Every parent worries about keeping their children safe. We start when they are very young and talk about stranger danger. As they get older, it is just as necessary to talk to them about their personal safety and especially in regards to human trafficking. Too often the choices of older children and teenagers make them vulnerable to becoming victims of human trafficking.
You, the parent, can make a difference; create safeguards, by some of the choices you make. By choosing to take specific steps, you can greatly decrease the chances that your child will become a statistic. Start by putting the top 3 tips to keep your child safe from human trafficking into place today.
1. Educate your children about human trafficking. Stream videos that tell them about the facts of human trafficking in the United States. These can easily be found by visiting sites such as www.catfht.org and www.polarisproject.org. Just be sure to preview anything you plan to show your children, because some of the videos out there can be difficult for even an adult to watch.
2. Communicate openly. Your kids need to understand that they are safer with you than anywhere else. They should know that practically every child who runs away from home is approached by a trafficker within the first 48 hours. They should know that people they “meet” online are still strangers, no matter how well they feel they know that person. Learning about real life human trafficking cases in the U.S. that end in arrests will teach them about the types of tricks traffickers use. Talk with them about such things, and about everything in their lives.
3. Use technology to keep tabs on your kids. Realistically, keeping your children safe is a huge part of your responsibility as a parent. When they were little it was baby gates and plug protectors. As they age, home security systems that alert you to anyone leaving your home and cell phones with GPS tracking devices are wise investments.
Commercial sex acts with a child under the age of 18 is considered sex trafficking. It is a hugely profitable industry that happens in every part of this country. The average age children are recruited into this lifestyle is between ages 12 and 14. While both boys and girls are at risk of becoming victims of human trafficking, it is far more likely to happen to girls. Protect them with education, communication and technology.
Do what you need to do to keep your children safe!