SANTA CRUZ – Truck stops, roadside motels and rural highways. The ordinary spaces remind Deborah Pembrook of her childhood as a sex slave.
Those places, and other upscale sites, are hubs for California’s thriving human-trafficking industry today, Pembrook said during a presentation Saturday at Santa Cruz Police Department.
She showed map of the U.S. with the nation’s largest concentration of human trafficking in the San Francisco Bay Area and the Central Coast. Pembrook, who continues to fight the problem through the Coalition to End Human Trafficking in Santa Cruz and Monterey Counties, is part of a movement teaching people how to identify the subtle signs of human trafficking.