A few posts back, I reasserted my battle cry to wage war on human trafficking, to brandish my sword. How exactly am I to do that? What exactly is my metaphorical sword? I’m a writer, so obviously it’s my words. I’d love to swoop in, wearing a fancy cape and mask, take out all the human traffickers with some sort of non-human special ability, and bring all those enslaved to safety (and given the chance, I would), but realistically, at least for now, my best way to fight is to inform others. The more people know, the more they can do. The more aware we are, the more we can prevent. From here on out, my focus-less blog will have a clear focus at least once a week, Wednesdays. I may use the chance to reflect some thoughts on human trafficking, to highlight various organizations, or just record some basic facts. The rest of the week I’ll continue to be all over with my thoughts.
Today’s focus: Prevention
Because so few people still have an understanding of what human trafficking actually is (modern day slavery), even fewer people realize it is not just one of those things that is happening to other people in other parts of the world. It is a frightening fact that human trafficking is happening here in our own part of the world, and it could happen to people we know, because so many are uninformed. It doesn’t matter if you live in a big city, the suburb, or the sticks; human trafficking is likely closer to you than you think.
I live in Florida and discovered The Coalition Against Human Trafficking, based out of Central Florida. After liking them on Facebook, when I scan my news feed, I now come across articles they share about human trafficking rings all over Central Florida, some in small towns, and some even run by teenagers! Some unbelievable stuff is happening right in my own back yard, so there’s a good chance it’s happening where you are too. I don’t say this to cause fear. I say this to create awareness. Just because something is ignored does not mean it does not exist. It’s much better to be aware of it in order to prevent it from happening to the people in our own lives, even if some are not willing to extend much beyond themselves to stop the issue. Just reaching out to those who are close can make a difference.
I cringe, pray, and cry a little every time I see a notification of a young missing girl because I know there’s a very good chance she has fallen victim to human trafficking in some form. It truly breaks my heart. One reason the number of victims to human trafficking can only be an estimate is because so many just disappear. The thing about young girls is that they never think these things will happen to them and they aren’t always as careful as they should be. Some of them don’t realize they even have anything to fear, so they have no idea they are even in danger. That’s why I am happy to see over the last few years that many organizations are beginning to create and implement awareness and prevention curriculum for the young people in our society. It’s a start.