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Sex and human traffickers are extremely manipulative. They often use extravagant ruses to induce potential victims before turning to threats and violence to hold them captive and force them to perform unwanted work and sex acts. By understanding how they target, recruit, and harbor their victims, you can protect yourself and your loved ones from […]

How to Protect Yourself And Loved Ones From Sex And Human Trafficking When you understand how sex and human traffickers operate and who they target, you can take a few precautionary steps to reduce the risk of you and your loved ones becoming victims.

Sex and human traffickers are extremely manipulative. They often use extravagant ruses to induce potential victims before turning to threats and violence to hold them captive and force them to perform unwanted work and sex acts. By understanding how they target, recruit, and harbor their victims, you can protect yourself and your loved ones from sex and human trafficking.

In general, traffickers look for those who are most vulnerable to their manipulation and who are unlikely to be reported missing. According to the U.S. Office on Trafficking in Persons, common targets include:

  • Runaways
  • Homeless teens and young adults
  • Unaccompanied minors
  • Those from the foster care or juvenile justice system
  • Those without a strong social support network
  • Migrant workers, especially those who speak little English
  • Others whose socio-economic situation makes them vulnerable

There Are Ways to Reduce the Likelihood of Becoming a Trafficking Victim

It is important to know how to react if you do find yourself in a situation that makes you feel uncomfortable. Always trust your instincts and avoid people or situations that feel threatening. The National Human Trafficking Hotline recommends that you keep a safety plan in place. In addition, follow these tips to help remain safe:

  • Always tell a family member or trusted friend where you are going and when you will return.
  • Set up safety words with loved ones that you can use on a phone call or in a text to indicate an emergency.
  • Never let a partner or employer take possession of your passport, identification, other important documents.
  • Memorize the phone number of a trusted family member or friend.
  • Carry your phone or a phone card at all times, along with cash or a debit card in case you need money to pay taxi fare or other means of escape.
  • Take an extra dose of medication with you if it is necessary to keep you alive and well.
  • Do not hesitate to call 9-1-1 anytime you believe you are in immediate danger.
  • Do not believe any story or offer that seems too good to be true.
  • Avoid being alone with strangers. Remain in well-lit public places when you meet someone new.

Pay Close Attention to Online and Social Media Behavior

It is paramount that everyone follows safety practices online and on social media, and that adults teach their children to use their electronic devices safely. Oversharing is dangerous, especially when it includes information such as your current location or your future plans. Do not make it easy for traffickers to locate you. Never publicly share your current or future location or personal information online.

When it comes to your tweens, teens, and special needs family members using the internet and social media, it is important for you to understand that almost every app and games allow direct messaging and gives traffickers and others with bad intentions a way to target and contact your loved one.

You should be monitoring their online and social media carefully, and they should never be allowed to interact with strangers online, in video games, on social media, or through other types of direct messaging.

Safety Apps Are Available and May Work Well For Your Family

There are a number of safety apps available for smartphones that make it easier to protect yourself and your loved ones from sex and human trafficking by keeping you in touch. These apps can help you quickly alert loved ones or law enforcement if there is a problem and you need help. Many also send your GPS location, so it is easy to find you without you having to know and share the address.

Talk to a Trial Lawyer From Newsome Melton About Your Case

The attorneys from Newsome Melton may be able to help you if you were the victim of sex and human trafficking. We may be able to represent you and take civil action on your behalf. We believe in civil justice through compassion and strength. Let us go to work fighting for your best interests.

We have decades of civil trial experience with even the most complex civil litigation. Call (888) 808-5977 today to learn more.

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