Since 2007, the National Human Trafficking Hotline has received reports of 22,191 sex trafficking cases in the United States. 22,191 innocent people. 22,191 people with everlasting mental trauma. 22,191 a number bigger than i can imagine. Of those 22,191, 99 percent being women and 21 percent children. These huge numbers, it is hard to comprehend what every single one of those 22,191 people had to go through, the unbearable mental and physical torture of sex trafficking.
“Sex trafficking is the recruitment, harboring, patronizing, or obtaining of an individual who under force, is insured to perform a commercial sex act.” (“Sex Trafficking”). Sex trafficking is a serious issue that specifically targets young girls and women. Often, the traffickers target their victims through false advertising and false opportunities such as job offers. Some common jobs that are falsely offered, include modeling, acting jobs, nannies or even waitresses. These jobs may seem appealing to some, but beware it isn’t always as advertised. Traffickers often target the more vulnerable women such as runaways and homeless children. “A study in Chicago found that 56 percent of prostituted women were initially runaway youth.” Traffickers will often lure the runaway children in by promising them food, shelter, clothes, friendship, and employment, a few of the things they don’t have. Once the target feels comfortable with the attacker, they will begin using the child for prostitution and abuse. The trafficker will keep their victim quiet by threatening them with abuse and/or promising them their freedom after their duties of prostitution are fulfilled. Sadly, the victims are rarely gifted the freedom that was promised and they are trapped into a lifetime of prostitution.
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If the victim is freed, they are free from the physical abuse but are forced to endure the mental trauma throughout their whole life. “Post-traumatic stress disorder, acute anxiety, and depression are all common psychological issues among sex industry workers” It is common for sex trafficking victims to become psychologically and emotionally disabled “In one study, providers reported that sex-trafficked women were less stable, more isolated, had higher levels of fear, more severe trauma, and greater mental health needs than other victims of crime.” Victims will always have to endure the pain, even long after the time of the incident.
In order to prevent individuals from having to experience this trauma in the future, we can all learn the signs and be educated enough to recognize potential trafficking victims. Adding onto that, we can make changes to be more informed on the ongoing trafficking news. Along with being informed on the news, we can help spread the news and educate others to raise awareness. We can help spread awareness by joining anti-slavery groups such as
Sex trafficking is a huge issue is the us and all over the world. It is important to keep yourself educated on the topic and to help spread awareness. Sex trafficking impacts many innocent people and is the fastest growing organized crime today. Sex trafficking is a problem and we need to do what we can to prevent it from happening in the future.
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