Human and sex trafficking has never received the proper attention even though it can affect anyone at anytime. Those affected can wind up with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, which mentally and physically damages a person.
According to Eleanor Goldberg, a writer for the Huffington Post, Trafficking can have different meanings to it such as, “when a person is recruited, harbored, provided or obtained for the purposes of exploitation and often sold as an object.” Most people don’t realize the severity of human trafficking, which is a worldwide phenomenon. It doesn’t matter who the person is because there is always a risk of being trafficked, regardless of gender. However, women and young girls are most likely to be sold into sex or human trafficking. In the past two years there was an estimation of 5,000 potential traffickers in the United States. Although the number may seem high, it really isn’t because there are still hundreds which have not been caught yet.
The number of people being trafficked have been increasing over the years, and up to 4 million victims of trafficking have yet confirmed that they were sexually exploited while being trafficked. The victims aren’t always older people but they are young children and teenagers as well. In a year 300,000 Americans under the age of 18 were trafficked into the sex trade. According to Cathy Zimmerman, In a year about half of human and sex trafficking victims reported that they were sexually and physically abused and 22% of victims suffered from severe injuries. The traffickers are aggressive to the point where the victims may sustain cuts, bruises, and a massive amount of unbearable pain and trauma.
Human and sex trafficking is so common that most don’t realize that it occurs anywhere even in ones backyard. The community may hear about cases of human/sex trafficking that occur in poor countries, but never think that it can be a local issue. The victims are trafficked in places such as night clubs, hotels, amusements parks and many more places, but for all we know it can be happening right in front of us. A victim who had been trafficked for sexual exploitation mentioned how the Super Bowl was one of the busiest nights for traffickers. The day of the Super Bowl, she had been forced to sleep with 25 different men in one night. If she were to have tried getting out of the situation she would be punished by her trafficker. On days like these the authorities make sure to be aware of any strange activity.
Many people lack support from family and friends which is why they keep quiet when they are put in these situations. If that is the case there are places where one can get help or report suspected trafficking to the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-788.
Reporter: Gisselle Suarez