FBI agent visits Bowling Green Rotary Club to educate members on human trafficking

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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) -- An FBI agent visited the Bowling Green Rotary Club to educate its members and guests on human trafficking. The agent explained what it consists of, being both sex trafficking and forced labor. However, sex trafficking is growing more rapidly.

"Most girls don't choose to do that. They either get beaten into it or they get traded for it or they get into drugs and that usually does it," said Nicole, a victim of human trafficking.

"Having the interstate highway system going through Bowling Green does put us on the map for heavy transportation to and from the large cities," said Scott Ramsey, Bowling Green FBI Citizens’ Academy Alumni Association.

Human trafficking is the third largest grossing criminal enterprise in the world.

"The human trafficking problem, is projected to become more prevalent than the drug trafficking problem in just a few years," said Travis Keller, President of the Bowling Green Rotary Club.

Wednesday's event served as a reminder that human trafficking is relevant right here in the south central Kentucky community.

"I think the reality is that we know these things are happening, but we sometimes forget that it is happening right in front of us," said Melissa Watson, member of the Rotary Club.

Education can be the biggest tool in combating this heinous crime.

"Trying to bring public awareness is the biggest thing that we can do as a community. And if we can do that, that gets information back to law enforcement quicker and they can act on it faster," explained Ramsey.

The club's attendance was up significantly due to the topic at hand.

"If we can bring awareness to watch out for such things actually in Warren County, it will help," said Ramsey.

Many in attendance left shocked by the brutal reality of it all.

"It wasn't so much the beating, it was I got pepper-sprayed and put into a shower for three and a half hours- a cold shower," said Nicole. "I tried to leave and it just turned out to be worse."

Nicole, now hoping to use her story to help other victims.

"Now that it's been so many years, I've kinda figured out how to get back to being Nicole again, and I can't see how I let that happen."

Local non profit, Phoenix Rising which is dedicated to helping victims and survivors of human trafficking will hold its 2nd annual Awareness Vigil on Thursday at 6 p.m. at City Hall.

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