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Colorado launches 2023 campaign to bring awareness to human trafficking

COLORADO (KRDO) -- Colorado is launching its 2023 human trafficking campaign to bring awareness for the month of January, according to the state.

Human trafficking can be hard to notice. It's challenging to figure out people's true intentions when out in public. The 2023 campaign focuses on putting into words that gut feeling that there's something wrong.

“This experience [human trafficking] is so confusing, and the relationships embedded into it are extremely complicated,” an anonymous human trafficking survivor explained during a research interview. “However, I took one small step, telling someone that something wasn’t right, and from there, my journey and experiences started to change.”

Any form of human trafficking involves the exploitation of a person by another for a benefit, commonly economic.

Definition of human trafficking, according to the state:

"The severe exploitation of another person through force, fraud, or coercion for some type of labor, including commercial sex."

“Victims/survivors may not understand their circumstance as trafficking or are unsure how to get help,” said Maria Trujillo, Program Manager and spokesperson for the Colorado Human Trafficking Council (the Council). “Traffickers are often in a close or intimate relationship with those they exploit, making the crime more complex.”

Many campaign outreach materials will be placed in vaccine buses, rest stops, visitor centers, bars, restaurants, and other places to reach potential victims.

Interrelated factors include:

  • Poverty
  • Housing insecurity
  • Any unstable living environment
  • Addiction or substance use
  • Lack of support from family, friends
  • Lack of access to services

If you think you're a victim of human trafficking or you think someone you know is a victim, leave a tip or seek assistance by calling 866-445-5075 or text 720-999-9724.

Learn more about human trafficking in Colorado here.

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