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COVE empowers women and changes lives in Mason, Lake and Oceana Counties. Volunteers are always needed, goods, donations and all monies raised stay right here in rural Michigan. Make a difference today for the children of tomorrow. When the power of love overcomes the love of power, there will be peace.

The mission of COVE is to provide protection and advocacy to victims of Domestic / Sexual Violence and or Homelessness, and to educate the community about the root causes of violence.

Human trafficking problem growing in Michigan

, Detroit Free Press

Michigan has seen a 16% increase in reported human trafficking cases, according to data released Thursday.

Polaris, an organization that helps fight human trafficking across the globe, released the data from the National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC) hotline, stating that there were 152 Michigan human trafficking cases reported in 2015. They  included 122 cases of sex trafficking and 18 cases of labor trafficking.

In 2014, 131 cases were reported. Since 2007, the NHTRC has received reports of 556 cases of human trafficking in Michigan, according to the data.

Across the U.S. and overseas, there were 5,973 cases of human trafficking reported to the NHTRC and Polarisís BeFree Textline, and a total of 1,636 survivors of sex and labor trafficking reached out to the hotlines, a 24% increase over 2014.  In total, NHTRC and Polaris have received reports of 25,696 cases of human trafficking since December 2007, establishing the largest data set on human trafficking in the U.S.

To address the growing problem, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations, along with other law enforcement agencies, is hosting a human trafficking seminar Thursday.

"We're doing this forum about human trafficking to pool all the resources to address this threat," said Khaalid Walls, ICE's Northeast Regional Communications spokesman, adding that the U.S. Attorney's Office and the University of Detroit Mercy are participating, as well.

According to data from ICE, 1,437 individuals were arrested in 2015 across the country for human trafficking and nearly 400 trafficking victims were identified and offered critical services.

Walls said ICE investigators have seen an increase in cases throughout Michigan, affirming the data released Thursday. Walls said ICE usually increases its presence around high-profile events in metro Detroit such as the North American International Auto Show and sporting events.

"We see it and it's definitely increasing, whether it's a sporting event or high-profile conference, those events definitely can attract people who are looking to engage in a broad range of criminal activities," Walls said. "What we've seen is criminal groups who move around from city to city, engaging in their acts. And what it does is, create a marketplace where they know a lot of individuals are going to be."

For more information on human trafficking, go to



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