The Lake of the Ozarks Stop Human Trafficking Coalition is a volunteer organization working collaboratively to increase awareness, identify causes, and support victims of trafficking.
For years, LOSHTC’s goals have been to raise awareness about human trafficking in the Lake of the Ozarks area. In monthly meetings for the public, we have discussed human trafficking: how to recognize it, occurrence, and other pertinent topics. Survivors have shared their personal stories. Movies followed with a “Lets Talk About It” discussion period teach viewers both young an old how to protect themselves. Youth have also been taught the dangers of surfing the web.
Whenever asked, we give talks at various locations to raise awareness. One of the most important points for individuals to learn is how to report a suspected trafficking incident through the National Hotline Number 1-888-373-7888. The “Number” is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week . . . call any time. It is also important to report suspected incidents to your local police, as they will be the first responders in any risky situation.
Increasingly, we are seeing survivors ask for help in making a new life for themselves. This may mean assistance with rent, transportation and healthcare that includes specialized counseling. Beyond this, we believe it is time to establish an extended day safe house in the Lake area. Here, severely traumatized women who have not responded well to shorter programs can find the long-term treatment needed for severe PTSD to help them regain their lives.