SIOUX FALLS, SD -
The state of South Dakota formed its Human Trafficking Task Force back in March of 2013. Two months before that, the Junior League of Sioux Falls formed its own task force on the same issue. While they may be working together in some respects, each group has different roles.
After two years of studies and difficult questions, the Junior League of Sioux Falls formed a human trafficking task force.
The Junior League does work closely with the state of South Dakota's task force. Both are seeing more instances of human trafficking in the state.
"The reason we're seeing more numbers, per say, is because it's being identified. I think we've always had it. We just haven't been able to identify it because we haven't had the training in what to look for," task force chair Dawn Stenberg said.
Now, the training through this new task force is there and more is being done to help make human trafficking less of a problem in KELOLAND.
"A lot of the agencies are going back and re-evaluating, 'Are we asking the right questions? Are we looking to see if we're meeting the needs? Can we meet the needs? Who do we refer a victim to? Where can she get services?'" Stenberg said.
Even businesses are helping in the cause.
"One of the banks in town has a human trafficking task force. Now people who say, 'Why does a bank have a human trafficking task force?' and it's because they see transactions on Backpage.com through their credit cards, and after awhile, they'll be alerted to it," Stenberg said.
While their efforts to bring an end to human trafficking are strong, they know they can only do so much.
"It's the second most popular business in the world. So, is it going to go away? No because it's a money-maker," Stenberg said.
Even saying that, their efforts to educate and inform will not stop.
The Junior League of Sioux Falls task force does make the time to meet with different groups and organizations to talk about human trafficking issues.
© 2013 KELOLAND TV. All Rights Reserved.