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Human Trafficking in Myrtle Beach!



There! I said it!  Yes, despite some who don't want to believe it, and others who don't want to recognize it, and those who just don't know what to look for, it DOES exist in Myrtle Beach as well as every county in our great state of South Carolina!

A fantastic and informative article was written in the Daily Surge (March 3, 2011) by Kimberly Moore that distinctly lays it on the line about the issue of human trafficking and it's existence here on the beautiful Grand Strand.  Moore's article points out the fact that the trafficking of humans is not happening just in Asia or other parts of the world, but all over America, even in our own backyard. 

Moore goes on to explain how we in Myrtle Beach are in a prime location with easy access to I95 and a transient, resort population that easily hides victims in the belly and back door entrances of many seemingly legitimate establishments.  She introduces the readers to the local citizens who are tirelessly reaching out to legislators, law enforcement agencies, and especially the general public to educate them on the many facets of trafficking.  Kudos to Kelly O'Neil-Bagwell and Betty Houbion of Eastern Carolina Coalition Against Human Trafficking (ECCHAT) and Sgt. Selena Mann of the Conway Police Dept., who burn the midnight oil for the issues they are passionately trying to correct, and to all the others not named.

One of the highlights of the article was recognition for Here Women Talk, the show, TRAFFICKED, and its host, Dottie Laster and the rescue of a victim who called into the show in September 2010.  The group sprang into action and within 24 hours, "Lisbeth" was taken to safety.

I hope everyone takes the time to read and savor every word, and then tell your family, friends and neighbors what you've learned!

Once you know, it becomes your responsibility, too.  Pass it on!


Kelly O'Neil-Bagwell will be a speaker March 23 at a one-day seminar in Myrtle Beach providing training to law enforcement, healthcare, social service groups and the general public on how to recognize, and potentially rescue, human trafficking victims. The one-day training seminar will be held at the Coastal Carolina Association of Realtors office at 951 Shine Ave., near The Market Common on former Myrtle Beach Air Force Base. Continuing education (CE) credits will be given to participants in the criminal justice, healthcare and social service fields.

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Tags: Beach, Carolina, Dottie, ECCHAT, Human, Laster, Myrtle, Polaris, Project, South, More…trafficking


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Comment by Delilah on March 4, 2011 at 8:10am


The case cited in this article linked above opened my eyes wide about trafficking children here in the United States.  After meeting Marie, and listening to the events in her life, (which are not included in the article) I seriously had to process the information for days.  So much of the horror she told me about couldn't be happening!  Finally my mind allowed me to accept the truth in it and I learned that it was not an isolated incident that happened to Marie.  Since then, I've seen others who share the experience of being either abducted or sold as children .....and this was back in the 60's, there was just not a label back then.  

The human trafficking issue goes way deeper than many realize, I feel what I know is only a small tip of the huge iceberg this issue is in reality.

Comment by Shirley Graham on March 4, 2011 at 7:37am
Thanks for sharing the link with us, Delilah.  I read some of it and will finish reading it later. Seems its very informative and well written. Just from what little I read, it is obvious that article can do much to bring awareness where awareness is much needed. I have often wondered how prevalent human trafficking is in my town. We too, have easy access to interstates. I believe it happens in every city and town across this great country also.
Comment by Kay Van Hoesen on March 3, 2011 at 9:28pm
Awesome blog, Delilah. Prior to launching Here Women Talk in June 2010, I was like most people. I had my head in the sand and no idea that HT is, shockingly, everywhere, and right in our own backyards. Dottie Laster came on Vicki Childs' show "P.I. Answers" on July 8, and my eyes were opened. Six weeks later we launched TRAFFICKED on HWT Radio, and within a month we were contacted by the trafficked U.S. teen whom we now call Lisbeth. I'm forever changed. I now know it's real, it happens, it's here, not only in America, but also in virtually every community across the U.S. Slavery is alive and well, and it's everyone's responsibility to do something about it.
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