Volunteers teamed up with City Attorney Mara Elliott on Saturday morning for a special mission: Raise awareness about the dangers of human trafficking.
"It’s really important to educate the community about what trafficking looks like and I think the number one question is 'OK, something doesn’t look right, who do I call?'" said Elliott.
Elliott and the team of volunteers went to massage parlors to make sure businesses have posted a flyer warning people about the signs of human trafficking. By law, massage businesses need to have the poster up.
“Massage parlors are a place where we know it can happen, and like you said there are a lot of really good ones, but there are also some that are used as a front for illicit activity,” said Elliott.
Elliott took NBC 7 on one of the compliance checks. The business was following the rules.
Compliance checks happen year-round. To the City Attorney, it's a valuable tool in San Diego’s fight against human trafficking.
Human trafficking is San Diego's second largest underground economy after drug trafficking. The revenue of the underground sex economy is estimated at $810 million, according to research from the University of San Diego.
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Any volunteers who want to join the outreach efforts may contact the City Attorney’s Nuisance Abatement Unit at (619) 533-5500.
If you are a victim of human trafficking, please contact the San Diego Family Justice Center for help at (866) 933-4673.