Modern day slavery

Human trafficking victims suffer effects of lifelong trauma


Photo taken by: Todor Tsvetkov

Bri Alleyn, Reporter

 Slavery is still a modern day issue, and it is known as Human Trafficking.

 Sex trafficking is when people, usually children, are taken and transported and forced into sexual exploitation.  It is considered human trafficking where the victim is forced into labor. 

 Victims are often afraid or cannot speak the language of the area they are in, so they do not seek help, according to the Department of Homeland Security.

While some may think this is an issue that doesn’t affect our area, one NAHS teachers says she has worked with students who are former victims and the trauma has lasting effects.

“They were let down by just about everyone they trusted,” the teacher said.

In the U.S. alone, 50,000 people are trafficked each year, according to Dosomething. Many times a child’s family members are the ones who “traffic” the victim.

“The child’s mother told her to keep it a secret so as not to ’cause drama’ in the family,” the teacher said. “Could you imagine Thanksgiving dinner at a table surrounded by your predators? ”

Just last month, a story was released about a fourteen year old girl in America who was forced into sex trafficking. She was taken from her house and sold to many different men. Some of those men included doctors, police officers and pastors. She went out to grocery stores and no one even knew she was being trafficked, according to WBTW

The victims struggle for years after they are free, especially mentally.

“Not only do they suffer from PTSD, but also anxiety, depression, and extremely low self-esteem,” the teacher said.

Sometimes the mental health effects are seen through a victim’s appearance.

“I am not a psychologist, but I am guessing that they would stop taking care of themselves in order to be less appealing to the offending adult,” the teacher said.

This is not just a problem that America faces alone. Internationally, there are 20 to 40 million people involved in trafficking, according to Dosomething. 

The people involved in this crime do not want to stop because of the amount of money made. There is over $150 billion in profits for traffickers each year.

Sometimes victims do not even know they are involved because their captor manipulates them. This is one of the most common reasons that people are never found, according to Polaris project.

There are seven different ways to capture a victim: threaten, coercion, abduction, fraud, deception, vulnerability, and giving benefits, according to UNODC.

Even with the pandemic, this crime has not stopped. In Ohio, there were results of the largest number of children rescued and the largest number of traffickers arrested, according to Toledo Blade. 

There are many children and women missing because of this issue that there is no estimate of the total number of victims in the U.S., according to USA Today. 

There are various ways to help: posting on social media is one way to spread awareness and another way is to subscribe to human trafficking websites that give updates.