A local non-profit is helping survivors of human trafficking by providing items for those in need.
Such support is an ongoing issue, especially in North Dakota.
“I mean, it is stuff we do not hear about. There are innocent lives that we rub shoulders with every day at the gas station, airport and grocery store. We do not know they are being trafficked,” says Sue Skalicky, a volunteer for Invisible Innocence.
The organization is a nonprofit that provides education, counseling and more for survivors of human trafficking in North Dakota.
This “Blessings Bag” project is making a difference. Here, organizers made 336 bag filled with basic need items such as toiletries and clothing — all to help potential survivors of human trafficking
It’s a sensitive subject for many.
“I know a few individuals who were exploited by their partners. but then also traveling abroad and being in the military I was able to see extreme forms of labor and sex trafficking,” says Invisible Innocence founder Brandi Jude.
According to the human trafficking hotline, since 2007, there has been a total of 347 calls made, and 109 cases reported. And so far 2017 had the most cases reported in the last seven years with 23 cases reported.
Which is why you can never be too safe.
“Never, I mean never. I think the minute we become complacent and we think it can’t happen here and then it happens,” says Jude.
The Blessings Bags will be given to three organizations that work with high risk individuals in Bismarck, Mandan, Minot, Dickinson and Williston.
Invisible Innocence is also planning a “serve for survivors” event next month.