Tulsa Demonstrations Seek To Give Voice To Victims Of Local Human Trafficking

Thursday, July 30th 2020, 10:24 pm
By: Kristen Weaver

TULSA, Okla. -

People in Green Country are raising awareness about child and human trafficking as part of World Day Against Trafficking.

The demonstrations, held in Tulsa and Broken Arrow, were aimed at giving a voice to children being trafficked that don't have one.

"I thought we had to do something to speak up for the children," said organizer Lisa Wood-Hicks.

That's why Wood-Hicks decided to organize today's demonstration at 71st and Memorial. It's called the "Rise Up Event" with Operation Underground Railroad. The organization saves children trapped in the sex industry. The group marched up and down the road and passed out cards showing the signs of trafficking.

"It's a crime that knows no race, gender or border and something impacting women and teenage girls in the Tulsa area," said US Attorney Trent Shores.

Shores said his office prosecutes many cases involving sex and labor trafficking right here in Green Country and said these events are a good reminder that people care.

"People in Oklahoma need to be aware it's happening in your front yard," said attendee Caitlin Key.

That's why mom Natalie Tack brought her 3 kids to march together.

"I want my children within arm's reach," Tack said. "I'm paying way more attention to who I'm parking next to and just my surroundings."

Another Rise Up Event just down the road in Broken Arrow brought hundreds together with the same message. There were raffles and events to raise money and awareness for the cause.

"People want community now more than ever. It's a subject that is real life and we have to talk about it because it's real," said organizer Erica McMullen.

McMullen said this isn't the end of their fight to end trafficking.

 "Come together with your community," she said.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children said reports for people trying to trick children into sending them sexual material have gone up 90% compared to this time last year.