So what now?
Human trafficking….being proactive
When it comes to a topic that can put you in anxiety overload, know that your eyes and ears are key. Discuss the power (good and bad) with social media with your young person. Empower them, but enlighten them. The more we know the safer those we love are.We need to know what someone who may be subject to this looks like.
Human trafficking is a global issue: what to look for
• Physical appearance: looking unkempt, malnourished
• Mental health/behavior: skittish, consistently on edge or nervous, overwhelming sadness or depression, noticeably defensive or paranoid when chatting about family history or law enforcement, not able to have consistent stories.
• Family history: Where they live is gray and uncertain. They lack a real timeline.
• Detachment from those around them (colleagues, students, peers, etc.) No independence. No personal space.
• They are very point a to b attending work or school and nothing else.
• Lacking personal possessions, nothing is really their own.
• Actions and opinion overseen by someone else – they have no voice.
• They are monitored or lack control of their finances, bank account.
Signs that indicate someone may be being held against their will:
• Not able to go anywhere without permission.
• There is excessive debt they can’t break free from.
• They work long hours, but pay is minuscule.
• Hours for work are exceptionally long and pay is either nonexistent or minimal.
• Restrictions in the work place that are unusual.
• Work place or home is out of the norm with security measures (cameras) and a limit of views (windows boarded or taped up).
Human trafficking and how to keep your kids safe
Keep your eyes open. Know that your efforts, words and insight can not only protect your loved ones, but save an innocent heart from a pain no one deserves.
If you have suspicions or you have a nagging gut feeling that something is off, you have every right to make a phone call to your local authorities. Call, reach out and express your concerns. If you’re wrong, there is no consequence. If you’re right, you just freed a human being from a living hell. Your voice means something. I believe if we open our eyes and educate others the tide can and will turn. We can do this.
If you have suspicions that someone is a victim of human trafficking please contact the National Human Trafficking Hotline: 888.373.7888
We can empower and guard our kids, but we must not be silent for those who fall prey. Chat with your kids. Hug them. Pray for their protection. I wish you a week of family, empowerment and compassion. Peace, Love & Goodness!