Human Trafficking: 5 Scary Facts you need to know!
Human Trafficking: 5 Scary Facts you need to know! Unquestionably this is a huge issue that needs to be addressed frequently. With the rise of dating websites and technology, human trafficking has soared to new depths of evil. Read on for 5 Scary Facts you need to know and ways to identify human trafficking.
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Why am I talking about Human Trafficking?
- I recently took a class on human trafficking at my place of employment. I am a Nurse, a traveler, a female citizen, a neighbor, a friend, a watchful eye on any time something doesn’t feel right. It is my obligation and should be yours too, to be able to educate yourself on human trafficking and how to recognize it. Granted we all are not medical professionals, but that does not mean you can not be a voice or watch for signs of human trafficking!
- Because, the harsh reality is, it might be right in your backyard and you don’t even know it. And, the reality of it gives me chills just thinking about it. A human trafficker can be your child’s University Professor, Softball Coach, or that friendly “dad” of all dads that loves his wife and his children. If this is scaring you, it should! Human Trafficking, is a scary topic!
First, let’s talk about Human Trafficking. What is it?
- Human Trafficking, is the modern day slavery. Every day, every minute, and every year people are forced into slavery. Men, women, children of all ages, even children from the ages of 3-4 are led into performing sexual acts by force, coercion, and told to work for long hours with out pay. They are often assaulted mentally, physically, and emotionally.
- From the Department of Human Trafficking, they “estimate that human trafficking generates many billions of dollars of profit per year, second only to drug trafficking as the most profitable form of transnational crime. Human Trafficking is a hidden crime.”
- “Human traffickers look for people susceptible for a variety of reasons, including psychological or emotional vulnerability, economic hardship, lack of social safety net” and many others.
If you suspect someone is being trafficked, report it Call:
- 1 (888) 373- 7888 National Human Trafficking Resource Center
- Text message- 233733- text HELP or INFO
- If you suspect Child Trafficking call – 1-800- 96- ABUSE
Some educational reading, find some books here:
5 Scary Facts about Human Trafficking you need to know:
First: Teacher, Friend, Neighbor
- This was touched on earlier in the paragraph above. You might be asking yourself, how could my friend be a human trafficker?
- Let’s think about this for a minute, shall we? It’s scary, really.
- I have heard several stories about this. Too many to name or even reference too. One of those stories include a man who was in a loving relationship with his wife for 7 years. They had had 1 child and their marriage was great! He didn’t mention anything about being unhappy, life was normal as usual. They had their 2nd child and that’s when things changed.
- Once the second child came along, he was no longer in the “picture.” He was a well known professor who was around kids all the time. His wife wasn’t affectionate anymore. People long for love and affection, and will seek it out if they are not getting it! It is a known fact. He wasn’t getting the love, affection, attention that he had before, so he looked for it. Even though, it could have been given at home. But, some marriages fail because of this very reason. This brings me to my next “Scary Facts. “
Second: Ages 35-55
- Age, is the 2nd out of the “5 Scary Facts about Human Trafficking.” That’s the relative ages of Human Traffickers.
- Think about this for a second. You just read the “First” paragraph, stating that a Human Trafficker can be a college professor, right? What’s his age? Maybe mid 40’s, with 2 kids, married, probably has a Masters Degree or PHD.
- What does this have in common?
- Age- mid 40’s as an example
- Disposable Income- has a job, a way to fund his addiction, more money than the average citizen.
- Lonely, looking for affection, wanting attention, has sexual needs that are not getting fulfilled, losing his power, his confidence, his self esteem. This creates a large recipe for a Human Trafficker.
- This day and age it is so easy. We hear time and time again, even in my field where I work (in the trenches) of how easy it is to obtain drugs and sex. Naïve people, sometimes like I was, think it’s hard. But, really? Think about it?! Remember how I mentioned those websites earlier. There is a “black web” of websites we don’t even know about that are directing these people to a life of crime, sex, human trafficking, and drugs. It started with Craigslist, I believe and can be found on others I won’t name.
- Married, is the 3rd out of the “5 Scary Facts about Human Trafficking. “
- Most men and women ( I am not leaving them out, they work in this industry too), are MARRIED and HAVE KIDS!!
- Many girls and women will tell stories of how their perpetrators were mostly married men who have kids at home. Or, these men were coming over on their work break. SCARY!!
- These men and women had disposable income, were able to spend about $300-800 on a sex encounter for an hour or so and go back to work!
- Often times, they are having sex with a girl or boy that is the age of their child at home!! Can you imagine? Again, scary.
- Previous Human Trafficked girls tell stories about how they would fear for their safety with these encounters. Because, sometimes you would have men who were partying on Cocaine, and couldn’t perform, and they would assault the girls. The assaults were physical abuse and rape. The girls would return to their “pimps” and were assaulted again, because now the girl has bruises over her face and that doesn’t “look good.”
- In this situation, what would you have done?
- Signs, is the 4th out of the “5 Scary Facts about Human Trafficking.”
- There are movies, I can’t think of one right now but they talk about seeing “Signs” and they believe that there are truly signs in your life that guide or direct you to make decisions. Calls to action, is what I call them. Ahh, I know what the movie is, ” Fools Rush In.” Remember that movie? Selma Hayek, was constantly looking for signs to help guide her decision whether to move to Vegas or stay in Mexico with her family. She then taught her then fiancé how to read them, and eventually a sequence of signs led them back to each other in the end. What a good love story.
Ok, so what about these signs??
- Mental picture game here. Picture yourself driving down the road and you are stopped by that 5th red light. Look to your left and you notice some signs. They mention, “Come work for us, $25/hour!” “Call this number- for work ” and they list a number. They don’t give any information about what the job is or where the job is. These are HUMAN TRAFFICKING gateway signs!
- Men and Women , who are in a rut and have succumb to hard times, see this as an easy way to make a quick buck.
- DON’T DO IT! These are traps. People call the numbers expecting to work, and they show up at the job. The victims are expected to work long hours 12 or more and never get paid. The girls, men, women, and children are taken into a life a hard labor for little to no money. The victims are not given simple necessities such as showers, toiletries, clothes, etc. Often, are photographed and the pictures are sold on the dark web and they are sold in an “auction type” event and sold for sex and/or labor for large amounts of money, they will never see.
- There are so many examples of these signs, if you google them. I can’t place images of them here without hunting for the author who photographed the picture and asking for permission to post. So, you can easily drive down the road and see these signs or find them on the internet.
- Location, is the 5th out of the “5 Scary Facts about Human Trafficking.”
- Location, Location, Location, you have heard of that many times when searching for a house. But, what I want you to think about now when you hear that is, “Am I in a location where Human Trafficking is rampant?“
- This is a HUGE call to action when I talk about Location.
- Walking in the airport, have you ever just sat at looked at people? You know “people watched.” I love to people watch in airports. You see some characters! But, have you ever actually looked at what the people were doing? What were those people wearing? Have you looked at their face, were they looking up at you, did you see their eyes?
- Have you looked at a girls clothes and noticed that she was covered head to toe in long sleeves, a jacket, and jeans? Seems a little abnormal, doesn’t it?
- More importantly, think about the all the times you have walked down the aisle in a plane. I always look at peoples faces because I want to know what they look like, in the event something happens. Did you notice a girl looking down, not making eye contact, not acting appropriately and wondered, “hmmmm, what’s wrong?”
- Clearly these are examples of subtle signs for you to notice. Be present. Get off your phone and watch the behavior and report something that doesn’t seem right.
- Can the girl go to the bathroom by herself? Or, does she require a “guard?”
Following this further, think about those nice luxurious locations you go too. Bahamas, Maldives, Thailand, or Europe just to name a few. While you are sipping on your drink on the beach, or eating a nice dinner, I want you to remember to look around you. PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR SURROUNDINGS!
- Who’s picking you up at the airport?
- Watch for people following you.
- Are you solo traveling? Be weary of those men that come up to you, “I’ll take you to a party” or “Let me drive you there…” Don’t do it. Just plain and simple safety measures.
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In conclusion, make the choice to be a voice! Be an educated and empowered citizen! Above all, report when something doesn’t feel right. You might end up saving a life!! Be a life saver. Educate your friends, family, and neighbors!
After reading this, I hope that you research ways you can help and volunteer at your local organizations. Finally, I want to mention that Florida is one of the largest Human Trafficking States, due to it’s location and I-10 which is literally a gateway to Texas, and various other states in the U.S. The interstate make is extremely easy to transport victims across state lines. Don’t forget about over seas either! Constantly be on the look out, and report!
Head over and watch a media video from the Florida Coalition Of Human Trafficking on my “Donation” page. Learn about how our government is trying to combat this serious problem. Donate to allow the members of this coalition to continue to fund their efforts in fighting human trafficking!