“Human trafficking is the business of stealing freedom for profit. In some cases, traffickers trick, defraud or physically force victims into providing commercial sex. In others, victims are lied to, assaulted, threatened or manipulated into working under inhumane, illegal or otherwise unacceptable conditions. It is a multi-billion dollar criminal industry that denies freedom to 24.9 million people around the world.”(Polaris Project).
January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month. Through our work at Rethreaded, we encounter people in the broader community who do not know much about the world of human trafficking. Unfortunately, our culture presents many myths about this issue as truth. We hope we can shed a light on some of the misconceptions cultures tells us about human trafficking.
Here are the four most common myths about human trafficking:
Myth: It Happens Abroad
One of the most common myths about human trafficking is that it doesn’t happen in our own backyard. “According to the Human Trafficking Hotline, Florida ranks third in the U.S. in human trafficking cases reported by states, behind only California and Texas.” (WJCT News). Trafficking happens locally as much as it happens globally.
Myth: It Happens To Young People
It is easy to assume that human trafficking only happens to children. The average age for registered individuals who are forced into the lifestyle is 27 years. While the highest percentage for females is between 18 to 20 years (CDTC).
Myth: It Occurs Through Kidnapping
The movies lead us to believe that you have to be kidnapped and moved to be trafficked. An individual can be approached in public, then be manipulated into this life:
“Human Trafficking does not mean that a person is being moved around. Trafficking is defined as the deal or trade in something illegal. This means if a person is being sold as a commodity, they are a victim of human trafficking even if they have never left the city they were born in. Sex trafficking occurs in a range of venues including fake massage businesses, via online ads or escort services, in residential brothels, on the street or at truck stops, or at hotels and motels.”(Kristin Keen,What IS Human Trafficking?)
Myth: It Is Easy To Spot.
There is no one way that a person enters the life of human trafficking. Traffickers use many different methods to manipulate someone into working for them. Check out our blog about the top signs of human trafficking to learn more.
When one reads these sobering facts, they may feel hopeless. While we live in this sad reality, there are things that we can do to make a difference. The simplest thing our readers can do is share this article. Spreading awareness is the first step that leads to change.
Check out our blog about The Top Signs of Human Trafficking to learn more.
For the month of January, Rethreaded Grace Scarves are Buy One Get One 50% Off. Let’s cover our community with an accessory that is a symbol of hope, community and provides a sense of belonging. Shop the Grace Scarf here.
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