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BECOMING AWARE: KNOW THE SIGNS OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING | By: Fellow GDREIA Members

BECOMING AWARE: KNOW THE SIGNS OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING
By Larry D. Hudson

Is it happening on your property? 
 
Representatives of Shared Hope International (SharedHope.org), an anti-trafficking organization, want rental property owners to be aware of the multi-billion-dollar industry that is the illegal sex trade. They told a riveting story to attendees at Greater Dayton REIA’s Third Wednesday meeting for January (1/18/17).
 
Across the United States, runaways and other troubled youth are lured or kidnapped into sex work for pimps and handlers, said Memory Ryan of Shared Hope.
 
“Across the U.S., it’s a $15-billion-dollar illegal industry,” Ryan said. Ohio is ranked among the top five states in the nation for the trade.
 
The problem is greatest along major illegal drug transit routes – including Interstates 70, 74 and 75, said Scarlet Hudson, a pastor who helps get young girls out of the life and off the street
in Cincinnati.

 
The speakers urged property owners and managers to take note of houses or apartments that have a lot of visitors at all hours of the day and night -- and to be aware of people loitering in cars around the property.  Also watch for young girls (or boys) who are continually hanging around and appear to be nervous and evasive, the speakers said.
 
“They’re reluctant to make eye contact with you,” Hudson said. She added that the young victims of the sex trade are often drug-addicted and live in fear of their violent pimps.
 
The buyers of sexual services are almost always male, from all walks of life, Ryan said. She urged rental property owners to get in touch with police to report activity that may be related to prostitution.
 
“Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and call police if you suspect something,” Hudson said. “Tell officers to drive by from time to time and keep an eye on the place,” she added.
 
Property owners can also help by better tenant screening and by keeping their properties in good repair, Ryan said. She also recommended landlord education programs like the one offered by Cincinnati Police to learn more about how to spot the signs of trouble in rental properties. You can learn more about the free program at the following link:Cincinnati-OH.gov/police/landlord
 
Again, here’s the Shared Hope International website: SharedHope.org

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