Campaign kicks off to highlight uptick in sex trafficking during RIMPAC

Campaign kicks off to highlight uptick in sex trafficking during RIMPAC

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A new campaign is seeking to raise awareness about prostitution and sex trafficking during RIMPAC, world's largest maritime exercise.

The effort was launched by the Hawaii State Commission on the Status of Women, which is rolling out posters on social media and city buses.

The campaign also includes radio ads.

The massive military exercises bring in more than 26,000 visitors from more than two dozen countries whose governments are participating.

The sharp increase often equates to a spike in demand for those in the sex trade.

"We've heard that from survivors, directly from survivors, we've also seen that in national data," said Khara Jabola-Carolus, executive director of the commission. "During large events like the Super Bowl, the demand increases by 30-39 percent, and RIMPAC is the military's super bowl."

Carolus says the demand pushes pimps to find more prostitutes, often forcing runaway teens and immigrants into the lifestyle.

Posters with the hashtag #SheisAllWomen include the phone number 1-888-373-7888, a national hotline where people can get immediate help if they're a victim or believe someone else is.

RIMPAC ends Aug. 2. Police also report increasing patrols in the Waikiki area during RIMPAC and say they are working with the military on processing arrests.

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