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Billboards to stop human trafficking

Kelly Gibbs

Billboards depicting the outline of a young girl and a short story about abuse have sprung up across western Washington. Seattle Police Captain Dave Emerick is in charge of the high risk victims unit. He says at any given time, between 300 and 500 young people are being sexually exploited in King County alone. He says the police want to hear from anyone who sees suspicious behavior.

People can report suspicious behavior by calling 911. If callers want to remain anonymous, they can contact Crime Stoppers.

Clear Channel is partnering with King County to sponsor the billboards. Officials are hoping anyone being abused will see the hotline number and call for help.

In 2002, Washington was the first state to enact a human trafficking criminal statute. Since then, more than three-fourths of the states have passed legislation making human trafficking a felony offense.