“Recognizing key indicators of human trafficking is the first step in identifying victims and can help save a life” (The Blue Campaign).
Human Trafficking is a national issue as much as a global issue. If you read the statistics and facts that surround human trafficking, it is easy to feel hopeless. For Human Trafficking Awareness Month, we are sharing educational resources with our community. There is so much the average citizen can do to help. An important first step is to understand the signs of human trafficking.
How human trafficking occurs:
“Human trafficking occurs when a perpetrator, often referred to as a trafficker, takes an action, and then employs the means of force, fraud or coercion for the purpose of compelling the victim to provide commercial sex acts or labor or services. At a minimum, one element from each column must be present to establish a potential situation of human trafficking.”(Polaris).
Here are the top three signs of human trafficking compiled from Rethreaded Mental Health Counselor, Erin Pruett and The Blue Campaign®:
1. Being Under The Control or Manipulation of Another
Being under the control or manipulation of another may look like: an individual appearing to not have control over where they live, a person may talk as though they have been previously coached about what to say, or dramatic changes in the individual's mood.
2. Force, Fraud, Coercion
Force, fraud, and coercion may look like; signs of physical abuse or unsuitable living conditions.
3. Working With/For Someone Without Choice
People who are trafficked have been manipulated by their traffickers. The individual may be accompanied by someone they constantly run decisions by, etc., or display a lack of interest in normal gatherings or functions.
It is important to remember that human trafficking is not a “one size fits all” issue. Human trafficking can take place in a variety of ways:
“The situations that sex trafficking victims face vary dramatically. Many victims become romantically involved with someone who then forces or manipulates them into prostitution. Others are lured in with false promises of a job, such as modeling or dancing. Some are forced to sell sex by their parents or other family members. They may be involved in a trafficking situation for a few days or weeks, or may remain in the same trafficking situation for years.” (Kristin Keen, What IS Human Trafficking?)
Check out The Blue Campaigns®list of indicators as well as their indicator card to learn more about the multiple signs of human trafficking. You can also check out our blog post, 4 Myths About Human Trafficking to learn more.
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