Plymouth State University will hold a conference Saturday to raise awareness about human trafficking.
"Even the victims themselves oftentimes don't recognize themselves as victims,” said Stephanie Halter, associate professor of criminal justice at Plymouth State University, member of the N.H. Human Trafficking Collaborative Task Force. “So it's kind of helping people understand what this really looks like and helping them see this as a crime."
Halter says that, between January and the end of June, law enforcement confirmed 22 human trafficking victims in New Hampshire. These are often cases where the victim is forced, defrauded, or coerced into sex or labor.
In 2016, the Department of Justice awarded New Hampshire a $1.3 million grant to combat human trafficking and raise awareness.
"I think many people think of New Hampshire as this very safe environment -- which it is,” Halter said. “But we're not immune from the ills of the world and that stuff can still happen here."