Lori Fullbright, News On 6
TULSA, Oklahoma -- Sex trafficking is a big problem at truck stops and Oklahoma is a prime target with the I-40 and I-35 corridors.
But some truckers are trying to stop the problem.
Jim and Jan McCarter haul dry goods all across America. They've been married for 17 years and on the road together for ten.
Now, whenever they stop at a truck stop, they strike up a conversation about the issue of human sex trafficking and hand out cards with a hotline number on them.
"On the inside, there are signs of how to recognize if they're being trafficked," Jan McCarter said.
The ugly truth that every trucker knows is that wherever they stop for the night, young girls and boys are in the parking lots, offering sex for money.
They're nicknamed lot lizards, but the truth is, not all those kids are selling their bodies willingly. Many have been forced into the sex trade against their will.
"I want them to realize these girls are not criminals, they're victims and to start looking at them as if they're victims," Jan said.
Jan and Jim want to educate truckers and make them aware. They say most of them are very receptive to the information.
"They're shocked, thought they were there because they wanted to be here, thought they were prostitutes," Jan said.
The boys and girls being trafficked can be as young as 14 or 15 years old. Truckers are the eyes and the ears of the nation and often see much more than the rest of us.
Truckers Against Trafficking is just asking these truckers to call the hotline if they see something that doesn't seem right.
"What we're trying to do is just make things better for all drivers and just do what's right," Jim said.
What's right, they say, is getting these kids away from the threats, violence and coercion and back to where they belong, so they can be daughters, nieces and granddaughters again.
Truckers Against Trafficking was started by Chapter 61 Ministries in Tulsa. The National Hotline number is 1-888-373-7888.