PORTLAND (WGME) -- Local law enforcement wan to put a stop to sexual abuse and exploitation of children, and Saturday night they reached out to the public for help.
The presentation at St. Pius Church in Portland included experts from Homeland Security, Cumberland County District Attorney Jonathan Sahrbeck and the Knights of Columbus.
They want to educate the public about the epidemic of sex trafficking and child sex abuse here in Maine and beyond.
Experts on the panel said one in five children is sexually abused.
"We believe prevention will be done through educating our community. I believe in the people in Maine," Stop Trafficking US Executive Director Catherine Wilson said.
"So the more we build awareness the more we can help people avoid being trapped in this life," Sahrbeck said.
Panelists want to raise awareness about sex trafficking and also help people better understand the issue as well as be able to spot it.