NEENAH, Wis. (WFRV) — Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul made a stop at Reach Counseling in Neenah Thursday afternoon, to discuss the results of a statewide study on sex trafficking.
He explained that the announcement was made at Reach in Neenah as well as the Sojourner Family Peace Center in Milwaukee because of the services those organizations provide to victims of human trafficking.
“I really want to emphasize the critical role that victim service organizations play in helping us address human trafficking,” Kaul said.
The newly released report, which focuses on how law enforcement agencies statewide address human trafficking, indicates another key factor in fighting trafficking.
“There is a growing understanding of the prevalence of human trafficking in communities in Wisconsin,” Kaul said.
Awareness is up, but that’s not because trafficking is increasing, it’s just being recognized.
“Trafficking was not recorded in a lot of crime statistics until relatively recently,” Kaul said, “within the last decade.”
The report also indicates that the state needs to invest in training to better equip officers to recognize and investigate trafficking.
“Training on how we can work to address that issue and how we can get the evidence we need to convict traffickers is important,” Kaul explained.
It’s important because as a Victim Advocate at Reach Counseling explained, human traffickers prey on the vulnerable.
“They’re out there, they’re young, they’re looking for love and belonging,” Marianne Radley, Advocacy Program Director at Reach explained, “and traffickers can pick up on that and offer them things that they might not have at home.”
To read the report in full, click here.