If you think sex trafficking is a "big city" problem, think again.
Abuse Prevention Coordinator for the Child Advocacy Centre for Simcoe/Muskoka out of Orillia, Samantha Ward, says it's happening everywhere.
She says "Upwards of 93% of sex trafficking cases are domestic, meaning these are Canadian people being trafficked in Canada."
Ward was in Saugeen Shores October 11th, addressing about 100 members of the public at the Bruce County Museum and Cultural Centre.
The meeting was sponsored by Canadian Federation of University Women, Southport Chapter.
Ward says commercial sexual exploitation can affect anyone but it's primarily women and girls.
She says the important thing is for people to try to recognize those that are being abused.
Ward pulled no punches saying recruitment of women can happen anywhere, even Women and Youth shelters.
She says, "Traffickers are aware of the fact that in those locations there are vulnerable people and it's a very easy recruitment tactic to send someone in," to entice them to a so-called better life through the sex trade.
Ward told the crowd there can be tell-tale signs that someone might be abused and used for sexual favours.
Victims likely would have no personal identification; are inappropriately dressed for the weather and show signs of poor health and hygiene, along with signs of malnutrition.
Ward says if you have any suspicions at all, you should contact police stating, "Police are very much on board on what this issue looks like......and they can offer support."
Because of the advocacy centre's location in Orillia and Barrie, Ward says they aren't working on any specific cases in Bruce/Grey, however she suggests statistically "It's happening in Bruce Grey County. There is a demand for the purchase of sex that no community is immune from."
On the other hand Ward says they've seen several cases of human trafficking go through Simcoe/Muskoka.
She says since their Orillia office opened in 2014, they have dealt with over 600 interviews of child abuse.
This past September another office opened in Barrie.