Daily Fem: Human Rights

Hidden in Plain Sight: Would you recognize human trafficking if you saw it?

Started by
Kristen Zajac

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Hidden in Plain Sight: Would you recognize human trafficking if you saw it?

Active Participants
Not Sure
carrie.fitzgerald

Thank you Kristen for bringing attention to this, and for providing the warning signs. Human trafficking is vile. Shining light on this issue is necessary if we hope to end it.

No/Disagree
Twiggy

i had no idea this was so prevalent in our society. it is really scary.

Yes/Agree
Kristen Zajac

In addition to the general warning signs noted in our VProud Op-Ed, Polaris and the National Human Trafficking Resource Center have also identified the following detailed "SCHOOL/ ACADEMIC" indicators of potential human trafficking:

1) "Frequent, unexcused absences, truancy, or inability to regularly attend school/classes."
2) "Has attended a large number of schools, frequently transferring, or with large gaps of missing time."
3) "Indicates that meals/food is limited or controlled."
4) "Frequently travels or references frequent travel."
5) "Exhibits sudden changes in academic performance."
6) "Has numerous inconsistencies in his/her story when accounting for his/her life outside of school."

Yes/Agree
Kristen Zajac

In addition to the general warning signs noted in our VProud Op-Ed, Polaris and the National Human Trafficking Resource Center have also identified the following detailed "PHYSICAL INDICATORS" of potential sex trafficking:

1) "Exhibits signs of physical abuse and/or sexual abuse, physical restraint, or confinement, including: bruises, black eyes, burns, cuts, broken bones, broken teeth, multiple scars, evidence of a prolonged infection that could easily be treated through a routine physical/check up."
2) "Appears to lack basic or necessary medical care for an illness or injury."
3) "Reflexively resists being touched, shies away when approached."
4) "Exhibits signs of a drug addiction or alcohol addiction (e.g. red or glassy eyes, shivers, inappropriately cold)."
5) "Appears hungry or malnourished, frequently has no lunch or money for food."
6) "Displays signs of neglect or lack of basic necessities including not having adequate food, shelter, clothes (e.g. revealing, dirty, or inappropriate clothing, no winter coat, no bra, etc.)"
7) "Falls asleep in class or displays an unusual lack of energy or fatigue."
8) "Has a visible tattoo that student is reluctant to explain, i.e. a tattoo of the trafficker’s name which can be a form of “branding”; exhibits other signs of potential branding, ie. burn marks."
9) "Has one or more untreated sexually transmitted diseases/infections."
10) "Has to terminate one or more pregnancies over a period of time. If pregnant, hesitates to answer who the father may be or seems unsure of who the father is."

Yes/Agree
Kristen Zajac

In addition to the general warning signs noted in our VProud Op-Ed, Polaris and the National Human Trafficking Resource Center have also identified the following detailed "PSYCHOLOGICAL/ BEHAVIORAL/ DEVELOPMENTAL" indicators of potential sex trafficking. (Educators and those who work with youth have an especially powerful opportunity to protect young people in their communities.)

1) "Is under 18 years of age and engaging in commercial sex."
2) "Is in the commercial sex industry and has a controller (boyfriend, pimp, manager, or “daddy”) or mentions having to meet a nightly quota."
3) "Presence of an overly controlling or abusive boyfriend."
4) "Uses language of “the life” or the commercial sex industry such as referring to a boyfriend as a “daddy” or the streets as “the track”."
5) "Inability to look in the eyes or face of people, especially her boyfriend."
6) "Carries large amounts of cash, shows off to friends; sudden increase in material possessions and ability to access money."
7) "Shows signs of oppositional, high risk, or self-injurious behaviors."
8) "Exhibits sudden changes in behavior (e.g. a student who was outgoing and social becomes withdrawn)."
9) "Refuses to participate in physical education, overly shy about changing clothes."
10) "Displays unusually fearful, anxious, depressed, submissive, tense, angry, or nervous/paranoid behavior."
11) "Reacts with unusually fearful, anxious or angry behavior at any reference to “law enforcement”."
12) "Displays detailed knowledge of drug use or activities."
13) "Exhibits sexual behavior that is high risk and/or inappropriate for his/her age and/or has developmentally inappropriate knowledge about sexual acts and behaviors."
14) "Has an explicitly sexual online profile via Internet community or social networking sites, such as MySpace, Facebook, Google+, BlackPlanet, etc."
15) "Familiarity with places for selling commercial sex such as Backpage, Craigslist, Myredbook, etc."
16) "Reports an excessive amount of sexual partners during a health check-up."
17) "Has knowledge of the commercial sex industry."
18) "Has developmentally inappropriate knowledge of drugs and/or alcohol."
19) "References suspicious job offers or situations (i.e. unusually high wages, unusually long hours, inappropriate work tasks, quotas.)"

Yes/Agree
Kristen Zajac

If you or someone you know has information on potential human trafficking in your city, here are three agencies you can contact to report your tips and suspicions. If you see a victim in immediate danger, call 911 as well.

1) National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline
1-888-373-7888
The National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC) is a national, toll-free hotline, available to answer calls from anywhere in the country, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every day of the year.

2) National Center for Missing & Exploited Children
1-800-843-5678
If you have information about a missing child or suspected child sexual exploitation, call to report it or visit their website.

3) The National Runaway Switchboard
1-800-RUNAWAY
The National Runaway Switchboard serves as the federally-designated national communication system for homeless and runaway youth. NRS, with the support of more than 150 volunteers, handles an average of 100,000 calls annually – more than 3 million calls since the organization’s inception. Through hotline and online services, NRS provides crisis intervention, referrals to local resources, and education and prevention services to youth, families and community members throughout the country 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

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