Thousands are victims of human trafficking in Alabama every year

(image: wpmi) Thousands are victims of human trafficking in Alabama

5,000 victims of human trafficking are being moved through Alabama each month.

It's a horrific crime that usually involves forced labor, mostly in the sex trade.

These numbers are new, and were just presented this week by a University of Alabama researcher who presented early findings from a Department of Justice grant to investigate human trafficking in Alabama.

The numbers are larger than many people expected. That's 60,000 people a year, or double the population of Daphne.

The perception of a trafficking victim can be skewed, and experts say it can be anyone.

"We've had that woman who maybe had that very hard life, grew up in a troubled home, typical of what you might think. We've also had the college graduate that came from a seemingly fine home," said Donna Armstrong, Executive Director of Hope Haven.

That's reiterated by the Mobile cyber crimes unit which helps investigate human trafficking crimes here.

"It's tough to escape, and one way is through calling the national human trafficking hotline, which helped 77 victims last year in Alabama," said Mobile Cyber Crimes Commander Kevin Levy.

Out of those 60,000 estimated victims last year, only about 617 were helped.

If you or anyone you know is a victim of human trafficking, you can call: 1-888-373-7888.

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