Horrors of human trafficking shown at Cass Tech by FBI

- It is a disturbing fact but Michigan is one of the top 10 states for human trafficking.
    
In 2017 more than 1,200 women were identified as victims in Detroit alone. That's why Beaumont Health System is getting involved in the fight against human trafficking.

"You can see the effects of this lifestyle has had on her in just a short period of time," said special agent Mike Glennon, FBI Detroit, showing a series of photos of one victim.

Cass Tech High School students were stunned Friday as they were exposed to grisly details of the horrific epidemic.

The statistics are alarming with Michigan one of the top 10 states for human trafficking - with victims in every zip code. About 10 percent of them are under 18. The target age is girls 12 to 16 years old.

"Many ladies who get involved have a poor family structure," said Glennon. "The pimps then act as their dads."

With more than 1,200 women identified as human trafficking victims in Detroit alone, the FBI Detroit, survivors, health professionals and advocates are educating young women how to spot victims and protect themselves - especially online.

"What you see there is often not reality," Glennon said.

Also speaking was Beaumont ER nurse Cynthia Weintraub who discussed ways to recognize victims.
 
"She had branding tattoos that looked odd, that made her look like she belongs to somebody else," Weintraub said.

Along with human trafficking survivor Hazelette Crosby-Robinson of Ann Arbor, who was trafficked when she was 16 and thought a 26-year-old she met was the man of her dreams.

"I fell in love - I thought we were in love with each other," Robinson said. "He had a plan, we were going to travel to Tucson, Arizona."

She then spent four years under his control.
 
"The first job he introduced me to was topless modeling," she said. "The second was working in a strip club - and we know what the third one was."

After watching the presentation, female students said the most unnerving part of it, was how young the victims are.

"The grown men was like age 50 and 60 and the kid is only like 14," said Jada Valentine

"I never would've thought that they'd take people's pictures," said Arianna Rowsey. "And they make another person, but it's a grown man behind there."

The reality of the internet and social media apps sunk in that these predators are not just lurking in stores or restaurants - but in our own living rooms.

"There's no boundaries, so they're everywhere," Glennon said. "That is why we have to get awareness out there and we've got to let these kids know."
 

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