JOPLIN, Mo. – “Not our kids, not our community”, something a speaker says he often hears about sex trafficking. But he says it’s more common than you think and he wants to change that. It’s a three word slogan: Exploitation of vulnerability.
Russ Tuttle of the “Stop Trafficking Project” spoke to the Rise Coalition Monday. Tuttle wants to highlight how kids are targeted and hopefully prevent them from becoming a victim of sex trafficking. He points out that parents get kids cell phones to keep them safe, but that’s often how they’re targeted. Tuttle wants to help parents, teachers and other adults understand how teens think about tech to prevent the crime from happening in the first place.
“We can never build enough clinics or enough homes to take care of victimized individuals, whether they’re boys or girls or men or women. We can never arrest our way out of this problem.”Russ Tuttle, Stop Trafficking Project
Technology is a big focus on the prevention message, although Tuttle says he’s not against tech. He adds that it’s a complex issue and that adults need to understand that to help protect kids.