DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) - This is Human Trafficking Awareness month and January 11 is Human Trafficking Awareness Day.
Local authorities using the month to bring attention to victims in the Quad Cities.
"I call people that are involved in this victims because I truly believe they're victims,” says Detective Jon Leach with Quad City Crime Stoppers. “They're forced in this lifestyle, and it’s so ingrained in their heads that their pimp is somebody that cares about them. They love their pimp. They just do not want to see the pimp get in trouble."
Maggie Tinsman with the local organization, Braking Traffik, says while victims might not speak up, a more aware community could step in for them.
"The whole purpose is to make human trafficking more of an issue in people's minds. You have a huge rural area in which to hide it, the main thing you have is an attitude that it’s not there."
It’s an attitude that makes it hard for police to catch up with the crime.
“We want more prosecution to show these slave traders, they’re not going to be able to do that here.”
Tinsman says it’s a step in the right direction, but she wants more people to get educated and report suspicious activity.