Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Special Assignment: Human Trafficking in Wisconsin

It's been called modern day slavery -- human trafficking. Victims' advocates say it's happening across Wisconsin -- "in plain sight."

Last year, the state began a survey -- to identify the level of human trafficking here. More than 200 cases of victims were identified. But experts believe that's likely a low number for this fast growing industry.

"I can guarantee you in grocery stores all over this state and in some hotels, there are places where human beings are trapped by others," Carmen Pitre says.

Nataliya knows the feeling.

"I was in the house like a prison," Nataliya says.

She was working as a travel agent in her homeland of Ukraine when she met an American man.

"I was very happy to have him in my life because I lived alone with my son," she says, "We could talk on the phone every day."

Eventually the couple decided to live together in the Milwaukee area.

"I was so excited to go to the U.S. because it was, a great opportunity to be in a family ... to have a new family ... to have a husband ... and good father for my son."

Within three weeks of her arrival on American soil, Nataliya says the man proposed.

"He prepare everything. It was beautiful wedding... there in the church with his family."

Then, she says, within days everything changed.

Read more here.

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