January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month — a time to acknowledge and get educated on those experiencing enslavement and how to prevent it.
Over the last couple of years, Human Trafficking stories have been on the forefront of the news cycle, alarming parents and making them knowledgeable about the risks and dangers of leaving a child or young adult alone in certain places at certain times.
Before folks knew anything about Human Trafficking, many chalked it up to a weird man and a weird white van snatching your kid on the street. Although that may be part of the operation — it gets much deeper than that. NCTS.org reports:
Although slavery is commonly thought to be a thing of the past, human traffickers generate hundreds of billions of dollars in profits by trapping millions of people in horrific situations around the world, including here in the U.S. Traffickers use violence, threats, deception, debt bondage, and other manipulative tactics to force people to engage in commercial sex or to provide labor or services against their will.
And unfortunately, as the years go by, the statistics get worse. According to the Human trafficking Hotline, Florida ranks third in U.S. in human trafficking cases reported by states, behind only California and Texas. Jacksonville ranked 48 out of the top 100 most populous cities from 2007 to 2018.
We must protect our children at all costs. And to do so, we need all the info. Hit the flip for a few facts you probably didn’t know about sex trafficking, and the survivors who shared their stories.