Local campaign works to end sex and labor trafficking across the country

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A local organization is working to raise awareness of human trafficking issues and provide lifelines to victims.

Authorities report that hundreds of girls are being trafficked for sex throughout King County.

National figures show that in 2020 there was a 22% increase in online recruitment for traffic.

These issues are why local organization BEST (Businesses Ending Slavery and Trafficking) created the Not Alone campaign.

“We want to speak directly to survivors and give them the opportunity to identify themselves,” said Rebekah Covington.

Covington is BEST’s Corporate Relations Manager. She came up with the idea for the Not Alone campaign.

The campaign has created posters specifically designed to speak to victims of trafficking and provide them with the resources they need to escape.

More than 50 government agencies, government leaders and transportation hubs in Washington state and across the country are joining the campaign.

Covington believes this simple campaign can be the lifeline that helps people find freedom.

Unfortunately, she knows well the trauma of being trafficked.

“I got driven to Aurora {Avenue}, and he said ‘get out of the car. This is where you’re going to work. And don’t try to leave,'” she said.

As a teenager, Covington says a traumatic experience affected her emotionally. She says that because of her behavior, when she was 18, her parents kicked her out of the house.

She says that around this time, a trafficker targeted her, coerced her and groomed her for trafficking. Then I manipulated her into thinking she had no other options.

“They threaten you, ‘if you leave, I’ll kill your family, I’ll burn down your house.’ So you’re scared to leave,” she said.

For nearly two years, Covington says she was trafficked here in Washington and across the country. She says it was divine intervention that took her out of this life.

Now, nearly two decades later, she hopes the Not Alone campaign will be the intervention to help others escape.

“I already had that hope in me, you know. So I think if I had seen that, it would have given me the opportunity to come out,” she said.

For more information on the work BEST does and resources on human trafficking, click here.

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