Human Trafficking Philanthropy Helps Fight a Global Problem
Updated: Dec 21, 2020
Human and sex trafficking are worldwide, monumental problems. Many people would like to know how they could help stop or mitigate trafficking. The first step is learning about the enormity of the problem.
What Is Human Trafficking?
Human trafficking occurs when adults and children are lured or abducted into forced labor or commercial sexual exploitation. Abduction targets less than 10% of victims, while the majority of victims know their trafficker/abuser. For 92% of the survivors served in the U.S.A., sexual abuse was the root issue that led them into being recruited into "the life." Internationally, poverty and false promises of a better life for their family is more often a tool used to lure in victims. Force, fraud, and coercion are tools used by traffickers, and sex for exchange is the common thread. This could be exchanged for money, which they are not allowed to keep for themselves, the promise of a glamourous career, world travel opportunities, or financial security for their family.
Although men and boys are sold into both labor and sex slavery, most victims are women and girls (94%). 2 million children are sold into sex trafficking every year. The numbers for human and sex trafficking are believed to be much higher, though, as a multitude of cases go unreported.
Organizations Leading the Fight Against Human Trafficking
The Selah Way Foundation is leading the fight to end sex trafficking by providing training in best practice, and partnering with organizations with proven outcomes. Our network members include Selah Freedom, Uncaged, The National Center on Sexual Exploitation, Chicago Children’s Advocacy Center, Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation, Global Strategic Operatives, Journey Out, and Saving Innocence.
How Are Victims Contacted or Groomed for Sex Trafficking?
An overwhelming majority of sex trafficking victims are children. Traffickers lure in innocent youth through a number of outlets. A major point of recruitment is social media. By posing as a peer who seems safe, or even a male who is slightly older than them, they slowly build up false confidence and trust. They create a relationship by studying their victims and stalking their online activity. They may also utilize teens to meet with them and build a relationship, slowly isolating them from their family and security, so that they gain complete control of them. They recruit them through tactics known as “friending” or “boyfriending.” They typically threaten them, exploit their photos, and create dependence of the victims on their trafficker so that they can manipulate them. Predators also are known to prey upon the most vulnerable, so they utilize methods such as monitoring bus stations and homeless shelters to lure in runaways. Sexual abuse is one of the most common forms of grooming which predators use. By manipulating and abusing a child, they break down their barriers, self-worth and instill fear and shame. Other common avenues for predators to recruit victims can be online chat rooms, false modeling agencies, clubs, and bars.
Sex Trafficking Prevention, Protection, and Provision – Our Three Pillars
Prevention of sex trafficking and sexual abuse is dependent upon training people to recognize the signs. School faculty and staff are often in a position to spot the signs, such as bruises, sudden appearance of expensive gifts, truancy, a change in study habits or grades, or lying about their personal life. Friends and fellow students may also recognize changes in behavior, such as an older boyfriend or girlfriend or withdrawing from previous friends and activities. Through our Prevention Pillar, we are empowering entire education systems through our custom, cutting edge train the trainer curriculum, S.P.E.A.K. UP, so that they can recognize the signs of exploitation and discover the power of their own voice to speak up against abuse. This model allows all faculty, staff, and students to receive life-saving prevention curricula. Our second Pillar is Protection, which trains law enforcement and medical professionals on the front lines to recognize at-risk children and exploited young adults, teaching them how to take action against predators and serve and protect innocent victims. Our Provision Pillar provides training to scale and grow the launching of safe places for survivors of sexual exploitation to heal from trauma and receive restorative services such as trauma therapy, medical and legal aid, a personalized education plan, job placement, mentorship, equine therapy, and more. By partnering with Selah Freedom domestically and Uncaged Internationally, we are creating a worldwide movement to end sex trafficking and exploitation.
How you can fight sex trafficking
How can citizens help stop sex trafficking?
Become informed about human and sex trafficking by researching the issue. https://www.theselahway.org/statsandresources is a great place to start.
Call local law enforcement to report suspicious activity or contact the National Human Trafficking Hotline, 1-888-373-7888, or Selah Freedom at 1-888-8-FREE-ME.
Donate to The Selah Way Foundation to fund solutions for survivors and programs to protect children.
Volunteer at an organization in your community fighting sex trafficking. Our network partners may be a great place to start, depending on where you live Selah Freedom, Uncaged, The National Center on Sexual Exploitation, Chicago Children’s Advocacy Center, Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation, Global Strategic Operatives, Journey Out, and Saving Innocence.)