Indianapolis group aims to prevent human trafficking

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Every 30 seconds around the world, a child is sold into sexual slavery. It's a staggering statistic.

Jessica Thorne with a local group called Purchased says modern-day slavery happens everywhere, not just in developing countries.

Thorne joined Eyewitness News at Noon to talk about the crisis.

"Unfortunately it's prevalent in every state in the United States," Thorne said, citing the statistic of 27 million people enslaved worldwide. "Here in the United States alone, 100,000 to 300,000 children are trafficked. So it does happen here. It happens in the Midwest. It happens in Indiana and it happens in Indianapolis."

Thorne says it might start with a man convincing his girlfriend to have sex with multiple people. "Often there's coercion, there's drug addiction, things that keep them in that situation," she said.

Purchased aims to prevent such situations, and to engage the public to keep them aware of the issue.

For parents, the message is to talk to teens, mentor at-risk youth and make them aware of who they're talking to online, who they're going out with and staying aware of their surroundings - and not being lured into situations that may put them in a dangerous spot.

The name of the organization, Thorne explained, comes from the idea that "we are all already purchased by God and so we are no longer for sale. Each person has value and worth. That's part of our mission in talking to youth. We want to tell them the value they have."

On June 14th, Purchased holds a Run for One event at the University of Indianapolis as a fundraiser.