Many people may think it only happens in larger cities, but the reality is, human trafficking, happens right here in our backyard.

In just the past couple years the Crossroads Crisis Center out of Allen and Hardin County has sheltered approximately 20 victims of human trafficking.

“It’s critical to raise awareness about human trafficking because it is a major form of abuse,” Emily Wrencher, Executive Director of Crossroads Crisis Center, said.

In fact, just last year there was a federal case against a farmer in the area.

“They were bringing in Guatemalan children, and they were working them against their will. It went to a federal jury and this person was convicted, but nobody knew,” said Donna Dickman, Director for Partnership of Violence Free Families.

So the Hardin County Family Safety and Northwest Ohio Rescue and Restore Coalitions teamed up to hold a seminar offering cues to identify and help victims in the area.

“You don’t ask somebody directly because that will shut a person down. They won’t talk to you anymore. They have a lot of fear of law enforcement. They have a lot of fear from the person that’s holding them,” Dickman said.

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