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Report: United States #1 country in the world for male human trafficking

(WPDE)

Experts say it's vastly under reported and often overlooked, but millions of men are victims of human trafficking world-wide.

A report from the National Human Trafficking Hotline showed which country they were most likely to be found in 2016--the United States.

It also found that 58 percent of male trafficking victims were used for forced labor, in industries spanning from agriculture and forestry to hotels and restaurants.

But, Ashley Cruz at the Rape Crisis Center told ABC15 that getting men to speak out about their situations like trafficking, domestic violence, or sexual assault is harder, even if she and her staff have resources available specifically for them.

"You have to be strong, you have to be aggressive, you can't fall victim to manipulation, coercion, or just straight fear. It's not allowed for males," Cruz said, while telling us that world-wide, 45 percent of all trafficking victims are male.

Cruz introduced us to her husband, a Brazilian jujitsu fighter and teacher. The couple helped a friend of the husband's after the friend was brought to the US to teach jujitsu classes, and never paid the money he was promised.

"The salary never came, and he was never put in a better place to sleep. He was taking showers in other gyms," Elton Hoshihara Cruz recalled.

He said human trafficking is common in the Brazilian jujitsu industry.

Ashley Cruz said human trafficking is on the rise for both men and women, explaining that it's on pace to overtake the drug trafficking industry within 5 years.

If you are a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or human trafficking and need help, please call the Rape Crisis Center at 843-448-7273 (Horry County) or 843-545-5198 (Georgetown County).

National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline: 888-373-7888

National Domestic Violence Hotline: 800-799-7233

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