VAWA: Raising awareness about Human Trafficking
by Mescalero Apache Tribe | July 14, 2020 9:12 am
Greetings!! The Violence Against Women Program would like raise awareness regarding Human Trafficking. Human Trafficking is defined as the buying, selling, and/or transportation of a person for the purpose of exploiting them for sex or forced labor. There is no “one size fits all” for a what a victim of human trafficking looks like. People who are trafficked are children, teenagers, and adults of all genders. Many people are deliberately preyed upon based on their vulnerabilities, and those who are most disadvantaged in our society are often the common targets. Human traffickers lure their victims by using charm, lies and deception, promising a better life and opportunities to make money. As long as trafficking remains profitable, difficult to detect, and hard to punish, traffickers will create new ways to exploit their victims. Summer is the time be outdoors with our families, our children play with their friends throughout the neighborhoods and often wonder to other family members homes, please vigilant of your surroundings, and watch your children.
The following points will help you to be safe, please share with family members and friends.
- Avoid Walking Alone – Women have been forcibly kidnapped while walking on the street. You shouldn’t be restricted when your go out and it may seem unfair that you always have to be on the lookout, but for your own safety, try not to walk alone – especially in quiet areas.
- Be Vigilant of Your Surroundings – People are often distracted by their phones or other little things when walking. Make sure that you’re aware of what’s going on around you so that you can spot when something is off. If you notice a person or car following you, alert some you trust immediately.
- Act Swiftly if Suspicious – Go into the nearest building and wait for the person or car to leave. Alert someone in the building that you’re being followed or call someone to pick you up if you can. Also, let someone you know that you’re going out and what time they can expect you to arrive at your destination.
- Don’t Trust Easily – Some people who are trafficked are approached by strangers offering them a job or some kind of opportunity. Traffickers can approach you anywhere, on social media, at school, in the mall or even outside your house. Women can also be traffickers and are often used to lure victims because they seem more trusting than men.
- Be Ready for Anything – Carry pepper spray with you on your key-chain. You also need to mentally prepare yourself to fight off the abductor. If you begin to be attacked, make a scene, yell for help, and fight back like your life depends on it (because it probably does).
- Use your Phone – Allow 3 of your closest friends or family members to track your phone via GPS so they know your whereabouts at all times. You can do this with most cell phone an allow select few to have access to your locations for 1 hour, 1 day, or indefinitely.
- Trust your Instincts – Listen to the intuitive voice inside your head. Check with family and friends for advice if you get offers that are too good to be true. Do Internet searches or background checks on the person wanting you to meet with them. Say no and see how they react. Look for signs of abusive or possessive behaviors. Is the person trying to isolate or turn you against family and friends? If so, avoid that person.
Immediately report any suspicious activity or vehicles to the Mescalero Law Enforcement at (575) 464-4451 or the National Human Trafficking Hotline at (888) 373-7888. You may also contact the Mescalero Violence Against Women Program at (575) 464-0078/0079.
Thank you and please be safe!!
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