AVOIDING THE NIGHTMARE, Part 26c: Myths and Misconceptions v. Reality About Human Trafficking

Hiawassee, Georgia

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.

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Same ‘Man’, Different Plan, Part 26b: “Surviving The Nightmare’

September 7, 2018

In “Same ‘Man’, Different Plan”: Part 26a, “Creating the Nightmare”, I introduced a need to re-focus my work-in-progress, Man After Midnight on the global pandemic of Human Sex-Trafficking, included a working premise and a blurb, and inserted active links for bulleted points about today’s ‘trafficker’.

Following up with Part 26b, “Surviving the Nightmare” is my fellow “tribe” member, Jody Paar, author of B.O.S.S.: Break Out Silent Soldier to recount her terrifying experience and courageous escape from the trafficker who showed up at her workplace.

Please put your hands together for my fellow author, Jody Paar, author of B.O.S.S.: Break Out Silent Soldier as she recounts her terrifying experience and astounding escape from her trafficker.

I was at work, bored out of my mind, when he walked in, looking so fine. He wanted my number. I thought he had to be model as he smiled at me I melted. He was dressed to the nines and clean-cut. He smelled so good and looked even better. As he walked up to my desk, I wondered whom he was there to see.

Hey, beautiful…,.”

I sat there, stunned.

Are you talking to me?

 He remained at my desk and talked to me for what seemed like hours.

Hi, I am Trek.

Hi, I am Jody.

As he smiled, his deep dimples made me blush. Then he said those magic words:

“I would love to get your number, so we can talk.”

Just like a wolf circles its prey, those diamond-blue eyes drew me in. My heart raced. I was so excited! I smiled and pulled out a pen and Post-It note. My hand shook as I gave him my number with no hesitation.

I can’t believe he wants to talk to me!

We talked for months but never saw each other because he traveled out-of-town for business.

We talked every morning, noon, and night. He always called me; I never called him.

I will never forget the conversation we had that late summer night:

I can’t help it, Jody. I am falling in love with you.

My heart leaped!

I love you, too, I answered. I held the phone so close to my face and spun around until the cord was tangled around me. I kissed the receiver, making smacking noises into the phone.

I have even better news.

“You do?”

My heart was beating fast.

Yes! I am coming back into town for a very important dinner party.

My heart raced even faster.

Jody, I want you to be my date.

I couldn’t believe it. I was really going on a date with the man of my dreams.

As I was leaving the house to meet Trek, my phone rang.

“Hey, baby. Sorry, but I’m running late, but my friend and bodyguard is going to pick you up  bring you to me.”

I was too love-struck and naïve to realize the trouble I was about to wind up in.

As I pulled up to the dark parking lot, I saw only one other vehicle besides mine. A muscle-bound man got out and sauntered over to greet me. I could definitely see how he was a bodyguard because he was powerfully built. What happened next terrorized me, head to toe. The gun he used to force me into his vehicle before he placed a blindfold over my eyes. I still thought that, maybe, this was the way that Trek would propose to me. I was so naïve that I thought this man was still going to sweep me off my feet. Once he stopped the vehicle and removed the blindfold, I found myself in front of a dirty motel on the side of the Interstate. My stomach lurched and I struggled against the urge to vomit.as this monster shoved me, an eighteen-year-old virgin, into the room and raped me over and over.

Two weeks later, after I was kidnapped, I escaped, but not for long. When Trek caught up to me and accused me of lying, I went back to him, out of fear on that same night.

In my book, Break Out Silent Soldier, you can read how that happened. This was in the days before technology. Today, traffickers lure their victims more easily. Maybe someone has approached you about modeling. Or, maybe it’s a cute guy on the Internet who wants to meet you somewhere. These predators are all around us.  The human sextrafficking world is a 150billion dollar industry.

I thank God that I am not dead. I thank God that I have a voice, and that is why I will use it for all those who have no voice. Protect the ones you love and please spread the awareness.

As Jody related her story, she reinforced one point I brought out in  Part 26a: that the trafficker does not always come across as what he really is — a cunning predator who has figured out which buttons to push to force her to do what he wants and when and how often he wants it. Let this be a lesson for our daughters and granddaughters,  our mothers, our female friends everywhere.

Coming up in the next post: safety tips for staying out of a trafficker’s crosshairs.

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