ELLWOOD CITY — Barb Bohizic is running out of space in her borough home for all the boxes of clothes she has collected.

But the clothes are not for her, they are for victims of domestic violence and human trafficking. And she hopes someone will step up and provide a space where the items can be better stored.

Bohizic, a member of the Crisis Shelter of Lawrence County's Coalition against Human Trafficking, is putting out a call for individuals or businesses that might be able to donate a room where clothing, shoes, jewelry, blankets and purses could be stored. She would have the key and the items would be distributed by appointment. If a business or individual has a space to donate, they can contact Bohizic at 724-698-9109.

"These women have gone through a horrendous time. We need to support them, accept them into the community and help them to get on their feet," Bohizic said.

She believes most people are not aware that human trafficking is a problem in Lawrence County because it is silent and falls under the radar.

"I was at a meeting of the Hope and Justice Project of the Diocese of Pittsburgh. The priest asked how many people knew about the problem of human trafficking, and I was the only one to raise my hand. People just don't know what a terrible problem it is," Bohizic said.

She said this area is in the center of drug and human trafficking as the highways go through here to Detroit, Chicago and Cleveland and then 1nterstate 80 goes all the way to New York.

Human trafficking is defined as a form of modern day slavery where people profit from the exploitation of others. Human traffickers use force, fraud or coercion against adult and child victims to manipulate them into engaging in commercial sex acts or labor or services in exchange for something of monetary value, or drugs, safety or transportation.

Bohizic became aware of human trafficking when a friend said to her that her husband, a bus driver, had mentioned picking up young Asian girls, who did not speak English, and taking them to Grove City where there would be a limousine waiting for them. The next time it happened the bus driver took down the limousine number. The FBI took the information, and with it were able to make arrests in 2006.

Later, at a meeting about human trafficking, the female FBI agent who had been involved in the case, was the speaker and talked about how to recognize victims using the case in Grove City as an example.

"We all need to be aware of signs of domestic violence or human trafficking, and they can include being isolated, no freedom of movement. We all need to be aware what is going on around us. There is just no such thing as a safe neighborhood," Bohizic said.

Bohizic and Rich Figurel of Ellwood City formed a local organization, Stop Taking Advantage of Needy and Disabled (STAND). If you are interested in joining, want information or need help, contact Bohizic.

"We help people of all ages with their civil rights or whatever they need. We have also started a neighborhood crime watch," she said.

Bohizic is also a member of Holy Redeemer Roman Catholic Church, where she belongs to Christian Mothers and Ladies of Charity.

"We just do things to help people. Recently we took gifts to shut-ins and people in nursing homes," she said.

After graduating from Lincoln High School in 1969, Bohizic worked as a fingerprint technician for the FBI in Washington, D.C. Bohizic, who was born and raised in Ellwood City, said her parents raised her and her brother to do things to help people.