Saturday, June 22, 2013

HUMAN TRAFFICKING IN AMERICA...WHAT DOES IT LOOK LIKE?



 
 

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.

 
Do you feel it is important to discuss human trafficking with your tween/teen?

 

 


Picture courtesy of: http://www.dreamcenter.org/dream-center/human-trafficking/



40 comments:

Unknown said...

Wow, I had no idea this was so common. I am very sorry to hear it. I will speak to my children and do what I can to raise awareness. Thanks for bringing this to your readers' attention!

CrazyNutsMom said...

This is definitely a conversation parents should have with their kids. Thanks for sharing.

Pepper Tan said...

That is just scary. Yes, we don't realize that it could happen to anybody- even to our kids. As parents, we should always keep the lines of communication with our kids open. This way, we're more aware of their needs, and they won't feel that they're lacking in any way.

Anonymous said...

This makes me sad. Just sick to my stomach. The conversation absolutely has to happen, and it has to be instilled from a young age, I believe. I heard a story of traffickers who used women who appeared to be mothers of small children, other children, the last people you would image to lure youth into tracking. My heart goes out to them, and I thank you for opening the door for this conversation. Great article.

Christy G said...

This is a very important topic. It is scary how teens are dragged into such a violent and crazy lifestyle. :(

Anonymous said...

This is so disturbing. This is not a conversation I've ever had with my kids, but apparently I need to. I tend to think of human trafficking as something happening in other countries. Thank you for sharing!

leonardoverse said...

This subject is so under reported while being so widespread. I blame the media for not being on top of this.

Laura Cyra said...

This is a great resource for parents looking to talk to their children about human trafficking. We take for granted how easy it is for teens to get lured into a situation like this. Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

This is such a sad situation, but you're correct in drawing our attention to it. A must have conversation #SITSBlogging

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