Honoring National Human Trafficking Prevention Month
Human trafficking can be hard to spot because there are many misconceptions surrounding it.
–It does not always involve commercial sex. A 2017 study estimates there are 313,000 victims of human trafficking in Texas, about 75% of which were victims of labor trafficking.
–It rarely begins with a stranger kidnapping someone from a public place, like a mall or grocery store parking lot. Victims can sometimes be groomed and recruited online.
–It doesn’t only happen in illegal or underground industries. It may be occurring in broad daylight in industries like construction and cleaning services.
–Victims aren’t always physically held against their will. They may have suffered mental or emotional abuse and they may not have control over their passports or bank accounts.
Here are some indicators that may warrant further inspection:
–The person appears disconnected from family and friends or have stopped attending school.
–The person is fearful, timid, or submissive, or does not have freedom of movement
–The person is in the company of someone to whom he or she defers or someone who seems to be in control of the situation
Both victims and those that encounter suspected human trafficking can contact the following resources for help:
–Local law enforcement: For RRPD, call 911 or 512-218-5500. Anonymous tips can be submitted here: https://www.citizenobserver.com/cov6/app/webTipForm.html?id=5853
–24/7 National Human Trafficking Hotline: Call 1-888-373-7888, Text “BeFree” (233733), or live chat at humantraffickinghotline.org
–Texas Attorney General, Human Trafficking Section: Call 512-463-1646 or email [email protected]
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Source: City of Round Rock