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Tri-Cities Holds Its First Human Trafficking Conference

Human Trafficking

TRI-CITIES, Wash.-- You may not be able to see it, but human trafficking is everywhere, even in the Tri-Cities.

About 150 local professionals are getting trained to help those survivors this week.

The Tri-Cities Coalition Against Trafficking Conference is made possible through a $100,000 grant.

There are workshops specifically for law enforcement, prosecuting attorneys, service providers, mental health providers, and school staff.

The executive director for SARC (Support, Advocacy & Resource Center) says a common theme in the training is learning patience, as it can take a long time for a survivor to feel comfortable getting help.

JoDee Garretson says, "It might take some time to build relationships, to plant little seeds along the way, but to be present and available once someone is ready to speak. I would say what we really hope to accomplish is that more people who are able to maybe recognize survivors and intervene feel equipped to do so."

The conference ends on Wednesday.

It's free to Benton and Franklin County residents or 50 dollars a day for people outside of the area.

Those funds will go to victim services.

For more information, click here.

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