Modern day slavery

Douglas County faces reality of human trafficking

Rice Hill, Oregon.

jsayre64, commons.wikimedia.org

Rice Hill, Oregon.

A friend convinces some other kids to go to a “big bash” out in the woods, and when the time comes for the party to be over, the hosts insist that the kids pay for all the alcohol and drugs that they consumed by doing hard labor or provocative activities.
A young girl goes to a street corner and meets a very “persuasive” guy who wants to help her get drugs or alcohol. The only price is her freedom.
Both of these are examples of human trafficking. Sadly enough, it even happens here in Douglas County. According to Carisa Cegavske, Senior Staff Writer for The News-Review, one possible incident involving a teenage girl occurred on July 10 at the Rice Hill truck stop. The human trafficking hotline got a call about a minor, possibly 16 to 19 years of age, hanging out with a group of approaching men at the Pilot Flying J truck stop and the Adult Shop in Rice Hill. Those are signs of sex trafficking, which is a form of human trafficking and modern-day slavery.
Reports of other possible victims above the age of 18 have come in, but authorities say that they are more concerned with the alleged minor, mainly because a minor cannot be a prostitute. The reason for this is because a minor cannot consent to sexual activities. So, they are automatically considered human trafficking victims.
There is no information about the caller or the suspected pimp. Both the Flying J and the Adult Shop are located on Interstate 5, which is popular for transporting trafficking victims. The Adult Shop noted this and said in a Facebook post, “The Adult Shop is outraged by the reports of human trafficking in the Rice Hill Truck Stop. We find this conduct deplorable and have been in contact with Douglas County Sheriff to assist with any ongoing investigation.”
So far, to prevent this Douglas County has been awarded a $5,000 grant from Zonta International towards the Douglas County human trafficking task force. The task force will use the money to teach high school students how to notice predatory behavior and how to set boundaries in relationships so this won’t happen.