Steps to follow if you become a trafficking victim
At Anti-Predator Project we are often asked, “How can I avoid becoming a human trafficking victim?” or “What can I do to protect my children from becoming victims?”
Obviously preventing yourself or your loved ones from becoming victims in the first place is the best approach to take. However, there are times when bad decisions or mistakes are made and you find yourself in a bad situation. If that happens and you find yourself in a bad situation here’s what you need to do in order to get out of it.
1. Avoid becoming a trafficking victim by realizing you are in a bad situation
Although this seems like a simple concept, it can happen faster than you think. Most victims are lured in by promises of fame, fortune, or both. This fantasy will vanish quickly when the victim is told that in order to gain these things they will have to do things to “re-pay” their debts.
This can take the form of turning over your own documents like your ID card, passport, etc.; more often they will be stripped from the victim and will have to be earned back. This can mean you don’t have any way to get yourself to a safe place. Never allow anyone to take your identity from you!
Traffickers can also do severe mental and physical harm in a short amount of time. Victims are abused by their traffickers to show other victims what their capable of, they’re forced into the sex trade, beaten mentally by being told no one else wants them and that the traffickers saved them, forced to take drugs, and can be forced to perform sex acts on their traffickers. If at any time someone tries to do any of these things to you, get out as quickly as you can and find help.
2. If you have become a trafficking victim, ask for help !
While this may seem like an obvious next step; when you are caught in a bad situation whether it is a trafficking ring, a drug addiction, or something else asking for help is not always easy. The good news is that human trafficking is getting a lot of attention around the country right now and that has led to almost every community developing resources for human trafficking victims.
The resources available to victims come in the form of case management services, assistance from faith based organizations and law enforcement agencies. If you are in a bad situation reach out to someone! It may seem scary at first but remember if you don’t ask for help no one will know you need it. Never let a trafficker think no one can stop them!
Click here to see the 7 best organizations fighting human trafficking
3. If you are trafficking victim take advantage of services
Once you have taken the steps to get out of your situation take some time for yourself. Being involved in trafficking is a traumatic experience that will leave scars both mentally and physically. Reach out to the services in your community, talk to someone, stay positive, and remember, healing takes time.
Conclusion: Traffickers only are powerful when their victims don’t take a stand. If you or someone you know is or has been involved in a trafficking situation, take back your own power and reach out for help
if you have any questions on this article or would like to discuss this subject further please add your comment below.