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Trafficking Awareness Month kicks off in Duluth

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DULUTH, MN -- Invisible no more.

That's the goal of a handful of events over the next month, all aimed at bringing awareness to human trafficking issues here in the Northland.

"Our families are being hurt, and its heartbreaking.", Stated Rachel Goodsky, Sacred Hoop Coalition Outreach Coordinator.

Trafficking Awareness Month kicked off Monday morning at the Dr. Robert Powless Cultural Center in Duluth.

Rep. Pete Stauber, (R) MN-08 says, "It's happening right here in Duluth Minnesota, it's happening right here in Rural Minnesota."

Advocates, and local lawmakers say say human trafficking is a hidden crime whose victims and survivors often go unidentified.

They say it also intersects with another major issue in Minnesota.

Minnesota ranks 9th in the nation when it comes to its number of missing and murdered indigenous women. It's something that hits home for UWS student Jessica Smith.

"I'm an indigenous women, and a lot of the traumas I've experienced when I was younger and growing up directly relate with a lot of the issues that have to do with this crisis.", Stated Jessica Smith, a student at UWS.

After her battle as a young girl, she wants to continue advocating at events like these so it can be stopped and others don't go through what she faced as a child.

"I wanted to do it on this type of platform, so that my voice gets louder because our people need to be heard.", Says Smith.

Stauber wrapped up the event by saying he will continue doing his part to find the funding that is needed.

There are many more events happening through human trafficking month.

You can find a full list below:

Kaitlyn Moffett

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