Report shows South Carolina ‘most improved’ in fighting human trafficking

Report shows South Carolina ‘most improved’ in fighting human trafficking

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - A recently released report shows, in the last year, the Palmetto State is most improved when it comes to making strides in the fight against human trafficking.

According to the report released last month by Shared Hope International, South Carolina’s grade rose from a C to a B; one of four states to raise its grade in 2018. It shows South Carolina scored an 82 in 2018, up from 70.5 in the previous year which was the greatest improvement of all states between 2017 and 2018.

The report ranked states based on six criteria including criminalization of domestic minor sex trafficking, protective provisions for child victims and criminal justice tools for investigation and prosecution.

Volunteer Coordinator for the Rape Crisis Center, Nicole Service, says human trafficking is a difficult issue to spot, but believes education and awareness plays an important role in the fight.

"It’s growing, and it’s becoming more of a known issue in the community and I think that’s why resources are being put into combating it and understanding what it is so that we can continue to actually help victims,” said Service.

In 2017, South Carolina saw more than 380 calls to the human trafficking hotline, with Horry County seeing the third greatest number of calls in the state.

Copyright 2018 WMBF. All rights reserved.