Brad Choat (Twitter: @choatsnews )

CLAYTON, Mo. (KMOX) – Fontbonne University is joining the war against human trafficking and sex trafficking.

University president Dr. Michael Pressimone says the Incarnate Word Foundation is funding a program to train local human service providers how to identify and treat victims of the crime. “Fontbonne hopes to grow the program and establish a multi-disciplinary center dedicated to training and education, community engagement and policy, and leadership surrounding human and sex trafficking.”

Pressimone says The National Human Trafficking Hotline has reported 74 cases of sex or human trafficking in Missouri between January and June 2017. The state ranks 16th in human trafficking cases reported.

Congresswoman Ann Wagner (R-Missouri) also spoke at Thursday’s program kickoff on the Fontbonne campus.

Wagner has sponsored federal legislation to crack down on human and sex trafficking, including a bill now before the House Judiciary Committee.

“It is heartbreaking to watch survivors struggle to piece their lives back together alone, while the websites that sold them are let off scot-free,” Wagner said.

The Fontbonne training program is expected to begin in March.


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