Human trafficking is at an all-time high and isn’t spoken about nearly as often as it should be.
According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, human trafficking “involves the use of force, fraud, or coercion to obtain some type of labor or commercial sex act.”
World Population Review reports that California had the highest number of human trafficking cases reported in 2019 with 1,656 cases.
However, it’s important to note that not all cases are reported and there have been even more attempts to kidnap children and young women.
Recently, the problem of human trafficking has been given more attention online.
It’s become something of a trend for young women to take to social media to warn others of suspicious behaviors involving potential sex traffickers.
On Nov. 21, a young woman from Santa Rosa tweeted about an experience she had at the doctor’s office.
She claimed that a girl who looked distressed approached her in the parking lot. When asked if she needed help, the girl said yes and simply asked her to follow her to her boyfriend’s car.
The young woman felt unsafe so she didn’t follow the girl. Though after she made it to her own car, she stood in the parking lot and observed the girl’s actions. She went on to find the girl approached many different women over the course of the next half hour using the same tactic.
She eventually reported this information to the Santa Rosa Police Department.
In October, a student from California State University, Sacramento, tweeted a warning to her fellow female classmates, urging them to not trust ads that were found posted around campus.
The ads claimed an aspiring photographer was “currently looking for enthusiastic and friendly person(s) to help with some photo and video shoots” in exchange for cash.
The student said these ads were being posted around campus in order to “lure women into sex trafficking” and urged her classmates to take down the ads if they came across them.
These are only two examples of the popular trend. Even women in Stockton have shared their experiences with potential sex traffickers on Twitter.
It’s important for all women to speak out if they feel they have been targeted. Doing so will only help other women to know which areas to avoid going to alone and recognize the tactics commonly used by sex traffickers to lure in victims.
It’s also important for all women to take the necessary precautions to protect themselves. This can include traveling in groups or pairs, carrying pepper spray and learning other methods of self-defense.
As this problem continues to worsen, it’s up to us to take matters into our own hands and do what we must to ensure our safety.