August 7, 2019
As we return to the Man After Midnight human trafficking issue, another facet of this study concerns myths and misconceptions that even educated people assume to be true. As I continue to ‘binge-read’ books and articles and watch movies and documentaries about the issue, I am more astounded than ever over the truth of the statement “Knowledge is power”, stated by a philosopher named Sir Francis Bacon. Who knew that a simple, sixteenth-century statement would prove especially true about the twenty-first century pandemic of human trafficking?
To follow are five myths and misconceptions about human trafficking contrasted with their realities that I found on the National Human Trafficking Hotline, operated by Polaris.
Listed from #5 to #1, in order of the least to most surprising, are truths following the myths and misconceptions:
#5: While some may assume that trafficking occurs only in brothels, strip clubs, massage parlors, and some bars and only overseas, the reality is that it also goes on in some restaurants, cleaning services, construction companies, factories here in the United States!
#4: While some might assume that victims are captured physically, the reality is that some traffickers are so cunning that their victims might deny that they are being trafficked.
#3: Although many of us might assume traffickers are interested in only women and girls, statistics show that over half are men and boys, especially those from the LGBT community.
#2: As awful as it is to consider, even sweethearts, spouses, and parents have chained their loved ones to them through psychological threats.
#1: Perhaps the biggest surprise of all is that while the term ‘trafficking’ may imply physical transference of the victim from Points A to B, such is not always the case as it is with ‘human smuggling‘. In reality, victims can be recruited and trafficked in their own home towns with promises of money, travel, or glamorous careers. Even worse, victims are trafficked in their own homes!
Coming up, Parts 26d and 26e of “Avoiding The Nightmare” — tips for recognizing and staying safe from online predators and protecting our children from them.
Have any of you survived an encounter with a trafficker or escaped from one? If so, where were you when it happened? How long did it take you to realize what was going on?
I’d love to hear from you! Drop me a line in the comments box, below.