A documentary on human trafficking is premiering in Sacramento this evening at the Crest Theater. The film "In Plain Sight" focuses on the plight of human trafficking victims in six cities -including Sacramento.
One woman in the film says, "When I was eight years old, my mother sold me and I've been doing this ever since."
Sacramento County Assistant District Attorney Paul Durenberger says law enforcement agencies and non-profit groups are doing what they can to help.
"It's almost like being in a cult and it takes a long time to be able to change the ability of a child to think differently, to think that there is actually hope for a future that doesn't involve this kind of trafficking."
Durenberger says Sacramento County has a shortage of safe houses for trafficking victims.
He says the problem of human trafficking in Sacramento increased with the recession.
"A lot of law enforcement agencies limited their vice operations and that limited the law enforcement response to human trafficking. In that time, internet use of human trafficking exploded. Also in that time because of the poor economy, a lot of people couldn't find jobs. There's a lot of economic pressure especially among young people."
Durenberger says at any given time, juvenile hall holds as many as 10 girls who are at high-risk of being trafficking victims. At the same time, he says the D.A.'s office typically has between 15 and 20 cases open against traffickers.
This year, Sacramento County and U.C. Davis started a new program for victims called Another Chance, Another Choice.
Durenberger says it can take victims months -if not years- to break the cycle of abuse.
CapRadio provides a trusted source of news because of you. As a nonprofit organization, donations from people like you sustain the journalism that allows us to discover stories that are important to our audience. If you believe in what we do and support our mission, please donate today.