When I began The Broken Series it started out as a stand alone. As I wrote Just…Breathe it became more.
The female character, Jaden, experienced human trafficking from the age of nine until she ran at twenty. Her mother, like some sadly, was more focused on money and hate rather then the love of her daughter.
The topic of human trafficking hits close to home for me. For now I will keep it that way, sorry. However, you can get glimpse of my heart and soul when you read The Broken Series.
I recently discovered an author, TK Leigh, when I was gifted her Beautiful Mess Series. Her new book, Heart of Light, taken from a character, Cam, that we got to meet in the Beautiful Series, addresses the subject of human trafficking. In her next release, Heart of Marley, TK gives more of the picture.
Now, as I said before, my The Broken Series hits close to home and the topic wouldn’t release its hold until I agreed to write it. As for TK, I’m not too clear for her reasons other than awareness. Sadly, human trafficking happens in the US as well as other countries. I just don’t think they talk about it much. If we pretend it doesn’t happen, then it doesn’t. They put on their rose colored glasses and ignore the problem.
Currently I am writing book 2 of The Broken Series and felt this was the right time to make this post. As book 2 will take you further into Jaden’s past than book 1 had.
Before I post some facts etc… I want to say one last thing…
WAKE UP PEOPLE. Just because you go around pretending it doesn’t happen to us, it IS. What if it were your child? Your sister? Your brother? (Yes guys too) And so on…
Below are some random facts that I have picked up on the internet. The sources will be listed at the end. Spread the word and let’s band together to save our children!
~~ Angela Fattig ❤
What Is Human Trafficking?
Human trafficking is a serious federal crime with penalties of up to imprisonment for life. Federal law defines “severe forms of trafficking in persons” as: “(A) sex trafficking in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such act has not attained 18 years of age; or (B) the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for labor or services, through the use of force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery.” [U.S.C. §7102(8)]
In short, human trafficking is a form of modern slavery. Those who recruit minors into commercial sexual exploitation (or prostitution) violate federal anti-trafficking laws, even if there is no force, fraud, or coercion.
What Is the Extent of Human Trafficking in the United States?
An unknown number of U.S. citizens and legal residents are trafficked within the country for sexual servitude and forced labor. Contrary to a common assumption, human trafficking is not just a problem in other countries. Cases of human trafficking have been reported in all 50 states, Washington D.C., and the U.S. territories. Victims of human trafficking can be children or adults, U.S. citizens or foreign nationals, male or female.
Common examples of identified child trafficking cases include:
- Commercial sex
- Forced begging
- Magazine crews
- Au pairs or nannies
- Restaurant work
- Hair and nail salons
- Agricultural work
- Drug sales and cultivation
From December 7, 2007, through December 31, 2012, the NHTRC answered 65,557 calls, 1,735 online tip forms, and 5,251 emails — totaling more than 72,000 interactions. This report is based on the information learned from these interactions during the first five years of the hotline’s operation by Polaris.
- The NHTRC experienced a 259% increase in calls between 2008 and 2012.
- In five years, we received reports of 9,298 unique cases of human trafficking.
- The three most common forms of sex trafficking reported to the hotline involved pimp-controlled prostitution, commercial-front brothels, and escort services. Labor trafficking was most frequently reported in domestic work, restaurants, peddling rings, and sales crews.
- 41% of sex trafficking cases and 20% of labor trafficking cases referenced U.S. citizens as victims.
- Women were referenced as victims in 85% of sex trafficking cases, and men in 40% of labor trafficking cases.
Here are 10 facts about human trafficking that everyone should know:
1. There are an estimated 27 million slaves in the world today. That’s the highest recorded number of slaves in history!
2. The average cost of a slave around the world is $90.
3. Human trafficking has been identified as the largest human rights violation in the history of mankind.
4. Human trafficking is the second largest criminal enterprise in the world, after drug smuggling and arms dealing.
5. The United States is one of the top three destination points for trafficked victims. California, New York, Texas and Nevada are the top destination states within the country.
6. According to estimates, approximately 80 percent of trafficking involves sexual exploitation, and 19 percent involves labor exploitation.
7. The average age of a young woman being trafficked is 12–14 years old.
8. Immigration agents estimate that 10,000 women are being held in Los Angeles’ underground brothels; this does not include the thousands of victims in domestic work, sweatshops or other informal industries.
9. An estimated 13 million children are enslaved around the world today, accounting for nearly half of trafficking victims in the world.
10. Trafficked children are significantly more likely to develop mental health problems, abuse substances, engage in prostitution as adults, and either commit or be victimized by violent crimes later in life.
In 2006, the US State Department reported that one million children are exploited in the global sex trade. Sex tourists, seeking anonymity and impunity in foreign lands, exploit many of these children in child sex tourism.
Child trafficking can occur when children are abducted from the streets, sold into sexual slavery and forced marriage by relatives, or in any place where traffickers, pimps and recruiters prey upon a child’s vulnerabilities. Poverty is the pre-condition that makes it easier for traffickers to operate.
The greatest factor in promoting child sex trafficking and child sexual exploitation is the demand for younger and younger victims worldwide. This demand comes from the mostly male buyers who become the customers in the growing global sex industry.
Children are often trafficked, employed and exploited because, compared to adults, they are more vulnerable, cheaper to hire and are less likely to demand higher wages or better working conditions. Some employers falsely argue that children are particularly suited to certain types of work because of their small size and “nimble fingers”.
Common Myths About Human Trafficking
- Human Trafficking requires an international or state border crossing.
- False – no movement is needed for a situation to be considered “trafficking.”
- Smuggling is required for Human Trafficking.
- False – smuggling is not required, but a person who is smuggled may also be a victim of human trafficking.
- Human trafficking victims must be foreign nationals.
- False – victims may be U.S. citizens, foreign nationals, or undocumented persons.
- Trafficking victims must be kidnapped and/or restrained physically.
- False – victims may be threatened or manipulated into compliance, but do not necessarily have to be physically restrained or locked up.
- If a victim previously consented to abuse or was paid, then it is not trafficking, even if they are no longer consenting and/or being paid.
- False – a person can become a victim, even if they were originally compliant or paid.
Who is the Average Trafficking Victim?
Although all children are vulnerable, previously identified cases suggest that the following populations are at a higher risk of being trafficked:
- Runaway and homeless youth
- Children within the foster care system
- Children with histories of abuse
- Children with histories of substance abuse
- Children with disabilities
- Youth in the juvenile justice system
- LGBTQ youth
- Refugees, immigrants, and non-English-speaking persons
More Information about Victims:
- 80% of identified victims are female
- Over 50% are children
- Average age of initial victimization: 13 years old
- It is estimated that 100,000-300,000 U.S. citizen children are currently involved in sex trafficking.
Red Flags: Possible Signs of Child Trafficking
- Excess amount of cash
- Hotel keys
- Chronic runaway/homeless youth
- Lying about age / false ID
- Inconsistencies in story
- Has engaged in prostitution or commercial sex acts
- Any mention of a pimp/boyfriend
- Refers to employer/boyfriend using slang such as “Daddy”
After first learning about human trafficking, many people want to help in some way but do not know how. Here are just a few ideas for your consideration.
1. Learn the red flags that may indicate human trafficking and ask follow up questions so that you can help identify a potential trafficking victim. Human trafficking awareness training is available for individuals, businesses, first responders, law enforcement, and federal employees.
2. In the United States, call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center at 1-888-373-7888 (24/7) to get help and connect with a service provider in your area, report a tip with information on potential human trafficking activity; or learn more by requesting training, technical assistance, or resources. Call federal law enforcement directly to report suspicious activity and get help from the Department of Homeland Security at 1-866-347-2423 (24/7), or submit a tip online at http://www.ice.gov/tips, or from the U.S. Department of Justice at 1-888-428-7581 from 9:00am to 5:00pm (EST). Victims, including undocumented individuals, are eligible for services and immigration assistance.
3. Be a conscientious consumer. Discover your Slavery Footprint, and check out the Department of Labor’s List of Goods Produced by Child Labor or Forced Labor. Encourage companies, including your own, to take steps to investigate and eliminate slavery and human trafficking in their supply chains and to publish the information for consumer awareness.
4. Incorporate human trafficking information into your professional associations’ conferences, trainings, manuals, and other materials as relevant [example].
5. Join or start a grassroots anti-trafficking coalition.
6. Meet with and/or write to your local, state, and federal government representatives to let them know that you care about combating human trafficking in your community, and ask what they are doing to address human trafficking in your area.
7. Distribute public awareness materials available from the Department of Health and Human Services or Department of Homeland Security.
8. Volunteer to do victim outreach or offer your professional services to a local anti-trafficking organization.
9. Donate funds or needed items to an anti-trafficking organization in your area.
10. Organize a fundraiser and donate the proceeds to an anti-trafficking organization.
11. Host an awareness event to watch and discuss a recent human trafficking documentary. On a larger scale, host a human trafficking film festival.
12. Encourage your local schools to partner with students and include the issue of modern day slavery in their curriculum. As a parent, educator, or school administrator, be aware of how traffickers target school-aged children.
13. Set up a Google alert to receive current human trafficking news.
14. Write a letter to the editor of your local paper about human trafficking in your community.
15. Start or sign a human trafficking petition.
16. Businesses: Provide internships, job skills training, and/or jobs to trafficking survivors. Consumers: Purchase items made by trafficking survivors such as from Jewel Girls or Made by Survivors.
17. Students: Take action on your campus. Join or establish a university or secondary school club to raise awareness about human trafficking and initiate action throughout your local community. Consider doing one of your research papers on a topic concerning human trafficking. Professors: Request that human trafficking be an issue included in university curriculum. Increase scholarship about human trafficking by publishing an article, teaching a class, or hosting a symposium.
18. Law Enforcement Officials: Join or start a local human trafficking task force.
19. Mental Health or Medical Providers: Extend low-cost or free services to human trafficking victims assisted by nearby anti-trafficking organizations. Train your staff on how to identify the indicators of human trafficking and assist victims.
20. Attorneys: Look for signs of human trafficking among your clients. Offer pro-bono services to trafficking victims or anti-trafficking organizations. Learn about and offer to human trafficking victims the legal benefits for which they are eligible. Assist anti-trafficking NGOs with capacity building and legal work.
SAD ISN’T IT? IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE THIS WAY…
Human Trafficking Information—Sources