You talk to your tween/teen about the dangers of drugs, alcohol, smoking cigarettes, texting while driving. You have probably even talked to your child about sex before marriage, unprotected sex, STD's, pregnancy, but have you talked to your tween/teen about human trafficking in America?
The United States is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children. More than 100,000 children in America are at risk of being sexually exploited each year. Men, women, and children are subjected to forced labor, debt bondage, involuntary servitude, and sex trafficking, including brothels, massage parlors, street prostitution, hotel services, agriculture, manufacturing, janitorial services, construction, health and elder care, and domestic service.
You may be thinking, "not my child". "She's a cheerleader." "She's an honor's student." "I don't have a daughter; I have a son." It's time for parents to wake up, because it can happen to your child - daughter or son. Having sex with a child is as easy as ordering a pizza.
HOW DOES IT HAPPEN? "Many pimps/traffickers often use a “lover-boy” technique to recruit girls from middle and high schools. A lover-boy will present himself as a boyfriend and woo the girl with gifts, promises of fulfilled dreams, protection, adventure – whatever she perceives she is lacking. After securing her love and loyalty, he will force her into prostitution."
HOW IS SHE CHOSEN? "Age is the primary factor of vulnerability. Pre-teen or adolescent girls (and boys) are more susceptible to the calculated advances, deception, and manipulation tactics used by traffickers/pimps – no youth is exempt from falling prey to these tactics. Traffickers target locations youth frequent such as schools, malls, parks, bus stops, shelters and group homes. Runaway or homeless youth, as well as those with a history of physical and sexual abuse, have an increased risk of being trafficked."
And you may be thinking, "why doesn't she just leave?" Sharon Cohn Wu of International Justice Mission says, “It’s easy to rescue someone who wants to be rescued. These kids don’t want to be rescued.” So you think, "why?"
- Victims are told that traffickers/pimps are their daddies. They are now part of a new “family” that loves them and cares for them. Only the traffickers have their best interests at heart, they’re told; everyone else is against them, particularly law enforcement.
- Traffickers lie to victims and threaten their families. “If you try to run, I’ll kill your mother. Or your little sister.”
- Many victims are constantly drugged, further messing up their minds. Add to that constant inhumane treatment and nightmare conditions, physical and mental abuse, threats (often carried out), and more.
- Often victims don’t know what city, state, or even country they’re in because they’re moved around so often.
- Many victims do not even realize they’re victims.
HOW CAN YOU HELP?
You can join Abolition International during the month of July for 31 Days of Freedom to help raise awareness about the thousands of women and children, who are enslaved in America and other countries.
I am also hosting a give-away to help spread the word! All you have to do to enter this give-away is write a post on your blog about human trafficking (it can be as short as a paragraph or two), or post on your Facebook page about Abolition International's 31 Days of Freedom with a link to their web page or tweet about 31 Days of Freedom. Make sure to leave a link to your blog post, Facebook post or tweet in the comment section below.
This give-away is not about me gaining followers on my blog, but about bringing awareness to the problem of human trafficking in America.
WHAT CAN YOU WIN?
You will win a Freedom bracelet from Abolition International, plus a Freeset Tote Bag. (These items can also be purchased here.)
Please join me in raising awareness about human trafficking in America.
Picture courtesy of: http://www.dreamcenter.org/dream-center/human-trafficking/