BISMARCK, N.D. - January 11th is National Human Trafficking Awareness Day, you might think it doesn't happen here, but the numbers tell a different story. Since 2016, the North Dakota Human Trafficking Task Force has helped more than 400 survivors of human trafficking.
31:8 project is a North Dakota-based organization that works with groups world wide to stop human trafficking. But, the group's focus remains on combating human trafficking in North Dakota.
Founder Stacy Schaffer says awareness has increased over the past five years, but there is more work to be done. Today, the group showed a film to educate North Dakotans on trafficking identification and prevention.
"Their voices need to be heard. It's so important that people understand what survivors have gone through in order to really understand what human trafficking looks like," said Schaffer.
During the 2016 legislative session, lawmakers approved $125,000, with an additional $700,000 from the Attorney General to provide funding for treatment and support services for victims of human trafficking.