CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- On average, 78 victims across North Carolina are sex trafficked each year.
Starting this fall, sex trafficking will be addressed in seventh and eighth-grade classrooms across Charlotte.
“We have an issue in our city, and we have to do more,” said Executive Director of Present Age Ministries Hannah Arrowood.
Arrowood is working tirelessly to stop the sex trafficking of young girls and boys across our city.
“Charlotte is actually the number one city in the state of North Carolina for human trafficking,” she said.
Since 2007 there have been 343 known cases of sex trafficking statewide, according to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center.
Arrowood said it is important to know the vast majority of these victims were not kidnapped by their abuser.
“Often times these girls are going willingly to meet their perpetrators,” she explained.
It happens after meeting, chatting and building a relationship with these strangers on the internet through social media websites.
Five-hundred new ads are posted soliciting sex in Charlotte every day.
Arrowood said many of the women in the ads are not women at all, but rather trafficked teenagers and young girls.
Each day they are forced to have sex with multiple men.
Now, lawmakers are working to try and prevent future kids from falling victim. Senate Bill 279 requires local boards of education to address sex trafficking prevention and awareness.
Arrowood said she and her agency will team up with DSS and CMS in the fall to teach courses to seventh and eighth-grade students.
“We’re excited to partner with school systems and give their teachers, material, curriculum that they can actually use that we’re learning from the survivors we work with,” she said.
CMPD said it will be holding an event in the coming days to talk with the community about the issue.