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Trafficking hotline calls up 24% in 2015

NEW YORK CITY (BP) -- Human trafficking victims are reaching out for help in increasing numbers, according to an advocacy group that operates a national text and phone call center. More than 1,600 survivors of human trafficking reached out for help in 2015 -- a 24 percent increase over 2014, according to the nonprofit anti-trafficking organization Polaris. The hotline also takes calls from concerned friends, family and bystanders who witness suspected human trafficking incidents.

Report: Efforts to punish sex traffickers improving

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (BP) -- When the advocacy group Shared Hope released its first report card on efforts to combat sex trafficking of America's children, 26 states received a failing grade. This year's report card, released Nov. 11, proved a surprise to Shared Hope founder Linda Smith. "I was excited there were no Fs," Smith said. "In 2011, we had 26 states with failing grades -- so many places in the United States ...