In recognition of January as National Slavery & Human Trafficking Prevention Month the Putnam County Courthouse will be lit with blue light. County Executive MaryEllen Odell says the crime is everywhere, including Putnam County, and lighting the courthouse blue, is a show of support for victims and survivors. She urged every business, community organization, faith community, and school to learn the signs of human trafficking.
It is estimated that 300,000 domestic youth are at risk for commercial sexual exploitation and that 100,000 children are the victims of sex trafficking every year. The average age of youth being forced into the commercial sex trade is 12 to 14 years old. Runaway and homeless youth, youth who have been in foster care,and LGBTQ youth are at higher risk.
Warning signs of human trafficking can include: A history of multiple runaways or homelessness, frequent absences from school, unexplained changes in lifestyle such as excessive amounts of cash or items that a youth cannot reasonably afford, a controlling relationship with an older partner or adult, signs of physical abuse, or a lack of documentation.