COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Monday is National Human Trafficking Awareness Day. To mark the day, South Carolina’s attorney general released the state’s annual Human Trafficking report for 2020.
Attorney General Alan Wilson said there were 139 cases of human trafficking and 179 victims reported in South Carolina in 2020.
The following are the top five counties for reports of human trafficking, in order:
- Horry County
- Charleston County
- Greenville County
- Richland County
- Anderson County
Wilson pointed out that a high number of reports does not necessarily mean these counties have more cases of human trafficking.
“Counties with active regional human trafficking task forces have raised awareness about the crime and how to report it, so being one of the top counties could be because it’s reported more, not because it’s happening there more,” officials said.
Data from the National Human Trafficking Hotline show the following number of cases were reported in South Carolina:
- 96 sex trafficking cases
- 22 labor trafficking cases
- 9 sex and labor trafficking cases
- 12 not specified
The vast majority of human trafficking victims are women, data show, and most of them are adults.
The Department of Social Services has been working throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to find and help minor victims of both sex and labor human trafficking, the agency’s director said Monday.
There were 88 minor human trafficking victims reported in the latest data.
A State Task Force Advisory Council started in 2020 to combat human trafficking will have two new members this year: the Department of Mental Health and the Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services.
During Monday’s news conference, First Lady Peggy McMaster declared January to be Human Trafficking Awareness Month in South Carolina.
If you or someone you know is a victim of human trafficking, call 1-888-373-7888.