New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas is taking a different approach when it comes to fighting human trafficking.

Instead of prosecuting victims like prostitutes, people suspected of being forced into sexual slavery are offered assistance.

Special Agent Anthony Maez told KTSM, “Many people think (human trafficking) is international or it’s over borders, but it’s domestic and it’s occurring right here in our state.”

Last week, investigators with the AG’s office’s human trafficking task force went undercover to rescue victims and arrest traffickers.

The operation took an unexpected turn when one woman suspected of being trafficked showed up to a hotel with five kids in the car.

Maez said, “The conditions for them is not the conditions we want to see children in — 100-degree weather, unclothed, soiled diapers.”

Those children were turned over to the Children, Youth and Families Department or CYFD pending the outcome of an investigation.

Meanwhile, Jacob Storey, an agent in the attorney general’s human trafficking unit, told KTSM he hopes the new approach encourages more victims to come forward.

He said, “Arresting the victims doesn’t work. We have to save the victims because they’re a huge part of our case and they’re the ones that need help.”

If you’re a victim of human trafficking or know someone who needs help, call 1-888-373-7888 or text 233733.