More than 70 high school students will volunteer for New Albany High School's next Unchained fashion show, according to event leader Anitra Karthic.

More than 70 high school students will volunteer for New Albany High School's next Unchained fashion show, according to event leader Anitra Karthic.

The community event will be held at 12:15 p.m. May 16 at the Jeanne B. McCoy Community Center for the Arts, 100 W. Dublin-Granville Road in New Albany.

Unchained, a Columbus-based nonprofit organization, helps high schools, universities and other organizations raise awareness about human trafficking through themed fashion shows.

Human trafficking is a problem right here in central Ohio, said Michelle Hannan, director of Salvation Army's anti-trafficking program.

Although human trafficking is newly defined as a crime, the Salvation Army doesn't have a great deal of data on incidents that have occurred, she said.

Still, the Salvation Army has identified 150 people who reach out for assistance with human trafficking each year, Hannan said, and that number increases to at least 200 when considering those who have reached out to the coalition of central Ohio organizations associated with human trafficking.

A 2010 study from the Ohio Attorney General's Human Trafficking Commission estimated that just under 2,000 people are trafficked across the state at any given time, Hannan said. That study considered only minors and foreign nationals.

"That excludes what I am sure is hundreds" of American adults trafficked each year, she said.

Although sex trafficking often is noticed more often than labor trafficking, Hannan attributes that to a lack of means to identify labor trafficking rather than a lack of it.

Hannan said transportation is one of the variables that can affect human trafficking. Columbus, for example, is situated where major interstate highways meet up.

"That is definitely a factor," she said.

Venues like truck stops and large convention centers also can localize the demand for human trafficking, Hannan said.

Poverty and desperation are risk factors, she said.

Many victims are first trafficked as minors. Runaways or children thrown out of their homes have huge risk factors for becoming victim to trafficking, she said. Those who are looking to take advantage of Columbus' economy might also become vulnerable to exploitation, she said.

Karthic, a junior who is leading the event at New Albany High School for the second year, said she was inspired to become involved because of her closeness in age to the average ages of human trafficking victims: 12 through 14.

Although last year's event was free, this year she hopes to raise $5,000 through ticket sales and corporate sponsorships, she said. The funds will be donated to Unchained, which will distribute it to organizations supporting human trafficking victims.

The show will feature 30 student models, Karthic said. The clothing line, which will tell the story of a victim's journey as a survivor, was designed by Project Runway participant Korto Momolu.

"It honestly does leave a lasting impression in the audience's mind," Karthic said.

Last year's event drew about 500 students and 75 community members.

This year, she said, she believes 100 community members and the entire high school will attend.

Those interested in attending can go online to for tickets. Tickets for New Albany High School students and staff members are free, and community tickets are $15.

To report information about human trafficking or to obtain help, call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center's hotline at 888-373-7888.