Human trafficking can come in many forms and is usually not in the depiction that many people first think of. It’s important to dispel some of these common misconceptions of human trafficking in order to raise proper awareness and prevention.
Human Trafficking Always Involved Physical Coercion
It’s common to think of human trafficking as a sudden kidnapping or physical assault that you see in the movies that leads to enslavement. While this is one form, it’s far more common for traffickers to psychologically manipulate their victims and trap them with manipulation. It's important to remember that traffickers primary tool is feeding on the subtle vulnerabilities of their targets, tricking trafficking victims with the belief it’s their only choice.
Most Human Traffickers Target Strangers
With the key for most human traffickers being manipulation, it’s not uncommon for the victim to be someone the trafficker is close to as a means of having that connection or trust built. The trafficker could very well be a close friend, boyfriend or girlfriend, or even a parent that is profiting off that trust and manipulation.
It’s important to remember that traffickers come in many forms. Regardless of the relationship, it is a situation where one person is profiting off forced labor and/or commercial sex of others.
Only Women Can be Victims of Sex Trafficking
Just like the perpetrators of human trafficking can and have been both men and women, so can the victims. This crime doesn’t discriminate from male to female – statistics have shown that up to half of trafficking victims could be male, with the LGBTQ+ community in particular being at risk.
It’s important to not only look for warning signs for human trafficking. Be vigilant and practice safe prevention techniques with all individuals that may be at risk.
Human Trafficking Involves Physically Moving Someone Across State or Country Lines
Often confused with human smuggling, human trafficking doesn’t require the victim to be moved at all. Trafficking can take place wherever the victim lives and can even happen within their own homes.
The crime of human trafficking is defined as the forcible commercial sex or labor committed on the victim for the profit of another – location is not relevant to this action.
Misconceptions undermine the efforts for trafficking prevention. They need to be acknowledged and corrected when you are keeping those within your own community and household safe. For more information, see our website at https://www.setmefreeproject.net/.