By Jade H.
For today’s blog I’m going to keep it to the point.
Protect our women.
There has been a lot of chatter around social media lately pertaining to human sex trafficking. Specifically that of young women of all ages. I recently watched a movie about a young woman who was at a bar and a young man in a police uniform talked her up and she got in his car to drive around with him. She thought she could trust him. She couldn’t. He took her to an abandoned gas station where another car was waiting and as he got out, she looked in the back seat and saw multiple uniform shirts of different first responder jobs. She was drugged, taken and sex trafficked and it took her a year to escape and that was just from pure luck and a little bit of strategic planning. Others aren’t so lucky.
Sometimes I worry and think about what if suddenly one of my friends goes missing. What would I do? How would I react in trying to find her? Many young women go missing every day. Many kids go missing every day. Yet these are not the stories that I am seeing on the news. It’s being overlooked but your every day car crash or your local shooting. This is important to as these people have families and lives to live that should not be forced away from them for someone else’s profit.
I was a part of a discussion on Twitter in which women are discussing the strange encounters we’ve had, the close call videos that were thankfully captured on camera and the way we maneuver when we are alone in public, especially at night. We discussed a video that we watched of a middle aged woman who was loading groceries into her car and you could see two men standing eerily around her. As she had her back turned towards her cart, one of the men crept up on the opposite side of her car and got into the back seat. She turns back around to put the remaining groceries inside of the car and to enter her car to leave and the other man grabs her empty grocery cart and pushes it away and we see her get grabbed into the car. He makes his way back to the vehicle, gets in the driver's seat and drives away. Thankfully the woman was found safe a few miles away as they just took her car and her belongings. This is terrifying.
Discussing the events in the video, we all shared precautions on how to avoid that type of situation if we can. These precautions are as follows:
● Walk with your keys between your fingers in case you need to attack.
● If possible, only unlock your driver's side door. Not the whole car.
● Walk around the entire car.
● Be cautious of someone possibly under your car (yes, they do that).
● When loading into your trunk, try to stand to the side of the car so you still have surrounding awareness.
● Carry mace, a pocket knife, taser or if your state allows open carry, your legal registered firearm.
Those are just a few to name but are the most important ones. This is for during the day as well as the night. This is also not just for women but for the young women coming of age and our girls who haven’t even cracked double digits yet. Human trafficking brings in $99 billion each year and that’s only a rough estimate. 24.9 million men, women and children are victims of human trafficking. 51 percent are women and 20 percent are girls. That’s 71 percent of the victims. 50 percent of those trafficking victims are sexually exploited.
This is a cruel crime but also very real and lurking around every corner. There is also no typical look of someone who wants to take you. Everyone and anyone can be a trafficker. Even kids lure other kids by the order of someone else. So I urge every woman to protect yourself, your sisters, daughters, aunts, nieces, everyone. Never live in fear but please educate yourselves and those around you because the more aware that we are, the harder it is for them to profit off of us. Stay safe.
Below is a link of what to look for if you think someone you know or someone you think may be being trafficked and to stay safe at night while walking alone.