AIKEN COUNTY, S.C. (WJBF) – Two men are facing charges following a sex trafficking investigation in Trenton.
Craig Ellis Codd, 52, and Simon Lavor Hammond, 39, are charged each with ten counts of trafficking in persons.
The investigation began four months ago when investigators received information on at least two people advertising a commercial sexual activity business on various websites.
Investigators found at least 3 female victims ranging in ages from 18 to 38.
“A lot of people don’t recognize it and it does exist,” Bilingual Counselor at Cumbee Center to Assist Abused Persons Vianca Anderson told NewsChannel 6’s Shawn Cabbagestalk when asked about human trafficking.
A growing problem not just in the united states but across the world. The International Labour Organization estimates there are 40.3 million victims of human trafficking globally.
“You would think that it’s usually 18 around that age, 16 to 20 but actually, any age any gender any sexual orientation can be a victim of human trafficking,” Anderson added, “it is a wide-spread issue and it’s been a widespread issue.”
She says one problem with victims is the fact that they simply don’t identify as victims because of this abusers. “A lot of power and control that their abusers use to keep them controlled is manipulation, it’s abuse and they a lot of times don’t identify as a victim of human trafficking,” she said.
So, what are some of the signs to look out for when someone is possibly being trafficked?
“Individuals that are trafficked are very timid. They are not comfortable stating their voice, expressing their opinions because they are afraid they are going to be abused if they give any information out about the amount of control they are under or about the people that are in control of them,” Anderson shared.
If you noticed these signs, you can try to give the victim a number to an organization like the Cumbee Center who is trained and skilled in helping them.
Meanwhile, back to the incident in Trenton, Codd and Hammond are currently held at the Aiken County Detention Center on unrelated charges. If you have any information, call 803-648-6811.
If you need assistance from organizations like the Cumbee Center, call (803) 649-0480 or the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1 (888) 373-7888.