Chaves County schools receive training on how to spot human trafficking

Chaves County schools receive training on how to spot human trafficking

All Chaves County schools are getting trained on how to spot exploitation and human sex trafficking.

ROSWELL, N.M. — Abuse, neglect, exploitation, and human trafficking may be happening next door and you don’t know about it.

On Friday, 100% Chaves County hosted training for all schools in the county about exploitation and human sex trafficking.

The Shared Hope International, a nonprofit, gave the state an F on a report card in 2022 for its efforts to bring awareness and training to these issues.

“I realized that there was some education and training that needs to be done in southeastern New Mexico and this is the time to get on top of it,” said Jeneva Martinez, a community advocate. “When I started looking into what human and sex trafficking actually looks like, I was unaware.”

There are different kinds of trafficking.

“There’s sex trafficking, there’s forced work, trafficking, and then there’s child sex trafficking, we see that sometimes mental health, emotional health, poverty, play into how someone becomes a trafficked individual,” Fifth Judicial District Attorney Dianna Luce said.

It is not always visible to the public eye.

“Human trafficking is, you know, a major problem and it happens in cities and rural areas and suburbs, and it’s also very difficult to recognize,” said Guido Hajenius, the co-director for iEmpathize.

Traffickers usually target a younger audience – sometimes using social media.

“Traffickers are smart, and especially just with, you know, social media and through the phone, they can just be in conversation, building relationship, dialogue with them and that’s where that manipulation, that type of influence can happen,” Hajenius said.

 The city is going to have a summit on April 10, 11, and 12 to help spread awareness. If you would like to register, click here.