January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month. Beautiful Dream Society works hard this month and all year to teach awareness of human trafficking in Oklahoma and beyond. Naturally, this always gets me thinking about how truly aware we are of human trafficking’s many levels and facets.
In the past two and a half years that I’ve worked closely with the topic of human trafficking on a daily basis, I really have seen awareness of the topic grow. More and more people are beginning to realize that human trafficking 1) happens at all, and 2) happens all around the United States. Fantastic news. If we’re to tackle this enormous problem, knowledge of its existence is surely the place to start. But we can’t stop there.
If we want to eradicate the tragedy of human trafficking from the face of the earth, mere knowledge of its existence is not enough.
To truly end modern slavery’s reach, we must take our awareness of human trafficking deeper than worldwide numbers and statistics. To help current victims and prevent future victims, we must increase our awareness of traffickers’ strategies and tricks in order to get out ahead of them.
Next Level of Awareness: Recruitment
How do traffickers lure victims into human trafficking?
Force, fraud, and coercion are the primary recognized categories of methods by which traffickers recruit victims. We understand force – grabbing someone off the street or drugging a person’s drink at a bar and making off with them in a taxi. Most people associate these actions with how someone gets trapped in trafficking. We think of Liam Neeson’s movie “Taken.”
At Beautiful Dream Society, women in our care have reported experiencing and seeing the recruitment methods of fraud and coercion much more commonly than force. Fraud and coercion are more nuanced than force and require a little more explanation. To help you take your awareness to the next level, we’ll be publishing blog posts on fraud and coercion this week!
When we know the recruitment tactics, we are prepared to spot red flags much more quickly in our own lives and in the lives of those we love.
How YOU Can Spread Awareness
1. SHARE. As you see our posts educating about human trafficking, click share, retweet, and regram. By sharing social media posts about human trafficking, you ARE making a real difference in spreading awareness.
Sometimes the mere act of sharing social media posts on a topic gets a bad rap as being too easy or “slacktivism.” Don’t let that hold you back! Every day, people are learning about human trafficking by reading social media posts shared by concerned citizens. It’s crucial to spread the information in an easily accessible way and increase the reach of awareness!
3. SUPPORT. Your financial support goes directly toward, helping the former victims of human trafficking in our care in Oklahoma and Lesotho, Africa, as well as preventing new victims through training and awareness. You can also fundraise for us by becoming a BDS Fundraiser!
Human trafficking will end when we all do our part. Let’s make the most today, Human Trafficking Awareness Day; this month, Human Trafficking Awareness Month; and every day beyond. Let’s lift our voices every way we can and raise awareness on the many aspects of human trafficking!
-Melissa Eick, Communications Director, Beautiful Dream Society