One of the biggest issues emerging today in many countries is human trafficking. What is human trafficking? It is modern day slavery, where people are forced to work or provide services, like a servant or prostitute. Often the person or persons are being “trafficked”. This simply means they are moved or transported somewhere away from their home, usually to another country first. The “trafficked” people may often be provided only what is necessary to live (food, water, shelter) while the money earned by their work goes to the “traffickers” who control them. Human trafficking is a serious crime, and many countries are working together to reduce it. Let's take a closer look. If someone you know needs affordable drug rehabilitation in Columbus OH, please call Legacy for help.
A question that many ask is what are some common signs of human trafficking? When a person is being trafficked, they may have some unusual injuries or an illness that can’t be explained. They also may not be able to talk to someone without a third person being present. This is quite common and means the trafficked person can’t speak openly and honestly about what’s happening to them. They can’t choose where they live, and someone else keeps their identification cards, passport, visas, etc. They essentially have no identity anymore.
Human trafficking is the second leading criminal industry in the world. Drug trafficking is number one. It goes without saying that the two operate hand in hand. Where you find one you will likely find the other. This means that most individuals who are victims of human trafficking are typically selling drugs as well.
Often human trafficking will increase in the aftermath of a natural disaster. This happens because people lose their home, job, and all of their possessions. They will then be more vulnerable as hunger or disease sets in. These human traffickers move in with promises of shelter and food. They offer what it takes to get them back on their feet and safe. If their promises do not work they will force or threaten people to get them into trafficking.
There is also a big connection between drugs and human trafficking. The illegal drug trade needs people to keep the drugs moving. Human trafficking is a way to do this. It is also another source of money to them. Victims will often be forced to smuggle drugs across borders for these drug traffickers. If someone has a a substance abuse disorder then they are vulnerable to drugs being used as "bait". This is a big recruitment tactic of the human and drug traffickers.
Sexual exploitation is the abuse and degradation of a person through the exchange of sex and/or sexual acts for drugs, money, or other items. In most cases, sexual exploitation involves women and youth but, in some cases, may also include young children. Drug use has been linked to sexual exploitation in many ways. A lot of individuals who are exploited are sexually assaulted, raped, and abused when they are under the influence of drugs. Substance abusers may become involved in the sex industry to finance their drug addiction and often trade their body for drugs. Human and drug trafficking are often linked together and there are often threats of violence and promises of freedom.
Often women who are at-risk for trafficking have a lengthy list of trauma, shame, and hurt that they are already trying to escape. So many of them begin this cycle by using prostitution as a way get the drugs they need as a means to escape their current reality. Ultimately, those same women end up using drugs as a tool to escape the horrors of “the life”. The sad reality is that the second leading cause of death for victims of sex trafficking is drug overdose, just behind homicide. Legacy Freedom has gender specific programs for drug rehabilitation in Columbus OH. If you're a woman looking to get sober in a safe and trusting environment, call us. We're here to help.
Just as relapse is an unfortunate part of recovery for many addicts, relapse is often a part of the recovery journey for many survivors of sex trafficking. According to eyeheartworld.org such is the story of one young lady recently worked with by a task force. “When we met with her, she told us that she had wandered around the streets of another city for days, living from one high to the next, not knowing where she was or what to do. She was picked up by law enforcement, and that’s when we were brought in. We were able to help her find placement in an emergency shelter and all she had to do was stay there until we could find permanent placement for her. After a day and a half, she ran - not to a pimp, but to the drugs she was detoxing from.”
In the life of a sex trafficking victim it is a two-pronged question. Does the addict begin this life because of their drug addiction? Do drugs become the way they survive this life? Whichever one came first, substance abuse alone will keep an individual entangled in sex trafficking. It cannot be stressed enough not only to young people but to their parents as well, how dangerous and real this situation really is. We must remain diligent at all times and know the signs not only of addiction but of human trafficking as well.
There is help available. Unfortunately, many victims are afraid of the pain of withdrawal. A bigger problem is that once they are in the hands of the abusers or traffickers it will be almost impossible to leave. Getting any kind of rehabilitation or detoxification may also not be possible. Anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and other mental health issues will be prevalent. The sooner one is rescued from this life and treated the better. Recovery can be possible but only with the appropriate training and care.
If you suspect someone is a possible victim of human trafficking seek help from the proper authorities. If someone you love is vulnerable to addiction or are in need of intervention encourage them to seek professional help.
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