HT: The Victims and Survivors

I know in my pervious article I mentioned that there will be a few articles about those that have been trafficked, but there’s so much to talk about when it comes to this subject. And with many topics being discussed in the month of April, I was able to briefly break it down into one article. Let’s begin:

I was scrolling through YouTube one evening and I came across this video that just kept popping up on my feed. I decided “alright if it keeps popping up, it’s obviously a sign to watch.” So I did. What that video shared was heartbreaking because of what that person had gone through and I was disgusted of what this trafficker did to this innocent soul. After that video I just kept watching more. These men, women and children were all victims of human trafficking but each one had a different story.

There were many stories about sex trafficking and very little about other forms of trafficking. Sex trafficking is the widely known form of human trafficking. So that’s what I will be sharing today. I will share the links to their stories and how these strong beautiful women are changing lives today.

Another thing I have to mention is not all traffickers are men. Yes, their are women traffickers as well. If you read my pervious article you will be surprised on how many traffickers were involved and the form of trafficking that was taking place in my own area! I was oblivious! I’ve said this numerous of times, it doesn’t only happen in foreign countries. It could happen in your own backyard! As women and girls work for their traffickers, they are manipulated, some are drugged, some are sexually abused, some are physically abuse and some are even killed if they don’t meet quota or if caught trying to escape. A lot of these women and girls get trafficked for years!

As we talked before, recruitment can be through a “friend”, a family member, an acquaintance, or by abduction. I noticed that abduction isn’t as common but it does happen. From the stories I’ve seen, a lot of these women were recruited under the age of 18! Some even as young as 11 years of age! A lot of these girls haven’t hit puberty yet! They’re still growing. Traffickers prey on vulnerability. A lot of these girls come from homes that were unstable, some were neglected, some were physically and/or sexually abused and were left to fend for themselves. Traffickers use that to their advantage. Traffickers also use drugs to lure those that are addicted. After the grooming process, trafficking begins. These women and girls were forced into prostitution. On average they were called 15-150 times per day. I can’t imagine how their bodies felt, the amount of stress they were under, and what ran through their heads after a long day of being forced to do sexual acts against their will. Unfortunately, some do end up pregnant and traffickers do encourage abortion and some do catch STDs or HIV while doing this line of work. Women and girls aren’t only trafficked through prostitution, they are also trafficked into pornography, strip clubs, escorting, massage parlors and more. This angers me! Knowing that people out there are going through this mistreatment really boils my blood.

After they’ve been rescued, a lot of these women and girls end up needing to seek a mental health professional and/or a trauma specialist. It takes many years for these women and girls to get over the trauma they experienced. According to research, some of the most common mental illnesses among trafficked victims are anxiety, depression, PTSD (Post-traumatic stress disorder), schizophrenia and psychotic disorder. Signs that professionals look out for are shame, guilt, anger, emotional numbing, suicidal thoughts, fearfulness and more. Some of these women and girls believe they weren’t victims at all. These professionals have to work hard to gain their trust and show that they are in good hands for theses survivors to get the proper care they need.

Again, this doesn’t only happen to women and girls. It also happens to men and boys. As I continued my research I found little to no information about men being trafficked. It was extremely difficult to find resources for male victims. It upset me because men and boys that have been through this need support and care as well. Law enforcement has this flawed belief that male victims should be able to “escape” a situation like this. Just because they are male doesn’t mean they have the power to “escape.” I’m thankful I came across Steven Procopio’s website. He is one of the few that work with men and boys who have been trafficked. Please go check out his site for more information.

Those that were involved in trafficking know how it feels to be in a situation where it feels never ending. They have the biggest hearts and are one of the strong people. The majority of them do work that involves people that have been in their situation and they give their all to guide these kids and adults to a better future. These men and women are hero’s to many out there. Unfortunately there’s so many more victims still out there being trafficked today that need our help. Please, if you know someone or see signs of trafficking, take action! Don’t hesitate or take it into your own hands. Please call law enforcement or the human trafficking hotline to investigate. This quick phone call can save a life. As we end this topic for now, there’s 2 topics that I will be discussing that correlate with this. For the month of April it’s Sexual Assault Awareness and Child Abuse Prevention Month. I have stories I might tell. We will discuss how we can spot signs of abuse, what we can do to if we spot them and how we can help those that are abused. Let’s continue to bring awareness to things that matter. Please stay safe out there, let’s stick together and let’s make a change.

Human Trafficking Hotline: 1(888)373-7888

SMS: 233733 (text “Help” or “Info”)

Their stories and other links: https://youtu.be/aB7RVVPXFcQ, https://youtu.be/jHcoEY6gJJ0, https://youtu.be/_sDRLw0dS-w https://youtu.be/Bf36bf4PMSk, https://youtu.be/NcyYBhVDFHM, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5618827/,

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