Intervention Aroostook: 10.26.2021

Intervention Aroostook
Intervention Aroostook
Published: Nov. 24, 2021 at 4:02 AM EST
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PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) -Its a silent crime that’s happening in Maine and even right here in Aroostook County. Human trafficking could be occurring right in your own community. In this week’s Intervention Aroostook, Shawn Cunningham talks to an advocate agency that’s working to give voices to victims sometimes hiding in plain sight.

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Living in fear. So many are...Human trafficking is a crime that involves compelling or coercing a person to provide labor or services, or to engage in commercial sex acts. But sometimes its hard to prove and thus prosecute says Lindsey Roberson of the Human Trafficking Institute...

“because with trafficking unlike other crimes we have to prove coersion which is kind of difficult its a state of mind and so when you look out the window in the morning and your car’s gone you know your car’s been stolen but when trafficking happens its not nearly that obvious because its about someone’s state of mind and exploitation so it really does take that specialized investigation and prosecution to detect investigate and effectively prosecute this crime.”

Shawn Cunningham NO STANDUP

The Human Trafficking Institute publishes a report looking at the trends of this particular crime globally as well as any trends occurring on the domestic side. Roberson says from the most recent report there’s been an interesting finding...

“it looks at what re the vulnerabilities of victims in these cases and that can help to uncovering vulnerable populations in terms of outreach and proactive law enforcement and social service engagement...”

So who are those?

“we see those include those with substance abuse dependencies are quite high and I know Maine has an issue with opioid as every state in the country does the stats would point toward that population also those experiencing homelessness younger persons who have been runaways so mental illness mental healt...”

And she says even the pandemic has had an impact on further creating instances of trafficking...

“obviously Covid has had an impact on people in the workforce the changes how kids are learning so they’ve been home they’ve spent much more time on their computers so parents need to make sure that they’re watching what our kids are doing online because online exploitation an happen so quickly.”

She says human trafficking is going on in plain sight communities everywhere. And she advises anyone who suspects incidences of human traffickingooccurring to not hesitate in contacting law enforcement. Shawn Cunningham, NS 8.

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