Human Trafficking Myths and Facts

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May 2019

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In this issue: 

What’s New with Blue?

Human Trafficking: Myths and Misconceptions

There are many myths and misconceptions about human trafficking – what the crime is, where it happens, and who it happens to. Following are two common misunderstandings and facts about this crime.

Myth: Human trafficking does not happen in the United States, only in other countries.
Fact: Human trafficking occurs in every country, including the United States. It takes place nationwide – in cities, suburbs, and rural towns – and possibly in your community.

Myth: Human trafficking victims will attempt to seek help when in public.
Fact: Human trafficking is often a hidden crime. Victims may be afraid to come forward and get help; they may be forced or coerced through threats or violence, they may fear retribution from traffickers, and they may not be in possession of their identification documents.

To learn more common myths and misconceptions about human trafficking, click here.

Real Stories of Human Trafficking

Human trafficking happens everywhere, and victims can be any nationality, age, socioeconomic status, or gender. The following story is about a trafficking situation that was successfully investigated by federal law enforcement. To read more real stories about human trafficking, click here or visit @DHSBlueCampaign on Instagram.

The trafficker, a former resident of Georgia and a citizen of Nigeria, traveled to her home country in 2001 and enticed a 17-year old girl to come to the United States to work as her nanny. Once here, the trafficker abused the girl, beating her for not cleaning well, for not responding fast enough to her crying child, and for talking back to her. A witness to the abuse, a friend of hers, helped the victim escape. This did not deter the trafficker. She traveled back to Nigeria, brought a second victim to the U.S., and subjected her to the same treatment and abuse before this victim also escaped. Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the FBI, and the Department of State Diplomatic Security Services investigated the case. The trafficker, now the defendant, left the U.S. during the investigation, but was eventually arrested at a Houston airport as she tried to re-enter the country. She was prosecuted and convicted by a federal jury.

To read more stories like this one, check out Blue Campaign’s human interest stories.

News You Can Use

Ohio Finally Knows How Many of its Youths Are Being Trafficked or at Risk of Being Victims (Cincinnati Enquirer)
More than 1,030 Ohio juveniles were the victims of human trafficking from 2014 to 2016, and another 4,209 youths were at risk of becoming victims, a new study by the University of Cincinnati shows.

Oregon Senate OKs Bill to Aid Human Trafficking Victims (KTVZ)
Senate Bill 596 – which passed by a 29-0 vote on the Senate floor – makes certain that if an individual is the victim of a person felony while they are engaged in prostitution or attempted prostitution, they will not be charged with those crimes if they choose to report to law enforcement.

AHLA Launches Campaign Recognizing Sexual Assault Awareness Month (Hotel News Resource)
In honor of Sexual Assault Awareness Month in April, the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA) launched a month-long campaign along with member companies and national partners to raise public awareness about sexual assault and reaffirm the hotel industry’s commitment to providing a safe and welcoming environment for all employees and guests.

Social Media Shareables

Blue Campaign can now be tagged on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram using @DHSBlueCampaign. Each month we will share content you can distribute on your own social channels to raise awareness of human trafficking in your communities.

For more information visit the Blue Campaign
To report suspected human trafficking: 1-866-347-2423
To get help from the National Human Trafficking Hotline: 1-888-373-7888
or text HELP or INFO to BeFree (233733)