Human Trafficking has been reported in all 50 states, with Ohio coming in 4th. No community (urban, rural, or suburban) or school, socioeconomic group, or student demographic is immune. Victims are male and female, U.S. citizens and foreign nationals.
It is so prevalent it generates the 2nd highest profit, in billions of dollars, second only to international drug trafficking.
It is modern-day slavery. It uses force, fraud, or coercion to obtain some type of labor or commercial sex act. Young victims are primarily used for: sex, forced begging, magazine crews, Au pairs or nannies, restaurant work, hair and nail salons, agricultural work, and drug sales and cultivation.
Traffickers target minors through social media, chat-lines, after-school programs, at malls, in clubs, or through friends or acquaintances who recruit students on school grounds. Don’t be victim. If you have difficulties at home, speak to a school counselor, teacher, or another trusted adult that you know. Do not run away. Don’t believe the promises of strangers. Don’t chat online with anyone you don’t know, giving them any personal information. Don’t accept job offers from people you meet in malls or in after-school programs, unless you’ve had the person/company checked out at school or by local police. Walk away from strangers who approach you when you are alone. Be suspicious of an acquaintance who suddenly has nice stuff and wants to introduce you to someone who can offer you easy money.
Don’t trust anyone you don’t know who wants to be a part of your life. Trust is built over time, time you use to get to know the individual as a good and honest person. Do stay safe.