There are many common misconceptions about modern human trafficking. To understand the issue, we must familiarize ourselves with facts.
Many believe that “human trafficking does not occur in the United States. It only happens in other countries.” The reality is that human trafficking is a problem occurring around the world. Cities, suburbs, towns, and villages. No community is immune to the possibility of intrusion. Similarly, it is a common assumption that trafficking victims are exclusively foreign-born individuals or those who are impoverished. Again, no community or individual is impervious to the tragedies of human trafficking, regardless of economic status, age, gender, or nationality.
The next misconception revolves around the purpose of trafficking. ‘Trafficking’ has almost exclusively become synonymous with sex. However, forced labor is another common form of trafficking. Sweatshops, massage parlors, agriculture industries, restaurants, hotels, and domestic industries are common victim traffickers.
The prevailing fallacy that needs to be corrected is this: “Human trafficking victims will attempt to seek help when in public.” For many reasons, the opposite is true. Victims are often afraid to come forward because they face judgment or reprimand from law enforcement. Coercion can occur from threats of violence creating fear of retribution from traffickers, including danger to their families. Victims may not have control of their identification documents, so they are manipulated with the promise of shelter or food after being made to believe they have no other resources.
These are realities.
Let’s share the truth.
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