CWS crowd heightens awareness of sex trafficking

OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) -- Sex trafficking is expected to spike in the metro as thousands of people descend on Omaha for the College World Series. While there are signs you can watch for to spot trouble, it not that simple.

Meghan Malik is the Trafficking Project Manager for Women's Fund of Omaha and she said, “What we know is sex trafficking happens every day across the state and no zip code is immune."

She adds, About 900 individuals are for sale for sex on a monthly basis in Nebraska and about 675 of those are in the Omaha area."

It's a number that's expected to rise as thousands of people fill the city for next week and a half.

The Urban Abbey is one of many local businesses trying to help educate people on the signs of sex trafficking, providing a hotline that people can call to report suspicious activity.

NATIONAL TRAFFICKING HOTLINE: 888 373-7888.

Sierra Salgado Pirigyi is the CEO of Urban Abbey and said, “It was important to us to help spread the word to people about what to look for."

Some of the signs include possessive tattoos or someone not being in possession of their own ID or other personal items.

But Malik said recognizing sex trafficking isn't simple.

“A survivor may not look fearful. You may not know.”

That's why she says the best thing you can do starts well before the crowds gather.

“It's important to have conversations with our young people about consent, bodily autonomy, are you talking about how to have healthy relationships? That's how we begin to prevent sex trafficking in our communities."

If you suspect someone is the victim or perpetrator you're asked to call that national trafficking hotline, 888 373-7888, or, in an emergency, call 911.