‘Stop Human Trafficking in Missouri’ posters hung in hospitals, rest stops

Human trafficking posters in Missouri

MISSOURI (KFVS) - Missouri House bill 1246 was approved in 2018 and requires an informational poster to be hung at certain businesses.

On March 1, a “Stop Human Trafficking” poster will be posted outside hotels, rest stops, hospitals, airports, train stops and more.

Stop Human Trafficking Poster
Stop Human Trafficking Poster (Source: Missouri Department of Public Safety)

Activists for human trafficking said the posters give victims an escape route and alert businesses to suspects.

Marsha Keene, chief executive at Susanna Wesley Family Learning Center, said the posters are important because they serve as a guide.

“It’s very important because human trafficking victims need to know who they can contact, and that there’s a way out, that’s there’s a safe way out, there very isolated very controlled and they need this information to know what to do next,” she said. "Hopefully to be able to escape them.”

She said signs being posted in bathrooms is a better way for victims to learn their options.

“I think the sign should be placed inside bathrooms stalls where people are in private because it going to be very dangerous for a trafficking victim in most instances to stop and look at that sign in plain view potentially of her trafficker or someone else who may be with her that can tell she looked at that sign and tried to get resources,” she said.

Former Scott County Sheriff Rick Walter said when victims are pictured at the age of 13 they become less recognizable as they age.

“Once these kids get in the life, it’s hard to get them out, again because they don’t realize they’re victims, you know," Walter said, " and the more people that are aware of what’s going on may be able to turn them in and call if you suspect something law enforcement.”

Both activists said you should pay attention to small signs such as tattoos and unusual behavior.

To find out which establishments are included go to the Department of Public Safety’s website.

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