Sophomore Comm Studies Major Aims to Educate Community About Human Trafficking
I had no idea what human trafficking was until I came to Kent. My freshman year, I was shown the documentary “Nefarious” that completely broke my heart for the people who have fallen into the shadows of society as victims of human trafficking. I found my passion in life and began getting involved on campus to learn more about this topic.
More education needs to be done in order for any change to begin. Here is how every individual can take part in ending human trafficking.
Top 5 ways to take part in the effort to end modern day slavery:
1. Get educated.
It is so simple to help create change once you learn more about injustices that are prevalent all over the world. Once people become more educated on this topic they can begin to understand what is causing this epidemic and what is prohibiting the eradication of it. For more information, visit:
2. Recognize the signs of human trafficking in its victims.
- They become increasingly shut off and fearful or submissive.
- They lack identification and documentation.
- They tend to be young and have untreated health problems including HIV/AIDS, STDs, PTSD, physical and psychological trauma, addictions, etc.
- They frequently miss school or work.
- They hang around an older man or ‘boyfriend’ who is usually controlling or does all the talking.
- There are language or cultural barriers.
3. Know what to do when you or someone you know are at risk of been trafficked.
Are you able to make your own decisions and come and go as you wish? Are you expected to give your money away or always owe money? Are you being paid very little or not at all? Speak up and tell someone what is going on and seek help from law enforcement who have had the right training for this. Write a letter to your congressman or governor to convince them to make changes regarding laws of human trafficking and to let them know you care about this issue. Report anything you think might resemble signs of human trafficking to the National Trafficking Hotline 1-888-373-7888.
4. Get involved in your own community by helping to raise awareness.
Spreading the word on the fact that modern day slavery exists so much more than many people are aware of goes a long way. Lack of knowledge prohibits any change from happening. Those who are victims have no voice to yell out with because of their situations and need many people standing up for them. Once you start looking and realizing how this happens in your own backyard, the problem becomes personal as opposed to some far off problem that does not affect you. Human trafficking affects every single one of us, and it is our obligation to do something about it.
5. Have the bold goal of ending human trafficking in our lifetime.
If everyone continues to view this problem as much too big for anyone to do anything about it than it will continue to increase under our noses and nothing will ever be different. Taking these small steps toward change could save even just one person and that makes it all worth it. We can begin to create a rippling effect with small movements. Simply changing the language we use and our perspectives allows for us to identify the problem and work to a better future where the marginalized will all be free from modern day slavery.