MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Human trafficking is a growing problem worldwide and unfortunately it's no different here in our area.
While police and other non-profit organizations are working to combat the issue, a group of women are hosting a forum on the issue Friday.
This group feels human trafficking is under-reported and most of it happens invisibly behind closed doors.
Through this meeting they're working to bring the issue out in the open.
In 2016, there were 259 human trafficking calls, but only 73 were reported in the state of South Carolina, according to the human trafficking hotline.
It's information like this that will show the severity of human trafficking in the Coastal Region.
A special agent from the FBI's Myrtle Beach Office will be at the community forum to build off of the women's efforts.
The women wanted someone on a federal level to discuss the current issues, and explain why our community is a hotspot for human trafficking.
This non-denominational group of women represents churches from North Myrtle Beach to Maryville.
The women have agreed to stand shoulder to shoulder to connect with the community through their faith and service.
Now they're doing that by hosting a community forum on the human trafficking issue in our area.
They'll also discuss trauma care, inner healing and the restoration of victims' of human trafficking.
They feel victims ranging from young children to teenagers, men and women need to be alert to what's happening.
The event is this Friday at 11:30 a.m. and will end at around 1:30p.m.
If you're interested in going, it will be held at the Abbey Anglican Church in Pawleys Island.
The community forum is open to the public at no charge.
To register contact Jane Willis at email@example.com.