COTTAGE GROVE, Wis. (SPECTRUM NEWS) -- Anti-Human trafficking efforts continue in Wisconsin with new allies joining the State's Department of Justice in combating this growing issue.
A new partnership between the Wisconsin State Patrol, Wisconsin's Attorney General, The Department of Children and Families and Wisconsin's Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association, seeks to help victims by creating a special training that will help gas station workers identify them.
“Traffickers are using the interstate system to travel from place to place, so it’s very important for us to recognize that because they’re stopping for gas, at truck stops, at gas stations to get gas and use the bathroom,” said Sgt. Harman Chahal of the Wisconsin State Patrol.
People in the convenience store industry can potentially play a key role in rescuing victims and helping to eliminate the issue.
“If we can have the workers working in these areas identify when something wrong is going on if they see something wrong going on what they need to do to help law enforcement combat human trafficking in Wisconsin," continued Sgt. Chahal.
While authorities try to fight human trafficking, Attorney General Josh Kaul reminds families that a big part of preventing this issue starts at home.
"It’s important that people are aware of this that their kids are aware of the dangers and that they take steps to prevent it, both through education about human trafficking, but also about safe internet practices," said Kaul.
Kaul stressed that traffickers are targetting youth through popular online apps, and seeking victims even before they reach their teens.
“The average age of someone who is targeted to become a victim of human trafficking is somebody who is a minor, I believe it’s twelve years old," Kaul finished.
Authorities also urge the public to report any signs or suspicious human trafficking activity they may encounter.