ROSEBURG, Ore. – New statistics released by the State of Oregon show that there were more than 700 reported cases of human trafficking in in the last year with 16 of them in Douglas County.
The statistics were released by the Oregon Department of Justice and the Department of Human Services. It says the data was reported from October 2018 to October 2019 from 18 out of Oregon’s 36 counties.
The Douglas County Human Trafficking Task Force is a group that advocates for survivors and educates the community about the signs of human trafficking.
Members of the task force say the numbers shown on the new statistics don’t represent all of the cases that went unreported last year.
“Fifty percent or more of our unidentified victims are trafficked through family members,” said Marion Pearson, the violence prevention specialist for the task force. “So through someone who they’re close to in that respect.”
The statistics also say Lane County has 120 reported cases in the last year.
Pearson said victims don’t normally self-identify themselves. However, she said by educating the community about how to recognize the signs, it may encourage them to come forward.
The Douglas County Human Trafficking Task Force’s next event is the “Teens, Trafficking and Online Predators” presentation on Jan. 23 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Winston Community Center.