Local nonprofit and restaurant raise awareness during Human Trafficking Prevention Month


LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) – January is Human Trafficking Prevention Month.

Human trafficking can be seen all over the world, even here in Lexington.

“There are hundreds of women in Lexington that are currently suffering from this,” Johnica Merritt, with nonprofit organization Natalie’s Sisters said.

Natalie’s Sisters focuses on sex trafficking prevention and they take in nearly 50 women a day to provide them with basic necessities.

“We feed them. We clothe them. We give them toiletries, hygiene bags, snacks. We try to keep them with all of their basic needs,” Merritt said.

Every January, the organization partners with DV8 Kitchen, where they set out bins for people to donate tennis shoes.

The winter months can be hard on many of the women who come to Natalie’s Sisters because many of them are living on the streets.

“The sex trafficking or the exploitations that we usually see is often coercion due to mental health issues, or addiction,” she said.

Merritt said they’ll be taking a little extra time to have the tough conversations about the topic of trafficking this month.

“It can be such a taboo topic for people to talk about so we are glad that we had this whole month to just spread awareness and just give people more information about sex trafficking and exploitations,” Merritt said.

People can donate new or gently used shoes to both DV8 Kitchen restaurants in Lexington.

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