By: Julie Neubauer
Frequently when we’ve met with young women who have experienced sexual exploitation, they tell of feeling astounded and often angry at not having being ‘identified’ or approached during their exploitation. They felt that the signals they were displaying were so clear and that the vulnerabilities and the risks associated with their life circumstances were clear indicators that they were being abused and used. They wondered why nobody cared or stepped in to intervene.
Police officers answering a call to a condominium to follow up on a ‘domestic-dispute’ call or an emergency room nurse treating the same young woman for repeated PID or STI’s. The Uber driver who wonders why the young woman in the back of the vehicle being ferried from one hotel to another seems so thin, frightened and hollowed-out.
Providing training to service providers and to the general public are critical first steps in the identification pillar of supporting survivors. Providing people with the HT lenses that assist with seeing their communities in new ways; where women are vulnerable, are exploited and are often done so, right in front of our faces.
By knowing what they’re seeing and how they can help, people can feel and be empowered to engage in the Herculean efforts it will take, to interrupt the business of human sex trafficking in their communities.
To learn more about our human trafficking training, please visit: http://helpingtraffickedpersons.org/