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RNC: Human trafficking dangers

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CLEVELAND - Inside Quicken Loans Arena, the Republican National Convention will be a family friendly affair, but outside in Cleveland there are some R-rated aspects to the big event and terrifying threats.

Strip clubs are pumped and say their phones have been ringing off the hook.

Frank Spencer, President of Crazy Horse Licensing Inc., says they’ve addressed security concerns, extended hours until 4 a.m. and are offering many specials.

“It’s one of the biggest things that ever happened in Cleveland,” said Spencer.

However he says people shouldn’t assume that it’s republicans planning on visiting the adult entertainment establishments.

“There are just so many people in Cleveland,” said Spencer, “A very small percentage are even delegates.”

But another more sinister type of illegal sex trade, human trafficking is also expected to spike this week.

“Because it’s all about money,” said Renee Jones with the Renee Jones Empowerment Center.

Renee works with investigators and victims and has formed a task for with other local organizations. They will be looking for victims and say the general public should too; especially near hotels and motels.

“I always tell people there are different levels so you’re gonna have the very elite that may have the finest hotels but then you’ll have these seedy motels that trafficking will be going on there as well,” said Jones.

Tattoo artists and hair salons are also on alert because traffickers often change the girls appearance.

Trafficking victims won’t usually speak to anyone for fear of being beaten, but Renee says there are signs in their appearance and body language.

Often they will be noticeably controlled by a much older man, scared, overly submissive, with no identification and untreated health problems and/or physical injuries.

“These traffickers are very violent,” said Renee, “And usually victims are very afraid of them.”

If you suspect trafficking, Renee says you can try to get them alone and speak with them, but at a minimum report it to the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888.

These new and free apps can also help catch a trafficker and rescue a victim.

Click here and here for those apps.

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