Human trafficking hotline now accepts text messages 24/7 - FOX 5 KRBK is Springfield MO source for News and Weather

Human trafficking hotline now accepts text messages 24/7

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(Springfield, Mo.--02/08/18) As technology continues to evolve, so does the battle against human trafficking.

 The Polaris Project is a text hotline that has joined the fight and offers an avenue for victims to reach out and seek help.

"Being able to send a quick text for help can just be a matter of life and death," explains Casey Alvarez, Executive Director, GO 61.

Texting and online chatting in English and Spanish 24/7 has become the latest outlet for victims of human trafficking to alert authorities and get information on how to escape.

"Being able to turn your back, go to a corner, go to a bathroom, and quickly send a text for help or an online chat message really quickly is discreet and can be done without being noticed many times so it can be a safe avenue to report."

GO 61, a non profit taking aim to help prevent human trafficking in the area.

"Traffickers are smart but they’re also smug."

The National Human Trafficking Resource Center defines human trafficking as a form of modern-day slavery in which traffickers use force, or fraud to control victims for the purpose of engaging in commercial sex acts or labor services against their will.

"They have gotten away with this injustice for a long time because it’s been unidentified so they’re really operating out of a lot arrogance that we’re untouchable and this is a measure to give victims an avenue."

The system is simple. A person sends a text to 233733 and the message pops up on a computer screen at Polaris Project. An employee can talk with the person to determine his or her needs, point out resources and in some cases notify law enforcement officials. Alvarez hopes these advancements send a clear message to victims towards eradicating this growing problem."

"You do not have to do this. This is not something that you’ve deserved or earned so we would encourage for you to take advantage of every opportunity to report, to use this text line, it is a safe way to get help."

Click Here: for more information about GO 61.

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