CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Millions of people fall victim to human trafficking every single day.
If you think trafficking rarely happens in your community, think again.
“Ohio right now is listed as number three nationally for human trafficking,” said Teresa Stafford, chief program officer, Cleveland Rape Crisis Center.
Stafford says there are many trafficking survivors living in Northeast Ohio looking for support.
That’s why CRCC created a new human trafficking drop-in center on Superior Avenue.
“We felt the need to make sure that survivors of human trafficking had a space that was solely dedicated to them where they wouldn’t feel other people would be watching them and judging them,” said Stafford.
Stafford says this drop-in center is a place where survivors who have been through the unthinkable can feel safe.
“We have extra security measures in place... and our staff will be on the floor working alongside these survivors paying attention to what’s going on,” said Stafford.
The drop-in center not only serves as a safe place for survivors, but it’s also a place where they can take parenting classes, get help finding a job, and even take a shower.
“Kind of tearing up a little bit, this is a very calming, beautiful space,” said Cuyahoga County Councilwoman Yvonne M. Conwell.
Councilwoman Conwell says this drop-in site is one of a kind and it will be a great resource for survivors.
“I get sad thinking what they may be going through and experiencing, I like to think about what they’re offered, the resources, the counseling,” Conwell added.
Meanwhile, Teresa Stafford wants trafficking survivors to know, they are not alone.
“We’re going to listen to you, we’re going to believe you, we’re not going to judge you,” said Stafford.