By: Jillian Wilson
It's a dirty business that brings in billions of dollars and targets 11 to 14 year old girls.
Now local women are trying to stop it.
"Most people whenever you start talking about human trafficking, which is Modern Day slavery, they say well, it's not here, maybe in Illinois, it's Chicago, or maybe San Francisco or LA or New York, but it's not here in the Quad Cities, and I'm saying yes, it is here in the Quad Cities," says Maggie Tinsman, Founder Braking Traffik & Former Iowa State Senator.
Maggie Tinsman is a former Iowa State Senator and a strong advocate for women's rights.
Today, she sat down with the American Association of University Women to talk about the scary reality of human trafficking.
"We mainly have the attitude, it's not here and that's exactly where it is," says Tinsman.
And that very same attitude is letting the billion dollar business go unnoticed...until now.
Maggie started a group called breaking traffic and local women are on board.
"It's horrible. Its slavery and I have read about it for a long time and I wanted to do something about it. Now that Maggie is coalescing people, I want to join her," says Clara Caldwell, Communications Chair, AAUW.
Members of the AAUW say this is just another obstacle that's holding women back.
"Anytime you are dealing with issues that affect woman, it's important, but when you're dealing with people who are between 11, 12, and 14 years old, the most vulnerable segments of our society, someone has to step in and make sure something gets done," says Sandra Madsen, Vice President, Rock Island-Moline, AAUW.
Advocates tell CBS 4 raising awareness is a step in the right direction.
"I think just the fact that people finally are coming to recognize that it happens in our towns to our own little girls. I think that is hopeful," says Caldwell.
Leaders in the fight against human trafficking say if you see something suspicious or out of the ordinary, please call police.