NewsCovering Kern County


Local organization heads to Super Bowl to save victims of human trafficking

Posted at 11:41 PM, Jan 31, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-01 02:41:54-05

Local volunteers from Magdalene Hope were on the ground and ready to work Wednesday night, hoping to save the lives of victims of human trafficking. 

Some members of the group headed to Minneapolis, where they plan on drawing out women who may be forced into the lifestyle. 

“We’re here to reach out and offer a way out for the women who have been brought here to this city to be sold during the week leading up to the Super Bowl,” said Doug Bennett, the founder of Magdalene Hope. 

The team of 12 set up a "command center" where they will spend their time looking for possible victims to help. 

“We’re reaching out through different escort services, similar to what Back Page used to be. We’re reaching out to them in texting conversations, offering to meet them for a meal or for coffee and then offer them a way out if they want out,” Bennett said. 

The team keeping their eyes peeled for certain wording used in posts as well as defining aspects.

“The main thing we look for is photo-assisted ads so if they’re showing a selfie or the girl is not holding a phone in her hand and taking her own picture if someone is taking her picture we call that a photo-assisted ad. That means that she’s working with someone, helping her to place her ad, and generally, that would be a trafficker," said Bennett. 

The women who are rescues will be given resources to find a way out. 

“We’re working with local shelters, domestic violence sexual assault shelters, and then different organizations here who are doing anti-human trafficking work," said Bennett.