Fresno groups, law enforcement “Pledge to Stop Trafficking” with campaign

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Debra Rush is a human trafficking survivor, kidnapped from Fresno, in 1999.

“Do you know that in California alone, 2 out of every 100,000 individuals are statistically trafficked,” Rush said.

Rush, now founder and CEO of organization Breaking the Chains, which helps victims.

Tuesday, Rush standing with almost a dozen other groups, making “the pledge to stop trafficking.”

“Fresno needs to take a stand, Fresno needs to be the one to say, that that’s enough,” Rush said.

Volunteers out in the rain along Blackstone avenue, raising money, for the work those groups are doing.

The groups saying more support, is needed.

“We often think that human trafficking is happening out on Parkway, Belmont, Blackstone, and it’s the cliché prostitute,” Rush said. “But what we don’t realize, is a trafficking victim can be found in any one of our homes.”

Rush saying social media has made victims more accessible.

“Once they are in, it is extremely difficult to get them out,” Fresno County District Attorney Lisa Smittcamp said. “And the damage that is done to them lasts a lifetime.”

Smittcamp, urging community partnerships and education. 

“I will stand out here in the rain every day, all day, and anyone who will listen, I will say, help us, come by, help us prevent human trafficking,” Smittcamp said.

For more on the campaign, visit: http://www.pledge2stoptrafficking.org/

For human trafficking victims, call the National Human Trafficking Hotline, at: 1(888) 373-7888.

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