10 Ways You Can Help End Trafficking
Human trafficking is the illegal exploitation of a person. Trafficking victims are exploited against their will, and anyone can be a victim of human trafficking. Human trafficking occurs in many U.S. communities. From cities to suburbs, and even rural areas, many different forms of trafficking have been reported.
Sex trafficking, forced labor, sexual exploitation of minors, involuntary servitude, and forced marriage are just some forms of sex trafficking in the country. The people most affected by trafficking are the most vulnerable individuals in the communities. This includes runaway youths, homeless children, drug addicts, and gay people.
The good news is that, together, we can end trafficking in our society. Large scale efforts are important, but here are also some things that we can do as individuals that will go a long way to help fight trafficking in our communities:
1. Know the Signs
We can only take a stand against trafficking when we know the signs. Human traffickers operate in broad daylight, but you may never know until you take a closer look. So, the first most important thing that you can do to help end trafficking in your community is to know the signs. Here are some common signs of trafficking that you should know.
2. Report a Tip
Thankfully, there are resources that you can take advantage of if you notice trafficking happening where you are; you can report the crime by contacting the National Human Trafficking Hotline. Call 1-888-373-7888. You can also text HELP to BEFREE (233733) or email email@example.com. Check out more information on several other things that you can do when you notice a potential trafficking situation around you.
3. Spread the Word
Tell others what you know. As you learn the sign of trafficking and how trafficking occurs, you have a duty to spread the word. Share it among your social network. Let other parents, children, and teenagers know that they can get help by contacting the National Human Trafficking Hotline. Awareness is perhaps the most effective approach toward fighting trafficking.
4. Think Before You Shop
Research has shown that people who consume pornography indirectly help traffickers to stay in business. A significant amount of child sex content available out there was forcefully obtained from victims of domestic minor sex trafficking (DMST). Another way to help fight trafficking is by ensuring that the product you’re purchasing was not made using child labor. The clothes, the food, the pastries, and staples that you often buy may have been made using forced labor.
5. Educate Your Friends and Colleagues that Demands Fuels Continued Exploitation
Keep in mind that traffickers have reason to stay in the market because they get more demands. The U.S. government has laws that prohibit commercial sex trafficking of children. It is illegal for government employees, uniformed service members, and contractors to pay for sex. You can learn more here.
6. Stay Informed
There is so much you can learn about trafficking. You can stay informed by keeping track of events focused on trafficking. If you are a parent, you can learn more about how to protect your children from traffickers. Discover the shocking facts about sex trafficking in the U.S. You can sign up for DOJ human trafficking news alerts, follow relevant organizations on social media, and read trafficking reports and news as they are released.
7. Use Your Skills
Survivors need all the help they can get. You can offer them training or job opportunities. You can also provide mentorship and career guidance to survivors. Many of them are too broken to know where to start from. You can organize an anti-trafficking awareness in your school, among your social network, on social media, etc. You can offer pro-bono legal services, if necessary.
8. Volunteer Locally
Another way you can help end trafficking is by joining local anti-trafficking organizations around you. Even if you do not have any special skills, there may be some other important areas where you can be of tremendous help to them.
9. Become an Advocate
By raising your voice against trafficking, you essentially become an advocate against trafficking in your local community and on social media. If you are an influential public figure, the better the impact you can make if you raise your voice in support of anti-trafficking efforts.
10. Join Mission Haven
Finally, you can join us at the Mission Haven. You may not be able to participate physically, but there are other ways you can help. At Mission Haven, we focus on helping survivors of sextortion, DMST, sexual trafficking overcome the pain and trauma of their experiences and start a new life. The Mission Haven is a non-profit, charity-funded organization focused on providing a transformational Haven of Healing for victims and survivors of child sexual exploitation and sex trafficking like Sarah Cooper.
We believe that every single DMST or child sex trafficking survivor still has a chance at life at its best. Our goal at The Mission Haven is to provide them with all the support they need to start over. With your generous donations and support, we can continue to provide a truly safe haven of hope and healing equipped with essential resources to lift victims and survivors of domestic minor sex trafficking. To give, volunteer, or become a partner, feel free to contact us today.