FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- In an effort to bring awareness to human trafficking community leaders came together Wednesday for a guided bus tour of Fresno's most concentrated areas where sexual exploitation is occurring led by Fresno PD's Vice Unit. Passengers got a firsthand look at the dangerous life many of these women face on the streets.
"The focus is to really show the devastation of human trafficking. The realities of human trafficking. It is an epidemic worldwide nationwide for sure in the Central Valley," said Andrea Shabaglian.
Andrea Shabaglian organized Wednesday's event through her foundation Made for Them, with over 40-million victims worldwide. Human trafficking is the fastest growing international crime and is affecting families across the board.
"Really some of this is hidden in plain sight. Some of this is what we might've expected but it's not in particular zip codes. It reaches all zip codes all families," said Shabaglian.
Ahabaglian hopes city leaders can become part of the solution and offer assistance to these victims to help them re-enter society.
"We need to do the work on the street with law enforcement we need to do the love and compassion to get people out of trafficking. Then we need on-ramps to get back into the mainstream," said H. Spees.
The narrative of so many lives lost will not change overnight but organizers hope this two bus tour could be the first step toward change and reversing the cycle in our community.
"When they drove down parkway and Belmont and Blackstone and these different areas in our community I hope that they saw that this is a problem and that we as a community we need to do this together. It's only together that we can create change."
Human trafficking awareness bus tour- Made for Them