Today is a big day - a day where many in our country have recognized the need to raise and unite our voices against one of the greatest injustices of our time. Today is National Human Trafficking Awareness Day. We believe that education can empower people and inspire change. Yes, education involving statistics and facts; but even further, education that involves stories, real situations involving real people.
Knowing the global statistics may empower you, and hearing a real life account of what that looks like in your very own city may inspire you to action. As we participate in this day, we’d like to both empower you with information and inspire you with story from right here in the US:
Human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery in which traffickers use force, fraud, or coercion to control victims for the purpose of engaging in commercial sex acts or labor services against his/her will.
An estimated 40 million people are enslaved globally.
It is a crime that generates an estimated $32 billion dollars here in the United States.
In the US, sex trafficking exists and continues to grow because it can generate high profits and a perceived low risk for the traffickers.
Some common warning signs are: avoids eye contact, depressed mood, always has a third party present, suspicious tattoos/branding, unexplained/conflicting injury stories, lack of control of own money, domestic violence, substance abuse, controlling relationship
Trafficking often occurs in plain sight, is not limited by race, geography, or socio-economic status, and is happening in every State.
“A lot of times people feel like with sex trafficking you can look at someone and tell or it’s people on the street… That is definitely happening, but it can be as easy as next door. My traffickers were school teachers; he was a coach. They looked like a normal middle class family… someone you would never guess what was going on behind closed doors, but that is how they got away with what they did. Raising awareness of the reality that it is going on will help people like me get free. In my situation things were horribly off, but no one asked any questions because they thought from what they saw that things were normal... Something within me, in all of the terrible things I experienced, was like- there has to be more than this. Finally, a couple reached out to me because they saw some things that started to concern them. They were the first people that genuinely loved me. It took years, but I finally saw that there could be another life for me. That I could get free! It takes everybody in every type of position for us to come together and end this. Whatever you do, don’t do nothing. Do something. I’m so thankful that they pursued me and didn’t give up on me.” - U.S. Human Trafficking Survivor
We at MISSIO are on a mission to inspire and empower a movement of people in the fight against human trafficking. We educate. We mobilize. We give. Check out our websites for simple action steps on how you can get involved in this fight with us. It could be as simple as swapping out your current shampoo for a #productwithpurpose.