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Task Force raises awareness about sex trafficking

A local task force raised awareness about human sex trafficking during the Red Bud Motocross event. According to the Michigan Commission on Human Trafficking, over 300 cases of sex trafficking were reported in the state in the last two years.

The Southwest Michigan Human Trafficking Task Force and several local churches sent packets to local businesses and posted a sign in Buchanan. 

As people head home from the holiday weekend, the task force is hoping people will help bring more victims to freedom. 

Rob McPherson said, “This holiday weekend it reminds us of liberty and freedom. And here we are talking about a situation where people don’t have that liberty and they don’t have that freedom to make decisions about basic things.”  

McPherson is the pastor at First United Methodist in downtown Buchanan. 

McPherson said, “As this crowd of people comes and goes for the Red Bud event which is a wonderful event but at the same time we know that in the background of that, there’s always these darker sides of humanity.”  

McPherson said it's been reported that sex trafficking can happen surrounding sporting events which is why members of his church felt compelled to reach out to businesses in the area. 

McPherson said, “If we can change the life for one person, it’s definitely worth it.”

McPherson said a simple question may save a person from a lifetime of sex slavery.

McPherson said, "Do you know where you’re going to sleep tonight? Do you have to ask for permission to use the bathroom?”

If you see a suspicious situation that could be sex trafficking or if you are a victim you can call 1-888-3737-888 or text "BeFree" (233733). 

McPherson said, “A lot of people who are sex trafficked, that first happens when they’re 13 or 14 years old.”

For more information you can visit http://www.polarisproject.org/

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