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Signs of Possible Human Trafficking

Human trafficking is tough to spot. Just because you don’t notice it doesn’t mean it’s not happening. Four signs that could indicate someone is being trafficked are 1) Lack of control, 2) Abnormal behavior, 3) Poor mental health, and 4) Poor physical health. Lack of control could look like… Restricted or controlled communication with others A lack of personal space or appearing to be closely monitored A teen or pre-teen with overly sexualized behavior for their age A brand or tattoo of a name, barcode, or symbol Abnormal behavior could look like… Fearing law enforcement Being unaware of what city they’re in due to frequent relocations Wearing expensive items they weren’t able to afford before Exhibiting hypervigilant behavior Having a new, older...

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Exploiting The Vulnerable Part 4: Sexual Abuse and Sex Trafficking

If “trafficking is the exploitation of vulnerability,” then a significant step in both prevention and intervention efforts is to understand what causes a person to be more vulnerable to sexual exploitation.  Over the past three posts in this blog series, we’ve discussed three reasons why foster kids are at risk for sex trafficking, two ways that homelessness sets a young person at risk for trafficking, and two ways that substance abuse and trafficking go hand-in-hand. In this final post, we’ll talk about what is possibly the saddest and darkest of the four key triggers: sexual abuse.  Some might argue that sexual trauma is the most significant factor that sets a young person at greater risk for sex trafficking and many...

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Sticks and Stones

We all know the old adage “sticks and stones may break my bones, but…” [you just filled in the rest without me even asking you to]. We also know that statement couldn’t be further from the truth. Words bring life and words bring death, they build up and they tear down. Even now, I’m certain you can recall a moment when someone’s words gave you the strength you needed at just the right time. On the flip side, I’m sure you can think of a time that words did the opposite. Words have power. When you think of this concept in the context of sex trafficking, it takes on a whole new, and frighteningly literal, tone. For the young women...

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