Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Human Trafficking

Human Trafficking
Source:  Elite Continuing Education
Home Study Course
Human Trafficking
While I don't like to see anyone taken advantage of in this world, what I read as part of a home study course today for continuing education woke me up to something of which I really was not aware.  In fact, many people probably go through a day not even thinking about human trafficking, but yet it is a very widespread problem and is most likely taking place right before our eyes.

Human trafficking is one of the fastest growing criminal industries throughout the world.  In fact, it is estimated to be a 32 billion dollar industry with 27 million people being enslaved in the world today.  While law enforcement  is working to try and stop the flow of victims into the US, it takes all of us to be aware and assist to help stop this.

I was completely surprised that almost 300,000 children are sexually exploited in the US.  Around 17,000 victims are trafficked into the US with about 800,000 trafficked in the world each year.  In my mind, one is too many, but think about the number of people for a moment.  It is a far bigger problem than most of us realize or even may want to admit.

Some of the places where sex trafficking can be found include prostitution, exotic dancing, pornography, live cyber-sex sites, sexual services through massage parlors, truck stops and escort services.  I have heard so many men especially talk about massage in such a way that is degrading and this is part of the problem.  The minute you say you do massage, the first thing many men will say is a statement that is sexual in nature.  It is like some of these individuals in our society can not see the difference between massage and sexual activity, and to me they are part of the problem with their primitive mindsets.  True healthy massage has nothing to do with sex and if you are part of that situation, than please learn what it means to be a man, woman, or human, not just a brain dead animal.

The sex trafficking underground network includes recruiters who bring individuals into human trafficking, groomers who prep and teach the victims about the sex trade, people on the street who bring in new victims, and watchers who observe the victims to make sure they perform adequately and do not escape.  Only the trafficker knows the entire organization, but all of this is happening underground.  When law enforcement tries to stop one link of it, it is quickly replaced and so is a difficult practice to stop.

Human trafficking usually begins in legitimate businesses that serve as a cover in exchange for benefits or money.  In fact, victims may not even know that they are being brought to the US and some believe they will work in legitimate jobs.  Poor economic conditions, war and military conflicts, natural disasters, family violence and high cost of living are among the factors that lead these people to human trafficking.  States with most reports of trafficking include California, Texas, Florida, New York among others.

Escaping sex trafficking may seem like it is something simple to get out of, but this is not the case.  In many cases, the victims may fear that a loved one will be harmed, arrested or murdered.  Shame, self-blame and low self-esteem may keep the victims believing that even if they could escape, they would have no where to go, no family that would accept them and no where to turn.  Often PTSD as a result of psychological trauma they have endured, can affect their view of the world around them and after a long period of exploitation, the victims may give up hope that anything can change or they can escape.  In addition, they are kept isolated and every movement is monitored.  Their basic needs for survival keep them completely dependent upon those that exploit them.  Many times they are moved around so frequently that they have no opportunity to form bonds with anyone else and they are taught that if they go to the police, they will be arrested for what they do.  There is no way out for them!  In essence, once you get into this business, it is very difficult to escape.

For more information, check out the US Department Of Health And Human Services National Human Trafficking Resource Center.  It includes a toll free hotline at 1-888-373-7888.  Their website is through the Polaris Project - Human Trafficking Resource Center .   The Human Trafficking Resource Center allows you to call and report potential cases of human trafficking or connect with services in your area.  You can also request training, technical assistance or general information.

I realize I am summarizing much of what I read and learned through this home study course.  However, I hope by doing so, that it will help spread the word and build awareness about human trafficking.  It is easy to hide our head in the sand and be part of the problem, rather than being human and helping to solve the problem.  If you ever see sex being offered with massage, report it!  If you think that sex offered with paid massage is normal, then please enlighten yourself and stop!  For those of us engaging in the healing practice of massage, it is offensive to have people associate what we do with sexual services.  If you were in the same place, I'm sure you would feel that way as well or at least I would hope that you are human enough to feel this way.

Blog Post And Images (c) 4/10/13 by Don Shetterly

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