Sex Trafficking Is More Common Than You Think

According to the United States, millions of people around the world are victims of sex trafficking every year. Approximately 4.8 million people particularly women and children, were trafficked in the commercial sex trade in 2016. With females being the most sought out victims in the world of sex trafficking, it is very important that those who are moving on to a new chapter in their lives or who have traveled to further their education, need to be more cautious and aware of their surroundings and others. College is the time to experience new things and have fun, but that doesn’t mean that there won’t be trouble lurking in the dark waiting for you to let your guard down. With that being said, here are five ways you can protect yourself from becoming a victim of sex trafficking:

Be self-aware and alert. When you are traveling to a store or in public, be sure to look around and become aware of where you are exactly. Also, try to look for multiple possible exits so that if something does go wrong, you are able to escape. Be sure to make note of those around you as well. If someone is getting too close or is following you, draw attention to yourself, or tell someone.

Do not go out in public alone. This goes especially for night travel. If you went to a party with someone, make sure you leave with them if possible. Those who are on the lookout for victims often go for those who are alone and who seem defenseless. If for any reason you had to travel alone, try to find a security guard to walk you to your car and to make sure you leave safely.

Don’t overdrink when you are out at late parties. It is the only way to know that your full instincts are in effect and that you can react accordingly if something does happen. You want to be able to be quick on your feet and think clearly.

Avoid truck stops or stops along the interstate when you’re traveling unless you remain in groups there. Truck stops are the most common spots where the sex traffickers shop for their victims. If you notice anything unusual or you feel as though someone is making you uncomfortable, be sure to tell someone and try to leave safely.

Lastly, if you have been talking with someone online, do not meet with them by yourself. You do not know if they are who they say they are. Often, sex traffickers use social media to lure potential victims to them. The traffickers do not fit a certain stereotype. They can be of any race, ethnicity, or social group.

By taking precautions like the ones mentioned above, you can keep your friends and yourself safe from sex traffickers.

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