What is Human Trafficking?
Human Trafficking involves the use of force, fraud, or coercion to obtain some type of labor or commercial sex act. In short, it is the exploitation of a person to benefit another person.
Sex Trafficking occurs when someone uses force, fraud, or coercion to cause a commercial sex act with an adult or causes a minor to commit a commercial sex act.
A commercial sex act includes prostitution, pornography, and sexual performance done in exchange for any items of value, such as money, drugs, shelter, food, or clothes.
Any person under the age of 18 involved in commercial sex is automatically a victim of human trafficking and does not require force, fraud, or coercion.
Some believe "it doesn't happen here". It is an invisible crime that goes unnoticed. The fact is, every state in the United States is affected by Human Trafficking. It happens in rural areas, the city, and suburbs. Boys, girls, men and women from all walks of life can be victims. There are no boundaries that traffickers won't cross. In most cases, trafficking happens within a relationship. Traffickers spend a lot of time grooming their victims to be able to build trust and gain access to the person they are pursuing. Trafficking can also happen in families with people the victims knows, loves and trusts.
Social media has become a tool that traffickers use to connect with potential victims. Live gaming is also a way traffickers prey upon their target. Teaching internet safety is key to protecting our loved ones.
Persons who are trafficked are in bondage, although not normally in chains physically, they are controlled by fear and psychological manipulation. A lot of times victims cannot see a way out and don't realize they are being trafficked. Traffickers use tactics such as becoming a friend or support person and may even pretend to be interested romantically. Education and awareness are key in preventing and spotting human trafficking.
To report Human Trafficking:
National Human Trafficking Hotline
Anti-trafficking hotline advocates are available 24/7 to take anonymous reports of potential human trafficking. Call or text to get help for yourself, someone else or to report suspicious activity.
Interested in learning more about Human Trafficking? Please contact us to schedule an education and awareness event. We are looking for more ways to reach our community and to partner with individuals, organizations and churches to fight against Human Trafficking. Contact Julie @ 443-786-1843.