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Human traffickers using COVID-19 to entice victims

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Fierce Freedom PLASMA

Eau Claire (WQOW) - Another sad result of the COVID-19 pandemic is that human traffickers are using it to their advantage.

Earlier this week was "World Day Against Trafficking in Persons" and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children says traffickers are using discussions about the coronavirus as an opportunity to entice victims.

They say social and physical isolation along with economic insecurity and increased online activity are putting those at risk for trafficking in danger.

According to the local non-profit Fierce Freedom, that reality is even hitting home in the Chippewa Valley.

"We did have a victim just two weeks ago come to us locally and she was ready to get out and I'm grateful to say we got her placed in a long-term facility," said John Pulley with Fierce Freedom. "It's very much here, our advocates' line has had quite a few calls over the last couple of weeks in particular."

If you or anyone you know is a victim of human trafficking, you should call 911. There is also a National Human Trafficking Hotline to assist victims. That number is 1-888-373-7888. You can also text HELP or INFO to 233733.

Rebecca Fiala

Rebecca Fiala joined the News 18 Sports Team in December 2018 as our weekend sports anchor and sports reporter.

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