CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) -
It's all part of the the end it movement. The symbol is a red 'X' to hopefully get people talking about the millions of not just children but women and men forced into sex trafficking every year, and it could be happening closer than you think.
St. Louis recently opened a safe home, one of the first in the United States because the city is ranked third in the country in sex trafficking.In addition, experts say the numbers are growing, according to international crisis aid
According to ICA, 1.2 million children alone who fall victim world-wide each year.
Out of that number, the department of justice estimates 300 thousand US. Children are at risk.
That's why on Thursday, February 27 people here in the Heartland join a movement going on across the country to shine a light on slavery.
"I was guilty of not knowing just how often it happens and how real this horror is," said Kramer Schuerenberg of Cape Girardeau. "We just want people to be aware and start to learn about the slavery that still exists at home as close as your backyard and in nearly every country."
They're drawing the red x's on their hands just to get people talking -- to tell the world slavery still exists and their message: they won't stand for it.
"I've heard victims speak about what they've gone through personally and I can't even imagine how incredibly devastating and terrible it would be to be in that situation. We can't be blind to the fact that slavery still exists and we hope this gets everyone talking and hopefully on a mission to learn more so that this problem doesn't go hidden," said Kurt McDowell of Cape Girardeau.
McDowell, an Exercise Science major, and two friends actually started a faith-based operation called Chosen Fitness in which they give half of the profits to campaigns to end human trafficking.
"We have to realize this is real and it has to stop. It's been on my heart for a while and I hope others will pick up that passion too," said McDowell.
The goal is for each person with an 'X' to tell ten people, and hopefully those people will tell ten more
To see the staggering domestic and international numbers get more info at these sites and watch Heartland news today.
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