How Can You be Protected?
Sex trafficking is prevalent in both the United States and in countries worldwide – but could someone you know become a victim? Unfortunately, the answer is yes. It could be your neighbor, a friend or even a relative. Here are ways to protect others from becoming a victim:
- Talk to your child about the realities of sexual abuse. Remind your child that he or she can talk to you about anything. Ask him or her to come to you if there is abuse or mistreatment – verbally, physically or sexually.
- Talk to your child about consent at an early age. This can be as simple as teaching your child it is okay to say “no” to a hug from an adult, if they feel uncomfortable, etc.
- Verbalize to your child how much he or she is loved and valued, and show that love every day. Talk about what real, Christ-like love is all about (1 Cor. 13: 4-8).
- Know your child’s friends. Learn about those your child chooses to spend time with after school and on the weekends.
- Trust your child, but be cautious about surroundings. Take advantage of online parental control settings and stay aware of all cell phone communications.
- Be social media savvy. Monitor your child’s social media activity and remind him or her to keep all personal information private.
- Keep online time out in the open. Ensure your child is only on the Internet in common areas of your home, like a living room, kitchen or family room.
- Be transparent about your own life experiences. This may help your child understand why you make the decisions you do and could encourage them to confide in you when it really counts.
- Take the time for extracurricular activities. Encourage your child to be active in sports, church outings, school clubs and more. Traffickers are thought to be looking for victims in malls, gas stations, parks, restaurants and other places children hang out when they “have nothing to do.”
- Decide whether a GPS tracking device is right for your family, such as an AMBER Alert GPS.
If your child runs away, immediately report him or her as missing to your local law enforcement agency.
What are the Signs of Traffic Activity?
Victims of Sex Trafficking May Appear:
- Fearful, especially near law enforcement
- Unaware of their location or surroundings (city, state, etc.)
- Depressed, nervous and/or paranoid
- Overly sexual, talking a lot about sexual activity or an older boyfriend
Victims of Sex Trafficking May Also:
- Avoid eye contact
- Lie about their age
- Be branded/tattooed
- Lack personal belongings
- Have no sense of time
- Give “scripted” answers or inconsistent details regarding their whereabouts or activities
- Exhibit signs of abuse (bruises, scratches, welts)
- Lack identifying documents (driver’s license, I.D., etc.)
- Have no control of his/her own money
- Have evidence of controlling or dominating relationships
If you see something suspicious, report it!
Recognize the signs; help save a life! If you suspect someone is being trafficked in the United States, call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center at 1.888.373.7888 immediately or Text HELP to 233733 (BEFREE) 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Our commitment to our clients.
In accordance with federal law and U.S. Department of Justice policy, and subject to applicable exceptions, this organization is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age, or disability. To file a complaint of discrimination, write the Florida Department of Legal Affairs, Federal Discrimination Complaint Coordinator, PL-01 The Capitol, Tallahassee, Florida, 32399-1050, or call 850-414-3300, or write Office for Civil Rights, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice, 810 7th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20531 or call 202-307-0690 (Voice) or 202-307-2027 (TDD/TYY) or https://www.ojp.gov/program/civil-rights/filing-civil-rights-complaint. Individuals who are hearing impaired or have speech disabilities may also contact OCR through the Federal Relay Service at 800-877-8339 (TTY), 877-877-8982 (Speech), or 800-845-6136 (Spanish).