Child trafficking cases rise in Harrison County in 2020, Community awareness campaigns launched.

Published: Aug. 19, 2020 at 6:26 PM EDT
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HARRISON COUNTY, W.Va (WDTV) - The national movement to raise awareness about human trafficking found its way to Clarksburg in the form of a protest this past weekend.

“There was a recent outcry on Facebook for people just hash tagging save our children, but that’s all they were doing, was hash tagging. And I wanted to take a stand. I guess and for people to march,” said organizer Cheyenne Shuman.

#SaveOurChildren has been shared on social media thousands of times over the past month calling for further awareness against human trafficking.

“We have seen an increase this year,” said Jayne Landacre, Executive Director of Harrison County Child Advocacy Center.

“We have assisted in twelve cases of human trafficking and seventy-one cases of children being depicted in pornography,” she added

Landacre says child pornography falls under the child trafficking category. Those numbers have been on the rise in 2020 - most notably in children under the age of 6.

“Those are horrifying statistics. I do not even like to say them out loud,” Landacre added.

According to Landacre, if you want to help fight child trafficking, break away from “Facebook facts” and research the topic through sources that are staffed with experts.

“The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the Department of Homeland Security are two that I would highly recommend,” she said

Landacre reminds everyone if you see something, say something. Agencies depended on teachers as the largest source of reporting suspected trafficking and abuse, but after schools closed, they now depend on community awareness.

“We are depending on people in the community to make that call and if they see something to report it,” Landacre said.

More protests are scheduled for this Sunday

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