Human Trafficking: A World Crisis

Via wikimedia commons
The Just Ask organization bringing awareness to Northern Virginia.

Most people, when hearing “human trafficking,” will think of some far off narrative dictated to them by Hollywood movies. They may also think of far-away countries, where young women don’t have the rights afforded to them here in the United States. Regardless, no one will think of home; no one will think of their own daughter, girlfriend, niece, etc. as being in in possible peril. This is where most people are wrong, and this is what Just Ask is trying to fight against. Just Ask is a human trafficking prevention organization that focuses on warning people of the unknown dangers and ways in which someone can fall victim to the vicious circle. They have brought their message to Fauquier – speaking at FHS, Taylor Middle, Marshall Middle, and the WARF. At these meetings, they explain that human trafficking does not just happen to a famous actress in a Hollywood thriller or a poor girl in a third world country, but to anyone and everyone who falls prey to trafficker’s trickery. As they make intelligible to their audiences, “human trafficking can occur in any community where there are teens to manipulate and an illegal black market place to service.” They elaborate on this point by explaining that the majority of human trafficking victims continue to live at home while being trafficked, and that the majority of the time no one notices a change in the victim. Human traffickers usually come under the guise of an older boyfriend or online friend. They come into a young girls life, build a trusting relationship with her, and simply bully and/or manipulate her into taking part in the circle. Although never done willingly, most human trafficking cases aren’t the dramatic kidnappings the majority see on television; they are happening right under everyone’s noses, in the comfort of their own homes. “Every 30 seconds, a child or teen is sold into slavery.” This fact coupled with “Only 1% of human trafficking victims are ever rescued” are some of the more than perturbing actualities one is faced with when attending a Just Ask seminar. There are approximately 60,000 current victims of human trafficking in the US, and these are simply approximations. One can say, almost with certainty, that there are many more than that. Even so, human trafficking is obviously a real-world problem that constantly occurs at home. The majority of people will think, “That will happen to others, not me; that could never happen to my family.” This is where most people are wrong. It can and will happen to them if they are not careful. It can and will continue to happen unless people start taking a stand and making a change, like the people of the Just Ask foundation are doing. One last thing to remember is if anyone ever has a question about, or is struggling with human trafficking themselves in any way, just ask: Ask a teacher, ask a friend, ask a parent/guardian. Anyone and everyone will be willing and able to help, all one must do is ask; just ask.

by celeste pollack