Combating Human Trafficking: A Collective Effort
Advocacy Human trafficking is often a hidden crime. Yet while every case is different, they are all deeply troubling forms of modern day slavery.
Amy was a star athlete and honor student at her high school in Allentown, Pennsylvania. But shortly after graduation, Amy and three other women were trafficked by two brutal men who forced them to have sex with men against their will.
Amy was exploited for her addiction to heroin, and she was often beaten, raped and even tased into submission. She was eventually arrested for what looked like prostitution.
"Therefore, an engaged and informed public is our greatest asset in combating human trafficking."
But the Allentown Police Department arresting officer had been trained to recognize the signs of human trafficking. Amy was identified as a human trafficking victim, and she and the other women were rescued. Now, the traffickers are in prison. Amy received the support she needed to get is clean and is pursuing a graduate degree.
Traffickers use force, fraud or coercion to prey on the most vulnerable among us. Human trafficking takes on many forms, including forced labor, domestic servitude and, as in Amy’s case, the sex trade. Some victims are U.S. citizens, while others are brought here from overseas.
How to help
Some victims seek help on their own, while others may be fearful of law enforcement or retribution from their traffickers. Therefore, an engaged and informed public is our greatest asset in combating human trafficking.
Know what to look for. Learn the indicators of human trafficking. Know how to report suspected cases. To report suspected human trafficking to Federal law enforcement, call 1-866-DHS-2-ICE or submit a tip online at www.ice.gov/tips. To get help from the National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC), call 1-888-373-7888 or text HELP or INFO to BeFree (233733).
Raise your voice. Find tools and resources from the Blue Campaign, to increase public awareness of human trafficking in your community. With the help of an educated and alert nation, we can rescue individuals like Amy from the hands of traffickers and end this terrible crime.