Village of Germantown - Wisconsin is the third highest-ranked state for human trafficking.
The Restore and Redeem Center is a non-profit founded in 2013 that provides services and awareness to sex trafficking victims.
The Center will be discussing the issue from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 9, at the Germantown Library, alongside the Germantown Police Department and an agent from the Federal Bureau of Investigation. All 72 counties in the state have documented human trafficking.
According to the Executive Director of the Restore and Redeem Center Krista Hull, the hardest part of her job is educating the public on the issue of human trafficking.
“This is not just an inner city issue,” Hull said. “This is not just in the bigger communities.”
Human trafficking always begins when a trafficker plays on the victim’s vulnerability, Hull said.
“The key is vulnerability,” Hull said. “You are not mentally or emotionally developed until age 25, so the younger you are, the more vulnerable you are. Not all families are wonderful, even if you’re married or have a home, even in the suburbs.”
Hull said the human trafficking industry is growing exponentially every month because of Internet demand.
“For an industry to be successful, there has to be a demand,” Hull said. “This industry is growing leaps and bounds by a monthly basis because of the demand. Most of the people who pay for the services are married with children. The demand grows because of the bad side of the Internet – things are much more hidden and accessible through online appointments.”
The primary goal of the Restore and Redeem Center is to provide a home to the victim, but also to move them emotionally past their experience.
“They’ve gone through so much trauma and sexual, emotional, physical abuse on a daily basis, so it’s very hard for us to even comprehend how they function,” Hull said. “I often say they’re not even really fully human anymore. That’s part of what the home would be for is to help them become human, and find out what they really want to do and like, and move forward. I can barely even go through the depths of pain that they experience.”
Hull said the presentation will be educational, but there is a larger point she wants to leave the audience with.
“The point of the awareness event is to know that it doesn’t have to stay this dark, ugly conversation,” Hull said. “It can be a hopeful, exciting one of what can be from the depths of this ugliness.”