huge events are hot spots for selling sex.

The non-profit organization is heading down to Cincinnati this weekend before the All-Star game to inform citizens and those working at nearby hotels, bars and strip clubs of sex trafficking and how they can spot signs of it happening.

“Anytime you have a event that comes into the city, especially a sports event, something that draws in a large crowd of predominantly men. That is going to increase the amount of sex trafficking happening,” said Be Free Dayton president, Elizabeth Van Dyne.

To get the word out, Be Free Dayton is asking volunteers to pass out coasters and granola bars to businesses close to Great American Ball Park both labed with information to help victims in a sex trafficking situation.

“We know it happens at bars, hotels and strip clubs but they’re coming into the city for several days, so they’re also going to gas stations, laundromats to wash their clothes,” said Van Dyne.

Van Dyne said there are common red flags: young girls dressed to look older, carrying a wad of cash, or often times loitering outside.

Be Free Dayton executive director, Heidi Lenzo said if victims call, they will get help.

“We do have some women who respond to our outreach and say this is the perfect time. I’ve hit my rock bottom. I’m out of money I’m living out of my car and so we’re able to connect them immediately with resources,” said Lenzo.

Be Free Dayton is holding an hour long training session on sex trafficking in the U.S. Training is required to participate.

When: Saturday, July 11, 2015 – 9:30am to 3:00pm

Where: 1602 Madison Road #1 Cincinnati, OH 45206

More information: http://befreedayton.org/

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