LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A gala was held Saturday to help bring awareness to sex trafficking, a crime common in Nevada.
Human trafficking is one of the fastest-growing crimes in the country and Las Vegas ranks number one in the nation for the trafficking of minors, according to the B.E.A S.H.E.R.O. Foundation.
“This is everyone’s problem. This is not a female problem or male problem, it’s a human problem so everyone needs to be involved,” co-founder G. Eric Miles said.
The B.E.A S.H.E.R.O Foundation hosted its eighth annual Sex Trafficking Awareness Gala at the Palms Hotel and Casino.
Nevada currently has the second-highest rate of human trafficking in the country, according to impactnevada.org.
LVMPD Assistant Sheriff Sasha Larkin shared with 8 News Now just how prevalent it is in the valley.
“It’s not something that happens in a foreign land. Everyone is susceptible,” Larkin said. “It’s the girl next door, it’s your own child that gets lured online. Something that happens at school or the mall by a boy that they think they love, it could be any number of scenarios.”
Founder, Kimberly Miles said the amount of organizations she has partnered with is growing, because the need is ongoing.
“We can’t wait for somebody else to do something. it has to be local people which makes it contagious for each community,” Miles said. “We have one of our organizations opening a third house and another that just started Champions for Casa. We have over 3600 homeless kids in a foster program.”
Proceeds from Saturday’s event will support the foundation’s program for housing, medical, and counseling services for survivors. It also supports education and training for the prevention and intervention of sex trafficking.