When you think of child sex trafficking, does a story like this come to mind: “young girls and boys being kidnapped by strangers, forced into windowless vans, then driven to another city or state where they are kept drugged and chained in a brothel?”
The Polaris Project, a nonprofit that has helped thousands of sex and labor trafficking victims and survivors through the U.S. National Human Trafficking Hotline, says while that has been the case in some situations, a study of press releases and online media reports from over a nine year period found that fewer than 10% of cases involved kidnapping.
Polaris believes being aware of the other tactics used by traffickers can help prevent other children from falling victim to sex trafficking.
Action News Jax has shared their suggestions below:
- Educate yourself and your child on what human trafficking looks like and common grooming tactics.
- Learn about online safety and the risks of sharing personal information with strangers who may not be who they say they are online.
- Establish open lines of communication early on with your child so they feel comfortable enough to talk to you about what is going on in their lives. Discuss how they can recognize and remove themselves from uncomfortable situations before they become urgent or dangerous.
- Talk to your child about human trafficking. There are different strategies for talking to children of every age.
- Understand the vulnerabilities of children in your community and what makes them a high risk to human trafficking.
- Support your local organizations that are working to help prevent child sex trafficking and support survivors.
Read more here.