Groups plan outreach event to prevent sex trafficking during Ken - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Groups plan outreach event to prevent sex trafficking during Kentucky Derby

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Three local groups are hosting an outreach event to warn the community about the dangers and reality of human trafficking during the Kentucky Derby.

Amy Leenerts of Free2Hope, Summer Dickerson of Women of the Well Ministries, and Angela Renfro of the Kristy Love Foundation are teaming up to make it happen. Between the three organizations, they run programs and safe houses for survivors of the sex trafficking industry in Louisville.

Leenerts said it is next to impossible to know exactly how many people are trafficked during the year, but there is a definite spike in activity around big events like the Kentucky Derby.

“It’s such a big Kentucky event,” Leenerts said. “It’s beautiful, it’s grand, it’s fun. But people just don’t realize what’s going on behind the scenes as well. People still don’t believe that it happens here.”

But the three groups want to spread the word, so they can prepare and empower the community to be part of the solution.

Saturday from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., they will host an outreach event behind the former Diamond Cabaret at 3212 7th Street in Louisville. The groups will provide information on red flags to look out for and who to call and report suspicious activity. And people will get stacks of informational cards to hand out to local businesses.

There are red flags everyone should watch for. If you spot something, report it. The red flag could be an indication and officer should investigate further.

  • Kids, adults showing signs of abuse
  • Minors with multiple cell phones
  • Kids, adults afraid to speak or respond on their own
  • Hotel guests with little luggage
  • ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign used constantly on a hotel room door
  • Housekeeping services refused for many days
  • Adults loitering in hallways or monitoring rooms
  • Many guests staying in one room
  • Adults with large amounts of cash, credit card swipes, multiple lap tops, pagers, cell phones
  • A male significantly older than female companions
  • A person is vague about his/her profession

If you see anything suspicious, call 911 immediately. And you are urged to also call the national human trafficking hotline at 1-888-373-7888. You can also text "INFO" or "HELP" to 233733.

If you are a business or hotel owner and would like to request Free 2 Hope business stickers or informational flyers, call Amy Leenerts at 502-475-0555 or email her at info@free2hope.org.

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