First responders and service providers discuss human trafficking in the state

MARION COUNTY, W.Va. (WDTV)-- First responders and service providers came together in Fairmont on Friday to discuss human trafficking.

The goal of the session was to get those in attendance to understand the connection between sexual violence, trafficking, opioid abuse and societal issues.

This helps individuals identify and respond to victims, as well as understand a victims mindset.

Kasey Forsell, the West Virginia sexual assault response team coordinator, said the first step is being able to understand what human trafficking looks like.

"It's more of just a complex issue," Forsell said.

She also mentioned that human trafficking knows no boundaries.

"It's not this creepy man in a van that people kind of put with human trafficking, that's not what we're really seeing," she said.

"What we're seeing more is familial trafficking, so we see that with the increase of substance use, and opioid use that we're seeing in our state."

Here in West Virginia, the fusion center is who you can contact with any reports. From there, they can send your information to the different reporting agencies like the FBI, HSI, West Virginia State Police and local law enforcement.

However, if you or anyone you know is in immediate danger, call 911.