Charleston County is in the top five for human trafficking in South Carolina.
This Friday, the Tri-County Human Trafficking Task Force began operating to reduce the number of human trafficking cases in our state and assist survivors.
The organization will tackle human trafficking on several fronts, including prevention, providing care for survivors and backing legislation combating trafficking.
Brooke Burris is the chair of the newly formed tri-county task force.
Burris believes the men buying sex from trafficked girls need to face a tougher punishment and higher fines.
She says right now the fine is 200 dollars or less.
There are two bills in the house right now addressing the issue, which would raise the penalty for buyers.
“The new penalty for justice solicitation of prostitution would be 250 to 1000 a dollar for first offense, the next offense up to 3,000 then third.. 5,000,” days Burris.
One of Burris's first actions is to get these bills passed and into law.
However, until there is more accountability, her focus is on rescuing victims and getting them emergency medical care and a safe place to stay.
" The elephant in the room is that we do not have an emergency care centers for children or for adults,” says Burris.