Human trafficking, sex trafficking, and modern day slavery are nothing new, but it’s still an issue that’s not under control. Each year, human trafficking rises — with little to no hope for the missing girls to be found. The saying, “It can happen to anyone” is accurate. According to Psychology Today, an estimated 293,000 young Americans are at risk of becoming victims of sex trafficking. Though, it can happen to anyone, in the recent years, there has been a spur of missing minority girls. Since 2014, there’s been a rise in the numbers of minority girls being abducted and forced into human trafficking. In 2015, false advertisements seeking out young girls began appearing in urban areas. In 2016, multiple girls from the Bronx vanished at a rapid pace — with 14 girls between the ages of 12 and 19 years old reported missing. Although 11 out of the 14 girls were found, authorities reported that it was related to human trafficking. In Washington D.C., black and Hispanic girls have been disappearing at an alarming rate. It was reported that 501 girls have gone missing in 2017. Your safety is your main priority. Here are some tips to help you stay safe and some things you should watch out for:
- It’s important to always to pay attention to your surroundings. If you are in an area that’s makes you feel uneasy, do not ignore the feeling. Phone a friend or call a cab to reach your next destination.
- Pay more attention to job listings — there are a ton of false advertisements for jobs claiming to pay well, but leaving little to no information. Only leaving their phone number on the ad, don’t respond to job listings that do not give proper information. If the person you are contacting about a job is not being clear on the location, job position information, or compensation — do not meet up with this person.
- Be wary of children, one technique that’s been used in the past is having a small child run up to a girl or woman, crying. Claiming to be lost or can’t find their parents, the child then proceeds to give an address to be taken to. This has resulted in multiple girls being abducted.
- If you are going in for a job interview and you feel the environment is disconcerting, do not take anything that is being offered to you by anyone. Food, water, or candy — girls have been drugged like this in the past.
- Pepper spray can help save your life. Do not hesitate to carry a small bottle with you at all times. Deciding to carry pepper spray or not carry it can make a difference in a life or death situation. Here’s a list of the best pepper spray to get for self defense.
- If you are at a bar, and someone is making you feel uneasy, being aggressively persistent, or is making you uncomfortable in any way — get help. Many bartenders have drinks for code names to help keep you safe.