EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the first of a three-part series that will provide an in-depth look at the in-roads of sex trafficking in Lycoming County, the easy access provided by Route 15 and resources for youth trafficking victims.
WILLIAMSPORT – It’s hard to imagine something as pervasive as sex trafficking taking root in Lycoming County, but for victims and activists, the problem has been ignored for far too long.
Born in Williamsport and shuffled from home to home throughout the county, Lynaugh Bobst made it through her entire childhood as a victim of sex trafficking.
“I showed every marker for severe abuse and the services weren’t there,” Bobst said. “If we can break down the stigma, people are going to be more comfortable talking about their experiences … then we can get services and we can get the resources to fund those services and then people can heal – we deserve to heal.”
Sex trafficking is a $150 billion industry that grew from a measly $34 billion in just about 10 years. It reaches across the globe and Lycoming County is no exception.