January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month and January 11 is Human Trafficking Awareness Day. These dedications bring to light modern day slavery that occurs quietly in our cities and towns.
Human Trafficking is the use of force, fraud, or coercion to obtain labor or commercial sex acts. Human trafficking is often thought of in terms of kidnapping a person and forcing them live in a foreign country to work in forced labor or to be sexually abused. The even darker side of human trafficking is that it is also occurring within our cities and small towns; and sometimes the trafficker is a family member, such as a parent or grandparent, using children to further their own financial interests.
Become educated about the signs of human trafficking.
Here are some questions that may help you to identify a human trafficking victim:
- 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?
- ls a juvenile engaged in commercial sex acts?
- ls the person disoriented or confused, or showing signs of mental or physical abuse? Does the person have bruises in various stages of healing?
- ls the person fearful, timid, or submissive?
- Does the person show signs of having been denied food, water, sleep, or medical care?
- ls 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?
- ls the person living in unsuitable conditions ?
- Does the person lack personal possessions and appear not to have a stable living situation 2
- Does the person have freedom of movement? Can the person freely leave where they live? Are there unreasonable security measures?
For more information, visit the Department of Homeland Security website.
If you or a family member suspect you have been the victim of human trafficking, contact Murphy & Landon for a free consultation: 866-939-8100 or 302-472-8100.