Parents from across Myrtle Beach have asked for ways to help protect their children from Human Trafficking. Before we jump into the do’s and don’ts, let’s talk about what Human Trafficking entails:
What is Human Trafficking?
Human Trafficking falls into 2 categories: Sex trafficking, and forced labor. According to https://www.unodc.org, every stage of the trafficking process can involve physical, sexual and psychological abuse and violence, deprivation and torture, the forced use of substances, manipulation, economic exploitation and abusive working and living conditions. A study by THE COUNTER TRAFFICKING DATA COLLABORATIVE shows that 70 percent of the targeted victims are females. That study showed that the risk is even greater for women in areas where gender discrimination prevails.
You know, we often think of human trafficking as someone who forces their way into someone’s home and kidnaps them. While that occurs, over the years, perpetrators have used more subtle methods to lure their victims in. These methods include but are not limited to:
Posting false job Ads on the internet for modeling, nanny, waitressing jobs to lure their victims into the industry. Another method is also known as The Romeo effect. This is when the perpetrator showers the victim with gifts to gain their trust only to exploit them into the sex industry.
The following are 4 tips to help your child set a barrier against human traffickers:
Set a high standard of Love. The way we express love to our children often shapes their sense of self-worth. Let your children know that traffickers lure their victims with promises of a better life like buying them nice things, taking them on nice trips. Talk with your child about the dangers of Social Media. Make sure your child knows not to accept friend requests from people he or she does not know. Make sure that your child is aware of the dangers that come with sharing nude photos by text or on social media. Monitor your child’s social media access, and take note of your child’s lifestyle changes such as new clothing items, or a new cell phone.
If you suspect that someone is a victim of Human Trafficking, please call your local authority. You can also find resources online at: www.traffickingresourcecenter.org