A Santa Ana-based task force is looking to unveil a well-hidden crime ring that sexually and physically exploits men, women and children who have been forced into modern-day slavery.
To raise awareness about the issue, the Orange County (OC) Human Trafficking Task Force, along with local faith groups held their inaugural 5K walk near the Huntington Beach Pier on Sunday.
About 40 people walked the boardwalk holding signs and wearing orange bandannas. Orange and black are the task force’s signature colors.
Phyllis Ing, 60, of Ladera Ranch walked as part of a peace project for Saddleback Church. “We were just ignorant on this issue and it’s right here in our community, right in our own backyards,” she said.
This is the second year Human Trafficking Awareness Day has been nationally recognized. Walk organizers said they hope to expand their event as their work becomes better known in the community.
Read more at the OC Register.