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Human Traffickers: How to Protect Your Child

Teens are vulnerable when out aloneShocked and saddened!

I felt shocked and saddened recently as I talked to a police officer who worked on the organized crime team in a large city. He said the city is a dangerous place to be. I asked where he sees the most trafficking. He said the trafficking stretches from the most affluent suburbs in the county to the inner city. In other words, everywhere.

Parents, you need to know what I learned so you can prevent this from happening to your child.

We talked about the young girls, and even boys, who find themselves caught up in prostitution. The pimps are looking for children as young as ten. If you think it happens only to runaways, you are either naive or ill-informed. Like vultures looking for easy prey, the pimps frequent places where young people gather, like football games and fast food hangouts. The pimps tend to look for those who appear down and out, but any child or teen will satisfy their evil desires.

Why don’t those who are captured run away from their abusers?

The pimps offer money and love, but they give drugs and beatings designed to prepare their hostages for the job set before them. In as little as twenty four hours, the victims are hooked. The loyalty to their provider baffles those of us who know better, but the fear, shame, and drugs keep the young people under the pimp’s magic spell.

What can the police do?

When the police pick up those who are underage, they contact child services. Then they put the child or young teen back in the police car to take them to a safe place. Many times the youth will open the door at a stop light and run back to the pimp. Sadly, the police have to let them go.

What can you do?

Be aware. Warn the children and teens you know. Be careful to keep those you love safe by telling them ways to protect themselves in public: Never stray from the group and don’t be fooled by nice strangers. Pray for the victims. Get involved.

I would love to hear your stories about trafficking. Have you had a close call? Are you in a career field where you have to try to protect our youth against predators? Please feel free to leave a comment.

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