Grambling University hosts summit on human trafficking

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MONROE, La. (KNOE) - Advocates met at Grambling University to discuss the issue of human trafficking in Louisiana.

Advocates met at Grambling University to discuss the issue of human trafficking in Louisiana. Source: (KNOE)

Actress Vivica A. Fox and Grambling Mayor Edward Jones were among the speakers who gathered to talk about the issue. One speaker referred to trafficking as "the fastest growing industry."

Louisiana received a $1.2 million grant to help fight the problem earlier this year, but advocates said there's still work to be done.

Speakers said that they're working to educate police to recognize the signs of a victim. They said victims are often hesitant or nervous to ask for police help, so it's important for police to make the first move.

Denise Lewis, the founder of Jumping into Action, said that even if victims are afraid to seek police help, there are still other avenues.

"And I tell this to victims, always have at least one person who you can go to at any time to say I trust you to tell you what happened, because you will take care of me, and you won't judge me," said Lewis. "Always have a person that you can trust, so you can be free."

She also wanted to remind anyone seeking help that the National Human Trafficking Hotline is a resource as well.

1 (888) 373-7888
National Human Trafficking Hotline
SMS: 233733 (Text "HELP" or "INFO")
Hours: 24 hours, 7 days a week
Languages: English, Spanish, and 200 more languages
Website: humantraffickinghotline.org