RISE Coalition aims to debunk myths on human trafficking

JOPLIN, Mo. – Human trafficking is something that takes place across the country and education plays a vital role in spotting the signs of a victim. That’s why the RISE Coalition is debunking myths and offering stats on social media to help inform the public.

“88% of all survivors of trafficking have at some point in time come in contact with someone in the healthcare field and yet only 2% of all reports have come from the healthcare sector and so we want to change that. We want to make sure as nurses that we are those first responders to identify and bring hope to someone in a very, very tragic, traumatizing experience,” explained Karolyn Schrage, RN and Victim Services Coordinator for the RISE Coalition.

RISE is dedicated to helping people in exploitation situations. Local churches and community members have come together to donate items for go-bags to help these victims, usually women, but trafficking often disguises itself.

“I think one of the biggest myths is people assume okay human trafficking involves someone going in, kidnapping someone, taking them somewhere, selling them for sex or labor or whatever and that’s absolutely one definition of trafficking, but that is not every case and that is certainly not the majority of cases that we see here in our community,” said Maggie Schade, Coalition Coordinator for the RISE Coalition.trafficking lies

Officials say more often, human trafficking begins as a cyber crime where online predators target children or teens. Schade says conspiracy theories and myths distract from the real atrocities of trafficking.myth

“In the last year, we’ve really found that there’s a lot of false information being shared about human trafficking and that’s not just unfortunate, that actually really hurts our efforts and really hurts victims,” said Schade.

With education and resources, this Joplin nurse believes we can make a difference in our community.

“I’ve seen the desperation in a face turn to hope and then see a life completely transformed when a new way out is given and that’s the incredible ability that I’ve seen that even a single nurse in our community has,” said Schrage.

Learn more about myths on human trafficking here.

If you’d like to support the RISE Coalition, learn more here.