It happens all the time, it does not discriminate in location.
Do you ever think about what happens to the thousands of children that go missing? A small percentage may be attributed to runaways and some even killers or solitary kidnappers, but for the most part, a huge majority is never found. I believe, along with many others I’m sure, that they have all been abducted and trafficked.
It happens everywhere, not just in very suspicious parts of Europe, but everywhere. Predators target women and children and coerce and groom them and then abuse them. I’ve learned to stop asking why people do such horrible things, but to question what can we do about it?
Obviously, I won’t be able to just stop all human trafficking. I’m just one person. When the news covers something about knife crime, we all start to become aware of it. We become more conscious about said phenomena. On the news the other day, they simply brushed over a human trafficking case that collapsed due to police failings. 13 men and 1 woman may walk free, without consequence for grooming, raping and trafficking three girls, including one aged 12 inbetween 2010 to 2014. This happens all the time, unfortunately. If you have seen ‘Three Girls’ on Netflix, you’ll understand what I’m talking about. It brings to light this horrific case of human trafficking in Greater Manchester. When I was younger, I remember seeing the case on the news and in the papers. It broke my heart but I wouldn’t have understood what child grooming was if I didn’t see that. I also remember that I rarely went out alone and if I did and saw a car slow down or stop, it was instinct to sprint away. This wasn’t paranoia, this was a common thing in my area as men in black cars were trying to get children into their cars. Things like this still happen- on a horrific scale. We aren’t aware of it though. Why? Because the media focuses all their attention on their own agenda of celebrity gossip and selective broadcasting.
We should be aware that many of us are at risk. It’s terrifying that women can’t walk home at night because there is the risk of being raped or attacked. It’s sad that children can’t play in parks without supervision because of the risk of pedophiles. This is the world we live in. Why don’t we focus our resources and time and money on saving these vulnerable children that are being abused? Why are we not hearing about the exploitation of minors?
I’m not saying we can change it all, but bringing awareness to it is a start. Let people understand the signs, and let them know that they are not alone and there are people to help (albeit the police have often proved incompetent in such cases and a lot of victims wouldn’t even think about speaking out). Why aren’t we funding organisations money to help combat this? The least we can do and should have done anyways is have awareness of the signs and red flags, let the public know about incidents that have happened (Eg if someone reports that they were almost trafficked or if someone was abducted etc) and to, please, show the faces of the poor children who have gone missing. We can’t just forget about them. They need our help! They need someone to listen and realise what is going on, but how can we do that when we have no idea what to look for? And when a case about human slavery or child exploitation comes out, it should be all over the news! The lack of coverage is honestly apalling and makes me sick to my stomach.
To conclude, human trafficking is happening, even in the city I live in. There is a HUGE human trafficking ring in my area. It’s probably happening wherever you are too. We need to become more aware of this issue. All I can add to that is this advice:
• Avoid walking outside when it is dark, and if unavoidable- please find someone you trust to walk with you.
• Remember to keep safe and have the emergency services/police number ready to dial
•Your instincts are right, if you feel that something is off, it most likely is
•If someone is trying to talk to you when you are sat in a car, do not open your door to talk to them
•When you are shopping or whatever, and get into your car, do not hesitate- just leave. People will see you are unsuspecting and may get into the seat next to you etc
•If someone is following you, go up to a group and ask them to pretend they know you because you are being followed
•Many shopping assistants will escort you to your car if you feel unsafe
•If a stranger is asking you a lot of questions, tell them fake information
Stay safe and stay informed. This is a global issue that we should all be talking about.