Sex Trafficking

Sex+Trafficking

Ashlyn Long, Staff

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Sex Trafficking by Ashlyn Long

Growing up in this generation, most of us have been conditioned to fear the outside world. We’ve been taught about the horrible and ugly things that happen if you don’t have your guard up. We’ve seen the aftermath of the unlucky who’ve been hurt or worse. In this day and age, getting kidnapped and/or trafficked could happen anywhere, anytime, and to anyone. 

When thinking of sex trafficking, most people imagine bulky guys in all black kidnapping you and throwing you into the trunk of their car, never to be seen again. In all actuality, trafficking can happen in all shapes and forms. Most people aren’t aware that danger is all around them, especially in the age of social media. 

Many trafficking schemes start online. Think about all the social media posts calling for young models and influencers. People get excited for the new opportunities and are quick to jump at a chance that they believe may improve their life. Many of these operations are used to get younger people to meet the kidnappers at a set location so that they can take them. People go into the situation thinking that this will be the first big break of their life and can end up being trafficked or even killed.

Sex traffickers rely on people who are vulnerable in any way, shape or form. This includes people who are more empathetic towards others. It is quite common for kidnappers or traffickers to play on a person’s empathy.In order to lure people into their grip, traffickers are known to pretend to have a limp or a broken bone to make a person let their guard down.

 Traffickers may also play on your past experiences and personal pain. It is easy for them to manipulate their victims into believing that they are truly in love and care for them.When they finally meet, they are tricked into being pimped out with the promise that soon it’ll all be over and they can finally be happy together. It’s essentially brain washing and is also seen in abusive marriages. Like in emotionally abusive relationships, they’ll strip away all connections to the outside world until you are fully reliant on them for everything.  

Last but not least, we have the actual out of nowhere kidnapping. There have been many plots to lure people away from others and sell them on the black market. One of the most abundant conspiracies used is the Women-Of-God tactic. Women are approached by other women, most often in public places, such as college campuses and informed about a group that specializes in women in religion. They then offer the chance to attend their Bible study to get more information on the group and send the women to an address where they are then taken and sold. 

Not always, but a vast majority of the time, traffickers target women because they believe women are more likely to feel empathy for people. It is advised to go everywhere in groups, as it is less likely that a group of women will be approached. 

A lot of the time, people come out of stores and sit in their cars, getting situated or texting friends. This is a good time for traffickers to come up to you. A common practice that sex traffickers use is parking large vehicles next to your car and waiting for you to come out. If this happens, then it is best to get in your car from the passenger side and crawl over. Although it is more work, it’s always better safe than sorry. Other times, sex traffickers will follow you in public places such as stores or parking lots. If you believe someone is following you, turn to them and ask them a question such as “Do you have the time” or “Did you watched the game last night?” This way you are letting them know that you acknowledge that they are following you, and it gives you time to really look at their face so that if anything happens,  you are able to give a good solid description of them to police. Traffickers are also known for putting things on your car windows such as flyers that cover up your back window in an effort to make you get out of your car. If this happens, drive away to a safe place and take them off there.

You aren’t always safe at home either. It has been reported that people will leave fake dolls with recordings inside of them of a baby crying so that people will come outside their houses and investigate. It is the same with random knockings on doors and windows. If you are unfortunately taken, it is the moments before you are placed in a vehicle that are the most important. Fight as hard as you can or try becoming limp. Most people give up if they see that their victim will put up a fight. If they do get you in their car, then try your hardest to keep a sense of direction as to where you’re going. In most vehicles, the back tail lights can be kicked out from the trunk. That way outsiders can see that you’re in there, but your attackers will have no idea. Those moments count as after you are moved to a second location, the odds of you being found alive decrease dramatically. 

If you’re in danger and have an iPhone, you can hit the power button five times and it will bring up a menu where you can send out an emergency SOS that will be sent to the nearest police stations with your location. While mase will hurt your attacker if sprayed in their eyes, bug spray and wasp spray will temporarily blind them for up to two hours, so it is always a good idea to carry some in your car. 

The best advice that can be given is to rely on your intuition. You’re more powerful than you know and together we can help limit the number of individuals sex trafficked in America.