CINCINNATI (AP) — A federal grant announced today will allow two Ohio agencies fighting human trafficking to hire two new investigators and a victim advocate and pay for gaps in services for those rescued from the practice that has been likened to modern-day slavery.
The $700,000 in U.S. Justice Department grants will go to the Ohio attorney general’s office and the Salvation Army, which have partnered to combat human trafficking with two inseparable prongs — law enforcement and social services.
“People shouldn’t be exploited. People shouldn’t be sold in any capacity,” said Michelle Hannan, director of professional and community services for the Salvation Army in central Ohio. “This is something that has remained hidden for so long, and people have just had to endure the most unspeakable situations.”
Hannan and her agency began to focus on human trafficking in Ohio in 2007 after a national group identified Columbus and Cincinnati as being among 24 cities in the country with high-risk factors for sex trafficking.