MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — One local group that helps trafficking victims says sex trafficking happens in Mobile County more than you think.

The Rose Center opened its drop-in center for victims a little more than four years ago. Since March 2018, they have helped more than 330 women and children ranging in ages from 8 to 45.

“I can tell you that statistically, the average age of forced entry into the life in the States is 13,” said Crystal Yarbrough, the Executive Director of The Rose Center.

This week, two people were arrested and charged in a sex trafficking case of a 13-year-old girl. The Mobile County District Attorney says Grover Stone received sexual acts from the girl and paid Brandie Mckee for them with drugs and money. Mobile police say the incident stems from a report from last May, nearly a year ago, at the Extend-a-Suites on Coca Cola Road in Tillman’s Corner.

Prosecutors say Mckee and the victim knew each other. The Rose Center says that is not surprising, as they see a lot of domestic sex trafficking cases and often times is facilitated by someone the victim trusts.

“We kind of have to take what we believe sex trafficking is and kind of just flip it on its head, to be honest. What I mean by that is, they aren’t kidnapped, they aren’t held hostage because they trust the person. And if you trust someone, especially as an adolescent, cognitively you believe this person cares about you and you’re going to do what they ask you to do, right? If that’s all that you know,” said Yarbrough.

The Rose Center says trafficking happens more often than people realize, and some victims don’t want to come forward.

“They’re hesitant to come forward because they do believe they did something to ask for it. Right? And so there is also a lot of shame,” said Yarbrough.

They say parents should keep an eye on their kids’ behaviors for anything out of the ordinary.

“If there’s an older friend, an older boyfriend. Loss of track of kind of dates and times, unusual behavior. things that don’t really match. All of a sudden they may have expensive gifts, and different friends. A deep fear of someone getting close to their phone,” said Yarbrough.

The Rose Center helps a variety of victims. “We do everything from providing basic, basic needs, hygiene items, clothing, emergency shelter. We also help with placement, if long-term or residential treatment is what they need. Whether that be connecting to a substance abuse program or placement in a residential program for sexual exploitations specifically,” said Yarbrough.

You can call or text their hotline number at (251) 206-8779.