MEDINA, Ohio -- According to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, the State of Ohio is the first to require human trafficking training for truckers and officers.
Channel 3’s Hilary Golston sat in on a trucking class conducted by State Highway Patrol in Medina.
A city in Ohio just 2 hours away has been ranked 4th in the country for human trafficking, Ohio's Department of Health reports.
The U.S. State Department calls this issue “modern slavery.”
Ohio State Highway Patrol told some very personal stories in this class. Many of them leaving a victim saying, "Thank God, what saved me was that trucker."
“He said, if you go home... your dad’s gonna beat you,” Rachel Kaisk says her human trafficker told her at the age of 16.
Stories like these abound in Ohio, the nation and across the world.
Authorities hope they can help some victims go home to their families by getting more eyes on the road to recognize the signs.
Trainers tell good Samaritans to look out for force, fraud and coercion. Seeing these three things carried out, can often mean human trafficking.
According to the International Labour Organization, 20.9 million people across the world are trafficked. By that estimate, three out of every 1,000 people in the world will be victims.
The Ohio Department of Health reports the state has ranked as high as 5th in the U.S. for the total number of trafficking cases.
“Being a parent… it really bothered me to see that there are women out there…young ladies that are being targeted,” class participant Isomm Patterson said.
More than 1,000 children in Ohio are victims of human sex trafficking each year, according to the Ohio Human Trafficking task force. On average, prostitution begins between 11 and 14.
The FBI reports you can call 1-888-373-7888 for help.
Locally, the Renee Jones Empowerment center provides support for victims. The organization can be reached by calling (216) 651-9601 or visiting their website.