Crittenton Weighs In on Reports of Increased Cases of Human Trafficking in WV

Officials in West Virginia are reporting an increase in human trafficking cases. WV Public Broadcasting's Kara Lofton recently interviewed Crittenton clinical therapist and Client Care Program Manager, Laura Smith, MA, LPC, NCC, about the relationship between the opioid epidemic and human trafficking in the Mountain State. More often than not, inter-familial trafficking in WV is being used as a means for obtaining drugs. Smith said, "We have had young women who eventually, when they are able to tell us their stories, tell us stories of being in basements and having guns held to their head while they were having sex."  Smith says, a lot of times, the girls are not viewing this as something their family has done to them. In some cases, the young women develop a kind of relationship with their abusers, so they view a much older man as a boyfriend or person that they love. The interview was broadcast nationally on NPR.

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