Indiana News

Attorney General Warns Indy 500 Fans to Watch for Signs of Human Trafficking

Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita - Photo from Indiana Attorney General's Office
Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita - Photo from Indiana Attorney General's Office

STATEWIDE, Ind. (WOWO) – As the Greatest Spectacle in Racing, the Indianapolis 500 is unique as an international sporting event. Unfortunately, large events are known to create increased demand for trafficked individuals providing manual labor, sex for hire, and other services. Attorney General Todd Rokita asks Hoosiers to know the signs, stay alert, and report any suspicion to law enforcement.

“Spectator events of such grand scale are ripe for human traffickers looking for opportunities to carry out their heinous crimes,” Attorney General Rokita said. “As we excitedly participate in the greatest spectacle in racing, we need to keep our eyes and ears open for human trafficking as well. By reporting suspicions to local law enforcement, we can help authorities nab these predators and save victims.”

The signs that someone might be a victim of trafficking include:

  1. They appear submissive or fearful.
  2. They are prohibited from speaking alone to strangers.
  3. They give answers that appear to be scripted or rehearsed.
  4. They show signs of physical abuse.

“Human traffickers can prey on anyone, regardless of their age, race, or background,” Attorney General Rokita said. “It’s up to all of us to play a role in shutting down this devastating criminal enterprise.”

People in certain job roles — such as medical professionals, restaurant workers, and hotel employees — are particularly likely to come into contact with trafficking victims. If you have suspicions that someone is being trafficked, call local law enforcement immediately. You may also report suspicions to the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888.

In addition to raising awareness, Attorney General Rokita and his team are engaged in other efforts to combat human trafficking. The Office of the Attorney General operates the Address Confidentiality Program, which helps protect victims of certain crimes — including those who have been trafficked — by concealing their residential address from the public and thereby their victimizers. Learn more about the program at the Attorney General’s website.

In February, Attorney General Rokita announced all K-5 students in Indiana would receive a child ID kit in 2024 — free of charge to Indiana families. Child ID kits give parents a tool to provide detailed information, a photograph, fingerprint, and DNA to law enforcement quickly. Completed kits are kept in a safe place at home, out of a database, so parents are prepared if the unthinkable happens. Kits will be distributed by superintendents and school resource officers to students this fall.

As it happens, this year the Indianapolis 500 race weekend coincides with National Missing Children’s Day, which is May 25. The day is intended to encourage parents, guardians, and communities to make child safety a priority — and as a reminder to continue our efforts to reunite missing children with their families.

 

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1 comment

daniel May 20, 2024 at 5:36 pm

thats crazy 💀

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