A locally produced documentary is nominated for a Northwest Regional Emmy.
It is called "Here?...Sex Trafficking In Our Community".
The creators said most people assume sex trafficking is something that happens overseas or in big cities like Seattle, but it is something that happens everywhere including our community.
Once the creators started talking about the issue of sex trafficking and making a documentary it became obvious it was an issue that they wanted to address.
Director, cinematographer and editor Nick Bauer said as soon as he and his fellow film makers started digging into the issues of sex trafficking in our community the resulting documentary took on a life of its own.
"The documentary does highlight minor sex trafficking, but then the component of gang trafficking came out through the production process and labor trafficking and even family member trafficking," said Bauer.
The documentary talks to survivors who were sex trafficked as minors.
Betty Adams, who spearheaded the documentary, said the survivors stories are shocking.
She said as a society we make assumptions about who is at risk of being trafficked.
"Of course we have kids who are runaways and in foster care that are perhaps at higher risk than someone who is at home but not necessarily, so the story you'll see, the survivors we talked to were both living at home at the time they were trafficked," said Adams.
The documentary includes an interview with a local madam who served time in the Benton County jail.
Bauer said even after seeing the documentary dozens of times the interview with her is still fascinating to him.
"Every time she appears in the piece I have the same reaction, and it's one of disbelief and disbelief in her disconnection to people, " said Bauer.
Adams said as tough as the documentary is to watch, and accept that something like this is happening right here in our community, there are organizations working together to find and help those being sex trafficked.
"My heart breaks for the survivors and the stories we hear, and I feel very fortunate to live in our community because I feel like that kind of heartbreak is balanced with some awesome groups out there reaching out, " said Adams.
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