A few years ago, I was searching for an opportunity to advance in my career field. As I searched potential employers, I found one who offered great pay and benefits, including flexible hours. As a mother it appeared to be a great opportunity, but something in my spirit did not sit right with me…
Fast forward, a few years later, my daughter proudly applied for the same company. As she showed me her application, fear overcame me right away as I recognized the name and recalled the research I conducted years before. I had investigated the company and found it was nothing more than a dangerous scam – women were missing after alleged interviews, and even men had been drugged and attacked but some managed to escape. There was no doubt the company was a human trafficking ring.
Twenty years ago, this term was almost unheard of – this was something we thought only happened in third world countries, and certainly not in civilized countries – but unfortunately it is, and the incidences appear to be increasing. According to the U.S. State Department, 600,000 to 800,000 people are trafficked across international borders every year, of which 80% are female and half are children.
Many victims are kidnapped in open public areas, even in the light of day. Some are lured by their captors pretending to be a person in need. And others are lured through employment opportunities such as nannies, domestic servants, travel programs, etc. While these can be legitimate circumstances and businesses, its best to protect yourself and your loved ones by practicing safety first.
Human trafficking knows no prejudice, but there are common statistics surrounding victims. Some of these are being a female or a child, those in poverty, runaways, the uneducated, etc. But even a wealthy and well-educated person could fall victim just as easily as anyone else.
The most important thing you can do is to learn how to protect yourself.
If someone appears to be in need, call emergency personnel and/or go directly to a professional who can assist them.
For employment sources, always research the company of interest in depth to verify their credentials – popularity doesn’t necessarily mean legitimacy and safety.
Traffickers may offer opportunities for prosperity of some kind through false promises. They may attempt to coerce you with fabricated evidence, or even displays of affection.
If an opportunity seems to good to be true, it probably is. Know who you are talking to and do your research.
Never go anywhere alone. Always let someone know where you are at all times, and consider using tracking apps.
If your instincts tell you something is off, it probably is. Go with your gut and seek safety.
Social media has become popular opportunity to coerce women and youth. Never meet someone you don’t know alone, not for the sale of items or other potential opportunity.
Carry a safety whistle. This can be a referee whistle or similar item that can attract attention if you are attacked.
Other safety items include stun guns and pepper spray gel.
There are also phone apps that will call emergency to your location for you and track you if you are in a moving vehicle.
Take a self-defense course. Many courses are free of charge or offered at a low rate.
To report possible human trafficking case, call 911 or text 233733
OR call 888-373-7888 (TTY 711) for the National Human Trafficking Hotline
Prayer: Father God, we pray for Your protection over all Your children, Lord, that not another person would be harmed, not another person would benefit from trafficking, Lord. We declare we are covered under the shadow of Your mighty wings, with Your heavenly angels encamped round about us in a hedge of protection at all times. We bind and rebuke all evil away from us, Father. We pray the traffickers would be exposed, Lord and You would convict them of their sins and lead them into repentance. We pray liberation for Your children that have become victims, Father God. We pray the Blood of Jesus upon them, that they would be free from oppression and evil. We pray You would bring justice to the victims and their families, and we pray for their healing, restoration and salvation. We pray that You would allow them to feel Your presence Lord, that You will make a way out for them, Father, that they would receive Your rescue, and become living testimonies of Your power and goodness. We bind and rebuke human trafficking, Lord, that You would cast away doers of evil and lead them into Your light. We thank You Father God for hearing our prayers and being faithful to answer. In Jesus’ mighty name we pray, Amen.