Creating Awareness for an Important Cause
January 11th is National Human Trafficking Awareness Day. Education, prevention, and awareness are extremely important. I hope you will take the time to educate someone you love about this global problem and challenge them to make others aware. This horrific crime against humanity must be well known and understood if we’re to have any hope in fighting it.
When people hear the words, “prostitute, pimp, escort agency, strip club, brothel and pornography” human trafficking rarely comes to mind, but it should!
Men especially need to be aware of Human Trafficking just as much as women. If there is little demand (or none, in a perfect world) for pornography, escort agencies, massage parlors, prostitution etc… there would be far fewer victims.
The DNA Foundation founded by Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher is helping to spread the word with their slogan “Real Men Don’t Buy Girls.” A campaign they started back in 2010.
FROM THEIR WEBSITE:
The DNA Foundation launched a campaign targeting men with the message that Real Men Don’t Buy Girls. The goal of the campaign was to create a cultural shift around the implicit societal acceptance of child prostitution, and thus, child sex slavery. We hoped to reach millions of people with information about the issue. More than 2 million people have participated in the campaign so far. Here are some of the people who took a stand with us! To join us, go to www.facebook.com/dnafoundation
Although it can be a scary subject to cover, it is important we do talk with our friends, family and children about the topic. Unfortunately the world is not sugar coated, but there are still ways that parents can keep the information age appropriate, while passing along important lessons about these dangers to our children.
Glendene Grant has been searching for her daughter Jessica “Jessie” Foster since March 2006. Jessie is a victim of human trafficking. Originally from Canada she was lured to the United States via a “friend” (more likely a recruiter). The last time her family heard from her she was in Las Vegas. Then she disappeared. No further contact was made.
Later, family found out that Jessie had been forced to work at an escort agency. She also had been arrested several times for solicitation. Her family believes that she may have tried to get herself arrested thinking authorities would make her leave the US, but she was always sent back to her alleged boyfriend who was a known pimp. Family also found out that before she went missing, that she had been beaten and hospitalized with a broken jaw.
This case like many had tons of red flags pointing to human trafficking.
Jessie’s mom is spreading the word about Human Trafficking and doing a lot when it comes to educating people on this subject. When I asked Glendene what advice she would give to other mothers on how to protect their children from the dangers of human trafficking she offered her insights:
“If their daughters (or sons) start pulling away from family & friends to be with someone, if their habits change (and usually this happens fast), then you need to find out what is happening and what is new in their lives. They also need to be careful of their surroundings, especially in places they have not been before. Try to pair up, never go places alone.”
Please visit www.jessiefoster.ca to learn more about Jessie and her case.
The Importance of Taking Action
In 2010 Deborah Sigmund was on a flight going to Florida from Washington noticed a man with a young boy acting strangely. Once on board, Mrs Sigmund asked the young boy why he was going to Florida. The boy responded, “I thought I was going to North Carolina.”
She immediately let the flight crew know, who in turn alerted the proper authorities on land. Thanks to this woman being alert and speaking up she stopped what was later told to her was a case of child abduction for use in pornography…..another example of human trafficking.
Being aware and making others aware is vital and extremely important if we are to help protect these children.
Warning Signs & How to Help
According to the The CNN Freedom Project indicators that someone is a possible human trafficking victim include these warning signs:
- They may live with their employer
- Unpaid or paid very little
- Submissive or fearful
- Their employer holds their identity documents
- Signs of physical abuse
Some traffickers even force their victims to get tattoos (a form of branding, showing this person belongs to me). Some victims are kept in horrible living conditions and treated less humane than animals. Traffickers look at their victims as money makers. That is all! They do not see the person or soul that lies within.
The Global Display of Human Trafficking Incidents and News shows a constant feed of human trafficking information that is extemely disturbing.
A great place to learn more about trafficking is to take the Human Trafficking Awareness Training Course provided by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Knowledge is power. The more we know and are aware of when it comes to trafficking, the more we are able to educate, help, and eradicate human trafficking.
This is a world wide problem and I hope I’ve shed a little bit of light on our own human trafficking problem in the United States. Please be aware and share that awareness with those you love, to help protect them and others from this horrific, but growing activity.
Latest posts by Tara Prater Castillo (see all)
- Make a Difference: National Human Trafficking Awareness Day is January 11th - January 10, 2012
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