Human Trafficking is a worldwide issue that is often overlooked. Though we may not see it, it is a constant issue that happens every day. These victims are exposed to emotion, physical, and sexual abuse. Over 800,000 people are victims each year from women to men, and even children from the age of 6. Trafficking Victims are exposed to commercial sex, and labor trafficking. Many victims don’t report this abuse because they are in denial that anything has happened to them or they have been threatened not to say anything. We must all create awareness to stop this horrible ongoing crime. We must all take the time to know the indicators of human trafficking that way we don’t get involved in it ourselves, but not only that we can help others that we believe are in danger or that could be a potential victim. Getting involved can be difficult due to these abusers being extremely dangerous. Letting victims know there are places that help them with receiving counseling, a safe place to sleep and much more. Calling the human trafficking hotline can be another way to help others if they are in a situation where they don’t want to contact themselves you can do it for them in a safe way.
Human Trafficking doesn’t care for race, age, or gender. Many traffickers target young vulnerable teens, college students, and people from the age of 14-25 as their main target because they are easy to manipulate. These victims are taken at a very young age where they don’t have a chance to have a childhood. Nobody grows up thinking I want to be a sex trafficking worker they want to be doctors, teachers, lawyers etc nobody ever imagines that it could be them who will be the next victim because a lot of young women and men are victims before they even know it. Many victims come from broken homes where they have been either abandon, raped, mentally and physically abused, and they are looking for that love that they aren’t receiving. Other victims are undocumented immigrants, rich, poor, and homeless people. Aker et al states ” For instance, individuals who might be considered victims of trafficking are already in vulnerable positions” (3). Victims that have already been sexually abused are the most easiest to manipulate because they are already broken. Traffickers are able to use the victim’s past as an advantage to bring in teens and adults by listening to their problems, and acting like they really care for them. They also tell them that their family and friends don’t care for them, and they will give them what their family can’t. These victims will also be brainwashed by their trafficker that they are no longer wanted.
There are many different types of traffickers all over the world, but the 2 main ones are either called pimps, or romeos. The pimps are like the dad of all the women that they recruit. They find customers for their victims and take more than half of the portion that the victim earns. The pimps will take the women to a location, and drop them off and wait for them in the car until they are done. After they are done they must have all the money or else the abuser will beat them. The romeos are that nice charming guy that sweeps you off your feet, and makes you believe that he wants to marry you. Then they will ask you to move in with them, and take you thousands of miles away. Once you arrive to the location they will beat you, and tell you that you have to work to pay him back for all the money that he wasted bringing you with him. Many of these abusers use drugs, alcohol, and mind manipulation to get these young women and men to be apart of sex trafficking.
Traffickers use what many call the A-M-P model which stand for action, means, and purpose. Action is the first step they must induce, recruit, harbor, transport, provide, and obtain. Means is the next step they much force the situation causing serious harm or physical restraint toward the victim and they must coercion to threaten a loved one of the victim. The last step is purpose they must give them the type of work they must do which would be either commercial sex or labor Akers et al explains “The recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring, or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force, or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power, or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation” (2). Many victims believe that when they leave with their abuser that everything will be the same like when they first met, and that’s because their abuser is hyping them up making them believe that. The abuser will then start intimating the victim by using weapons to threaten them and then start the emotional abuse by humiliating them in front of others to tear them down little by little especially when they start to play mind games with them. Throughout the days the abuser will get more aggressive by isolating the victims, and making them believe that the police is their enemy. The abuser will also treat the victim like their servant wanting them to feel less than what they are that way they can agree to everything that the abuser says.
The victims are told that they can have what they want, but in order to do that they have to work. Commercial sex is more likely with women, and young girls which involves the victims to have intercourse with men whenever they are told to Kaylor explains “Victims can also experience gynecologic health problems that stem from forced commercial sex acts. They might suffer from sexually transmitted diseases, menstrual pain and irregularities, miscarriages, and forced abortions, among other problems” (3). These victims don’t have a say so in what their daily life is like they have a different schedule every day. One day they can sleep with 10 men, and another they can sleep with 15 it all just depends on the demand for that day. Labor trafficking is more common with young boys, men, and in some cases women. These victims are looking for jobs, and either find an ad online or get contacted by a neighbor or stranger saying that there is a high demand for jobs in another state looking for hard workers and offering a large amount of money. Once the victim gets to the workplace it is nothing like what they were told. They get little to no breaks, and their paychecks is a quarter of what they were promised, and even less in some cases. Abusers put this in the victim’s mind that they have to work to repay them for what they are offering and giving them. If these victims deny what they are told to do they will be beaten until they agree, and they don’t try to leave because they know that it will cause a lot of consequences Hepburn et al states ” The withholding of the victim’s visas and other identifying documentation, controlling and limiting the victim’s movements, threatening deportation, threatening to harm the victim or his/her family, and physically harming the victim” (1). These victims want nothing more than to leave, but they don’t want to hurt their loved ones or have their documents taken away. Many victims are brave enough to try to escape, but the abuser is always one step ahead of them as Kaylor explains ” When victims seek help, they may encounter many challenges. Their traffickers typically exert tight physical and emotional control by doing the following: Confiscating their identification, cell phones, and money. Forbidding communication with family or friends and monitoring and restricting movement” (4). If the victims are lucky enough to leave, their abuser is on a non stop searching looking for them until they find them. Once the abuser finds them they will be beaten and punished for leaving. In most cases the victims are left with open wounds, and broken bones as their punishment along with having nothing to eat for days. A lot of victims are actually more scared to go home then to get in a car or hotel room with a stranger.
This issue occurs all over the world there is no specific spot where this happens. Many victims can be from a certain city or state and end up on the other side of the world Hepburn et al explains “Yet, the reality is that wherever you live, regardless of city or nation, some form of human traf?cking exists” (2). Traffickers take these victims where there is a high demand for sex trafficking Appleton explains ” High poverty and runaway rates contribute to the problem, as does Fresno’s central location between human trafficking hubs in the Bay Area, Southern California and Las Vegas. It’s not uncommon for victims to be moved even further” (Par 8). Abusers try to stay as far away from where the girls were recruited because they know that the police are looking for the victim. Human trafficking happens everywhere we just don’t see it. It is in our neighborhood, schools, grocery stores, parties, and the most common is late at night on the streets. Anywhere that you go there can be a human trafficker looking for it’s next potential victims.
We should all care for wanting to help these victims because the mental and physical abuse that these victims recieve can live on for years because they have been so beaten down to the point where they don’t see the light at the end of the tunnel anymore. Appleton explains “They are taught that they are the problem, not the people who force them into this life – causing psychological scars that may never heal” (par 5). Many victims turn to drugs and alcohol because they can’t get rid of their pain, and it is easier for them to perform the task that they are told to do when they are not in the right mindset Williamson et al explains “Victims of human trafficking have often experienced, witnessed, or been confronted with an event or events that involved actual or threatened death or serious injury, or a threat to the physical integrity of self or others, and their response to these events frequently involves “intense fear, helplessness, or horror.” (1). Drugs and alcohol is a form of escape, and they do it any chance they get. Victims experience beatings, rape, gang rape, starvation, broken bones, brain trauma, and burns which result in anxiety, mood disorders, panic attacks, obsessive compulsive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, major depressive disorder, stress disorder, suicidal ideation, substance abuse, and stockholm syndrome. Escaping from the abuser is not easy due to the victims being under extreme surveillance if they are able to leave or if the police finds them they will be offered an intense treatment at a safe house which won’t fully cure them from what they went through, but will help them cope with their future moving forward. Many victims don’t want to receive treatment because they are in denial that anything has happened to them or they are scared to be abused even more, and no longer have trust in people. Those victims that go untreated will later on suffer even more because they won’t know how to control all those disorders that they developed when they were with their abuser. Kellogg, Thompson et al states “One study found that survivors of human trafficking reported the following anxiety and depression symptoms: nervousness or shakiness inside (91%), terror/panic spells (61%), fearfulness (85%), feeling depressed or very sad (95%), and hopelessness about the future (76%)” (2). These victims will always have trauma no matter what they do to try to fix it, but the only thing that they can do is believe in themselves to know that they have to power to change their future. A lot of victims that have been rescued from the abuser have actually turned their life around, and have either started sex trafficking campaigns or organizations to help other victims in need.
Human trafficking is a very hard issue to overcome because it is a 100 billion dollar industry that no trafficker wants to give up because it is the easiest way for them to be living a good life style. Young men and women are sold everywhere on the street to even online which has to be one of the biggest issues as to why there hasn’t been a successful solution to this problem. Here in the United States the website Backpage was one of the biggest ways that you can look up women. Traffickers post hundreds of ads on there promoting these girls and all the men had to do was just call the number requesting the women they wanted, and these victims would show up to your house in the matter of minutes. After the police and FBI found out that it was causing such a great issue they banned Backpage’s adult center in the United States, but that didn’t stop these traffickers they then went on and started posting the ads on the Backpage’s dating site. Traffickers then went on posting ads for sex on craigslist. It was taken down after there was children being sold on their using personal ads. Although law enforcement and the FBI do everything they can to banned any sort of sex trafficking these traffickers always find a way to make business which results in their never being a solution to fix the problem because it is an ongoing issue.
Being able to stop human trafficking will be a challenge due to the reasons why people do it for example, In third world countries people let their child be trafficked to receive money because they are so poor and can’t pay off their debt. Here in the United States abusers traffic because they know that this is a way to gain a large amount of money without having to actually do work Fresno detective explains “Gangs make more money on girls than drugs” (par 24). Giving these poor victims lives back is what matters, as well as preventing anymore victims. I want the government to take human trafficking as a more serious matter where we can have a voice to express our concerns for these poor victims and there actually be a change. Yes they have anti-trafficking programs, Trafficking Victims Protection Acts, and Justice for Victims of Human Trafficking Act, but there needs to be more in order to stop these abusers. The police and FBI are doing the best they can to stop human trafficking for example they are posing as young women online to catch these predators in action. Once the men arrive to the location they will be arrested for coming to have intercourse with a minor or whatever the case is. They also pose as men looking for women, and once the women arrives to the location they will be escorted to a rescue center, and if the pimp is waiting outside he would be arrested as well. The police and FBI also take down these ads which helps human trafficking little by little. I believe that there should be a team that is just dedicated to catching these preditors and abusers that way we can stop human trafficking once and for all. I believe that kids should be taught in school the indicators of human trafficking. The school board should hold assemblies to talk about the seriousness about talking to strangers online or falling into the wrong crowd that can lead them into danger. This will only help stop human trafficking even faster because the kids would be informed on what to do in a situation where they feel unsafe talking to someone that they met online or if they know a potential victim. I believe police officers need to be present at every location that they know or hear that human trafficking is occuring. Having officers there might even help a victim if they are brave enough to leave the abuser. Aker et al states “Another prevention strategy might be increasing the collaboration among law enforcement agencies on a regional, federal, and international level. Human trafficking involves the movement of people between a point of origin and a point of destination, thus involving numerous jurisdictions and requiring the cooperation of multiple police agencies” (7). It’s almost impossible to have every police officers on site on these locations, but it can be a step into getting into the abusers mind that they need to stop because one day they will get caught in action.
Getting involved is an extremely dangerous thing to do if it is not done in a protected group effort. These abusers do anything in their power to keep anyone that might be a threat away. That’s why I believe that everyone should know the indicators of human trafficking to prevent it and help others that might be in need Homeland security states “Does the person appear disconnected from family, friends, community organizations, or houses of worship? Has a child stopped attending school? Has the person had a sudden or dramatic change in behavior? Is the person disoriented or confused, or showing signs of mental or physical abuse? Does the person have bruises in various stages of healing? Is the person fearful, timid, or submissive? Does the person show signs of having been denied food, water, sleep, or medical care? Is the person often in the company of someone to whom he or she defers? Or someone who seems to be in control of the situation, e.g., where they go or who they talk to? Does the person appear to be coached on what to say?” (par 2). As for individual involvement if we see someone that we believe are victims we can call the human trafficking hotline for them if they don’t feel safe doing it themselves. Being educated on human trafficking indicators is the best way to help this crime go down.
Overall human trafficking is a hard core issue

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