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More Tuscaloosa groups interested in fighting human trafficking after victim rescued

Published: May. 24, 2022 at 9:15 AM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Efforts to fight human trafficking in West Alabama are growing after Tuscaloosa hotel employees helped save a missing teen from Chicago in a case of human trafficking last week.

That 17 year-old missing from Chicago had been trafficked for more than a month. And the captain over the West Alabama Human Trafficking Task Force believes the victim would still be being abused if not for the keen hotel workers who came forward.

Captain Phil Simpson said since then, they have been getting calls from groups and businesses interested in learning how they can spot human trafficking.

The West Alabama Human Trafficking Task Force offers training to hotel employees and other groups on how to identify signs of human trafficking.

Simpson suggested looking for signs of poor hygiene or wearing dirty or worn clothes. Victims may also have signs of injury such as bruising or scratches.

“People who seem to have a third party monitoring them. Somebody hovering in the background that’s watching them, maybe drops them off so that they go into a room and comeback out and get into the vehicle with that particular person or somebody that always seems to be in the background whenever that person is around,” Simpson said.

Simpson said the task force plans on scheduling classes with groups interested in learning signs of trafficking so they can help future victims of that crime.

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