Yakima pastor is bringing awareness to child sex trafficking - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Yakima pastor is bringing awareness to child sex trafficking

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YAKIMA, WA - Last month's net nanny operation in the Tri-Cities shed light on the scary reality that predators are looking to have sex with kids.

In Yakima, a pastor is on a mission to have a blunt discussion about sex trafficking and how to help its victims.

"There's this idea now with all the social media that's going on right now, that kids have this fundamental right to privacy when it comes to their cell phones or social media," said Dave Hanson, a pastor at Vineyard Church in Yakima. "Hear me when I say this, that's a lie. That's a lie!"

Pastor Hanson did not mince words about minor sex trafficking during a speech he gave to the rotary club of downtown Yakima Thursday afternoon.

He calls it modern-day slavery.

"It is heartbreaking that in this country, in this day and age, we're still talking about slavery," Pastor Hanson said. "But it's more prevalent now than perhaps it ever has been." 

Hanson is also the director of Sunrise Outreach Center, an organization that rehabilitates young sex trafficking victims.

"What they need is wraparound trauma reform interventions that are restorative and healing and give these kids a chance to get back on track," said Pastor Hanson.

He says in King County alone, police estimate as many as 500 teens are working as sex slaves every day. And once kids get out, Pastor Hanson believes adults that have even a tiny grasp of their trauma helps in their recovery process.

"And believe me when I tell you, you can absolutely make a difference with them. They can be better, they can get better."