Anna Strickland and Captain Sherri Smith, South Carolina Human Trafficking Task Force
Speakers: Anna Strickland and Captain Sherri Smith, South Carolina Human Trafficking Task Force
Cobi Williams introduced our speakers, Anna Strickland and Captain Sherri Smith of the South Carolina Human Trafficking Task force, Coastal Region. Anna is an employee of Santee Cooper and Head of the Public Education Awareness Committee of the Task Force. Captain Smith is with the Task Force and deals with human trafficking issues daily as a member of the Horry County Sherriff’s Office. The Task Force was created by the SC Attorney General, Alan Wilson. Our region has the largest human trafficking problem in the State. The victims of human trafficking in our area are mostly runaway girls. The traffickers use the internet and social media to first groom their young victims. Many times, they are forced into prostitution to support a drug addiction that is initiated by the trafficker. Takes a long time to build a case that will result in a successful prosecution of the trafficker. Currently the Task Force and Law Enforcement are not allowed to present directly to students in schools. However, they can meet and educate school boards, teachers, and parent groups. Parents should make it their business to be aware of what their children are viewing online. If you have information regarding possible human traffickers or victims, please call the National Human Trafficking Hotline +1-888-373-7888.