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Panel held Thursday in Jacksonville to educate the public on human trafficking

It is an unsettling statistic. Florida ranks third in the United States for reported human trafficking cases according to the National Human Trafficking Hotline.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — * The video above is from a previous story.

It is an unsettling statistic. Florida ranks third in the United States for reported human trafficking cases according to the National Human Trafficking Hotline.

Even one person being trafficked is too many, that’s why Jacksonville non-profit, Rethreaded, has worked for over a decade to help human trafficking survivors start a new life.

But to stop human trafficking it takes the eyes, ears and empowerment of the community.  Mayor Lenny Curry's wife, Molly Curry, says she got involved with Rethreaded at the start of her husband's term in office and was surprised to learn how prevalent human trafficking is in Jacksonville.

"So many people here in Jacksonville aren’t aware of it, don’t know it exists, so the education portion of this project really gets to the heart of that," she explains. 

On Thursday night, Rethreaded is hosting a panel with four human trafficking experts to talk about the signs of trafficking, what to do if you see it and help attendees leave empowered to help stop it in our community.

Because while the common belief may be that human trafficking is something hidden away and secretive. Kristin Keen, the CEO and Founder of Rethreaded, says it is often out in the open.

"It happens in plain sight, so anyone would benefit from taking this training," Keen explains," The hospitality industry, we are even targeting builders and developers as well, because human trafficking happens in neighborhoods, mailmen and realtors when they are out in our community can watch for it. When they take this training they will be able to actually know what to look for when they go out in these communities."

The more people that know the signs, the more likely it is to be stopped and more survivors will be saved.

"You go and take the training, you learn something and then you go and tell your job, your employer and friends to go," tells Keen, "So hopefully it spreads that way too."

The panel will run from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday in Springfield. You can attend in person for $10 at 515 East 9th Street, Jacksonville, or attend virtually for free. To sign up for the panel visit here: https://www.classy.org/event/human-trafficking-panel-september-2022/e422354

To learn more about Rethreaded's mission visit: rethreaded.com

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