We can continue to contact congressional leaders and encourage them to seek out and prosecute the offenders. We can donate to safe houses and help get victims back to a normal life. We can always stay informed and watch for signs someone may be a victim and make a call to the national hotline.
Myth: Trafficking must involve the crossing of borders.
Fact: Despite the use of the word “trafficking,” victims can actually be held within their own country—anti-trafficking laws don’t require that victims must have traveled from somewhere else.
Myth: U.S. citizens can’t be trafficked.
Fact: They can and they are.
Myth: Victims know what they are getting into or have chances to escape.
: They’re actually duped into it and may not even think of escaping because of threats against them or ignorance of the law.
Myth: Victims are never paid.
Fact: Sometimes they are paid, but not very much.
Myth: Victims never have freedom of movement.
Fact: Some victims can move about, but are coerced into always returning, perhaps with a threat against their families back home.
One last note: human trafficking is often confused with alien smuggling, which includes those who consent to smuggling to get across a border illegally.
Signs someone may be a victim of trafficking:
- Not free to come and go as he/she pleases
- Under 18 and providing commercial sex acts
- Has a manager or pimp
- Unpaid or paid very little, sometimes only tips
- Works excessively long or unusual hours
- High security measures at work or home (bars, barbed wire, security cameras, etc.)
- Recruited through false promises due to nature of the work
If you feel you or someone you know is a victim of human trafficking, call the Trafficking Hotline at 1-800-373-7888.
(Information obtained from www.fbi.gov and www.polarisproject.org. )
Links where you can help.