Seven years ago, I was handed a book by a friend of mine with some urgency and importance. I looked at the cover and put it on the shelf to read later. The book was Rescuing Hope by Susan Norris and the topic was sex trafficking in America.
And like most Americans, 7 years ago, I did not think this was a relevant topic to the majority of American females. I was horribly wrong. And it’s happening in communities big and small across our nation. The victims are hiding right in plain sight and we are the front line.
JUN 14, 2019
“This insidious epidemic happens in restaurants, factories, farms, nail salon, and hotels in all of our communities and neighborhoods.”
How to Identify Human Trafficking Victims
Despite the growing global awareness, human trafficking in America is still a dirty little secret operating in plain daylight.
According to the UNODC report on human trafficking, sexual exploitation is the most common form of human trafficking (79%). The majority of the victims of sexual exploitation are young girls and women. Forced labor is the second most common form, and it constitutes about 18%.
What’s more, this insidious epidemic happens in restaurants, factories, farms, nail salon, and hotels in all of our communities and neighborhoods. While these victims may have a seemingly legal job, they are often mistreated and overworked for little or no pay.
Unfortunately, many local governments are still not fully educated and equipped on the true scope of this epidemic. It is quite sad to know that there is even reluctance when it comes to reporting or prosecuting human trafficking cases, for fear of retaliation by the criminal organizations running these operations.
This is why individuals – You and I – must step up efforts to help combat this inhumane act. Here are some common indicators to help identify victims of human trafficking in your community:
INJURIES AND SIGNS OF PHYSICAL ABUSE
AVOIDING EYE CONTACT
POOR MENTAL HEALTH
Please watch this short video and see if you can spot the trafficking victims. How many did you see? Were you shocked at the signs that were right in front of your eyes and you didn’t even notice? Me too!
WORKING EXCESSIVELY LONG HOURS
POOR LIVING CONDITIONS
LACK OF CONTROL
“If you believe you have come in contact with a victim, contact police and Dept of Homeland Security immediately.”
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