In Idaho, a young 14-year-old girl is kidnapped and in danger of what police believe was sexual assault or human trafficking. Now more than ever, it is important that we are teaching everyone ways to protect themselves to avoid human trafficking.
While anyone is at risk of being trafficked, the target ages ranges from 14 to 25, many survivors report entering sex trafficking between the ages of 12-14.
Paying close attention to the following tips may reduce the chances of you, or someone you know from being exploited.
● Be aware of your surroundings.
This makes a big difference, if you can avoid being on your phone in situations where you are potentially vulnerable you will be able to recognize when something is off.
● Avoid walking alone.
Many individuals are targeted when walking alone because they are seen as a vulnerable target, especially in quiet areas. Avoiding this will allow you to be more protected and avoid a potentially dangerous encounter.
● Trust your gut.
Listen to the voice inside your head. Your body knows when something seems off, listen to it. Never trust strangers who are offering you something that sounds too good to be true. If something sounds too good to be true it probably is.
● Use social media wisely.
Traffickers don’t always have to be someone you’ve met in person; in fact, the internet is one of the most dangerous places when it comes to human trafficking. If someone you don’t know is offering you help, money, advice, etc. it is probably in return for something they themselves will benefit from. Keep your social profiles on private to reduce the amount on strangers able to access your information.
Our phones have become virtual tracking devices. In fact, Idaho police used phone location to discover the abducted 14-year-old girl. Most phones allow users to share locations with friends and family. This simple step allows you to protect yourself while also giving friends and family peace of mind.
These are just a few suggestions in order to help individuals protect themselves from the dangerous world of trafficking. Educating yourself can be the very thing that helps to protect you from being their next target.