January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month
What is Human Trafficking?
According to the Department of Homeland Security, human trafficking is considered to be modern-day slavery and involves the use of force, fraud, or coercion to obtain some type of labor or commercial sex act. Every year, millions of men, women, and children are trafficked in countries around the world, including the United States. It is estimated that human trafficking generates billions of dollars of profit each year, second only to drug trafficking as the most profitable form of transnational crime.
Victims of human trafficking are of all genders, ages, races, and socioeconomic statuses. While human trafficking can happen anywhere to anyone, traffickers look for people who are most susceptible. Those who are homeless, emotionally or psychologically vulnerable, have been impacted by a natural disaster or economic hardship, or have a lack family, friends, or support systems may be more likely to be targeted by traffickers. Traffickers typically use force, fraud, or coercion to lure their victims and force them into labor or commercial sexual exploitation. As such, human trafficking is considered a “hidden” crime because victims rarely come forward to seek help due to fear of the traffickers.
Someplace Safe Provides Specialized Services for Trafficked and Sexually Exploited Youth.
Someplace Safe has a variety of services in the 9-county service area available to youth who have been trafficked or who are at risk of becoming trafficked. These victim-centered services are specifically designed to directly support at-risk, sexually exploited, and trafficked youth. These services are many times intensive, due to the nature and danger of the crime.Someplace Safe assisted over 76 local individuals in the past year who include juvenile survivors of sexual exploitation and sex trafficking, as well as their friends, family, and support systems.
Someplace Safe was also selected in 2016 to house a Safe Harbor Regional Navigator, whose role is to coordinate current and emerging services available to youth, develop responses for county and state systems, as well as identify and assist at-risk, sexually exploited, and trafficked youth age 24 and under. Someplace Safe’s Regional Navigator position covers a 19-county region in west central Minnesota, including: Big Stone, Becker, Chippewa, Clay, Douglas, Grant, Kandiyohi, Lac qui Parle, McLeod, Meeker, Otter Tail, Pope, Renville, Stevens, Swift, Traverse, Wadena, Wilkin, and Yellow Medicine Counties.
Join Someplace Safe in the “End It” Movement.
Someplace Safe is joining others across the country in the “End It” Movement, a national effort to shine a light on human trafficking and modern-day slavery.The “End It” movement is comprised of a coalition of leading organizations around the world who are fighting for freedom, while bring awareness, prevention, rescue, and restoration to communities across the nation.
Someplace Safe invites you to join in the “End It” Movement as well, in support of local and international victims and survivors of human trafficking and modern-day slavery.There are many ways that you may involve yourself in the movement:
No matter how you involve yourself in the movement, YOU are doing your part in bringing the issues of human trafficking and modern-day slavery to the forefront of your community.
Save the Date for the “Shine a Light on Slavery Day” on February 7, 2019.
You may also join Someplace Safe in participating in the “Shine a Light on Slavery Day” on February 7th.On this day, supporters and allies across the world will raise awareness for slavery by marking their hands with a red “X” and sharing it on social media.Make sure to stay tuned for more information on how you can participate and spread the word!
Reach Out if You or Others Need Help.
If you or someone you know is experiencing human trafficking, modern-day slavery, crime, or abuse, please contact your local Someplace Safe office or call our 24-hour crisis line at 1-800-974-3359.Services are free and confidential. Accessible services are available, including: interpreters, live-chat, and text options.
To learn more about the Safe Harbor program of Someplace Safe,
and how our agency is participating in the “End It Movement”, visit:
For more information on the “End It” movement, visit: https://enditmovement.com/.
For more information and resources on human trafficking, visit: https://traffickingresourcecenter.org/ or https://www.nsvrc.org/blogs/january-human-trafficking-awareness-month.
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