Group Raises Human Trafficking Awareness In The Name Of Carina Saunders

Thursday, December 22nd 2011, 11:20 pm
By: News 9

Jamie Oberg, News 9

OKLAHOMA CITY –- Oklahomans Against Human Trafficking, or OATH, is taking to the streets tonight to put out a message and to help victims.

The torture and murder of 19-year-old Carina Saunders has OATH organizers fighting even harder to stop trafficking and tragedies surrounding it.

The non-profit is starting up a "Carina" fund and some of the money goes toward a simple sticker with a phone number on it, for victims to call for help.

For the victims of human trafficking, asking for help isn't always easy. That's why Cathy Shuffield with OATH is out asking for them. She is placing stickers with OATH's phone number on it in bathrooms across the metro.

"Anywhere they go they're followed, they have no freedom," she said.

We watched as Shuffield pressed on a simple sticker on the girls' bathroom mirror inside a local truck stop. She hopes trafficking victims will see the number and call for help.

OATH director Mark Elam says victims are too scared to call police and wants to get more stickers put up across the state.

"They just want out of this, help get their life back together," Elam said.

The stickers are just one tool OATH is using to fight against human trafficking.

OATH is raising money for trafficking education and prevention in Oklahoma schools and homes and hopes to help get victims back on the right track.

They are raising money to do this through a new fund in the name of Carina Saunders,

"It's gripped the hearts of a number of people and it's caused fear and panic for parents. How could this happen?" Elam said.

Even though police do not believe Saunders was being trafficked, they do believe whoever killed her is involved in human trafficking.

"It's really shocked us and we don't want this to become a common issue," Elam said.

Until trafficking has stopped, Shuffield and others with OATH are out doing what they can and say every opportunity to even tell one person is one more opportunity to save a life.

To learn more about OATH, go to their website. You can donate money to the Carina fund or donate your time and volunteer to put stickers up in high risk trafficking areas of town.