“That which does not kill us makes us stronger.” ― Friedrich Nietzsche

In recent months, there have been a few different human trafficking busts in Horry County, with dozens of victims rescued. While human trafficking happens everywhere, why does Horry County seem to be a hot spot for this crime? Let’s look at the reasons why Horry County is a trafficking hot spot.

Why Horry County is a Human Trafficking Hot Spot

There are several factors that make Horry County a hot spot. Here are the top reasons:

All of these factors contribute to the prevalence of human trafficking in Horry County.

Human Trafficking Statistics

The most recent data on human trafficking is for the year 2021. In 2021, there were 19 reported human trafficking cases in Horry County. There are 52 court cases pending throughout the state. There were more victims recovered in 2021 at 206 than in 2020 at 179. This is a 15% increase in the number of rescued victims. Keep in mind that global human trafficking generates about $150 billion per year and most cases go unreported so there is a significant problem with underreporting of those numbers.

The Coastal Regional Human Trafficking Task Force that serves Horry and Georgetown counties cautions that the reason numbers seem higher in 2021 compared to the prior year is not necessarily caused by more human trafficking but rather the work of awareness campaigns. More people are noticing potential victims of human trafficking and more people are saying something or reporting it to officials or the National Human Trafficking Hotline. Indeed, the national hotline received 769 calls from South Carolina in 2021 compared to 531 the previous year.

Despite increased awareness, countless victims go unnoticed in our county and in our state. If you see something, say something. Program the number for the National Human Trafficking Hotline in your phone as you never know when you might encounter a victim or see something that looks like human trafficking. The National Hotline number is 1-888-373-7888 or you can text HELP to 233733. Help is available 24/7 and 365 days a year. If all of us keep our eyes open and be diligent, we can help in Horry County.