It might be difficult for the average American to understand the problem of sex trafficking, or to notice it when it’s happening, New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof said during a visit Monday night to Washington State University Vancouver. For example, you might see a 15-year-old prostitute on the side of the road, dressed provocatively and making come-hither gestures at potential customers, Kristof said. Nobody’s holding a gun to her head and forcing her into a john’s car.“She doesn’t look like she’s being oppressed by anybody,” he said, so you might think, “if that’s what she wants to do, then what can we do?”But in reality, Kristof said, that girl could be a runaway who left behind an abusive stepfather. She could have met a pimp who has coerced her into prostitution, and who demands that she make a certain amount of money each day, or else he’ll beat her. Although the problem seems dire and prostitution is the oldest profession in the world, there are things community leaders can do to fight sex trafficking, Kristof said before a packed auditorium of about 200 on the WSUV campus. He was there to shine a light on the global problem of sex trafficking, which also affects a large number of girls in the U.S.