What exactly is "Trafficking in Persons"?
"Traffickers use force, fraud, or coercion to lure their victims and force them into labor or commercial sexual exploitation. They look for people who are susceptible for a variety of reasons, including psychological or emotional vulnerability, economic hardship, lack of a social safety net, natural disasters, or political instability." (Department of Homeland Security)
In other words, the poor, the homeless, the prostitute, children, even those who've suffered from some type of disaster - the most vulnerable in our society - become easy targets for traffickers. We must open our eyes and observe what's happening around us, because this is not a problem that is just overseas in some remote location. Human trafficking is happening right now, right here - in our own cities and towns, in our own neighborhoods.
Here are some common indicators that should help us all recognize human trafficking:
- Does the person appear disconnected from family, friends, community organizations, or houses of worship?
- Has a child stopped attending school?
- Has the person had a sudden or dramatic change in behavior?
- Is a juvenile engaged in commercial sex acts?
- Is the person disoriented or confused, or showing signs of mental or physical abuse?
- Does the person have bruises in various stages of healing?
- Is the person fearful, timid, or submissive?
- Does the person show signs of having been denied food, water, sleep, or medical care?
- Is the person often in the company of someone to whom he or she defers? Or someone who seems to be in control of the situation, e.g., where they go or who they talk to?
- Does the person appear to be coached on what to say?
- Is the person living in unsuitable conditions?
- Does the person lack personal possessions and appear not to have a stable living situation?
- Does the person have freedom of movement? Can the person freely leave where they live? Are there unreasonable security measures?
Not all indicators listed above are present in every human trafficking situation, and the presence or absence of any of the indicators is not necessarily proof of human trafficking.
We just need to be aware. And take action when we spot it.
In her new novel, Imperfect Bonds, Elizabeth Noyes addresses the topic of human trafficking. At the end of the book, she provides a list of resources, and we're providing that list here today.
Learn How to Protect Yourself and Your Children
& How to Fight Against Human Trafficking
U.S. Department of State
Department of Homeland Security
Department of Homeland Security
Human Trafficking Awareness Organization
HOTLINE: 1 (888) 373-7888
Text HELP to 233733 (BEFREE)
To get help for victims and survivors of human trafficking, or to connect with local services.
Book Three of the Imperfect Series
by Elizabeth Noyes
Now available in print and Kindle formats!
Some bonds hold strong despite our efforts to break them.
Cassidy Cameron’s life is in a tailspin. Her estranged twin sister hates her. Her family tiptoes around her. She’s lost her driver’s license and any hope of a new job. Worse, the arrogant town
deputy who stole her heart wants more than she’s willing to give … or is she the one who wants more from him? And now she’s being threatened by a pair of unsavory ruffians.
Deputy Derek Naughton is stumped and aggravated by a series of malicious pranks around the county. Add in a too-smart German shepherd and a too-sexy troublemaker who also happens to be his best friend’s little sister, and he’s ready to cry uncle.
Derek pulls out his guns instead when Cassie stumbles into a maelstrom of illegal arms deals, illicit drugs, and human trafficking.
This sizzling romantic suspense is chock full of nail-biting, edge-of-your-seat action.
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