5 Myths About Human Trafficking Every Parent Should Know

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It is easy to think that human trafficking will never affect you or your family. It is even easier to think of it as an issue that would never touch your world.

But truth be told, human trafficking is modern day slavery. It affects both men and women of all ages.

Some people are working hard to combat this devastating world issue, like Ashton Kutcher.

Kutcher’s non-profit organization, Thorn: Digital Defenders of Children, has saved nearly 6,000 children from human trafficking.

Kutcher continues to advocate for why this issue needs more intentional and immediate action.

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But there are common misconceptions about this issue, and Shontell Brewer, a writer for For Every Mom, wants all parents to be aware of these issues for the safety of their children.

Here are five misconceptions regarding human trafficking:

1. Human Trafficking Only Occurs in Situations of Poverty

Were you aware of these misconceptions?

Dysfunction can occur in families of vast wealth and in families that struggle financially. Similarly, trafficking has nothing to do with financial status. “Your money has nothing to do with it. In fact, it seems to give a false sense of security to communities,” an FBI agent in the Crimes Against Children department told Brewer.

2. Human Trafficking and Kidnapping Are the Same

You don’t have to be kidnapped to be trafficked. In fact, many traffickers begin simply by contacting young children directly through social media or messaging apps.

They then “groom” the children, which is a term that refers to building trust with them and getting to know their favorite things, seemingly building a relationship with them. Then, they suggest a place to meet in person. Kids often believe this is a genuine relationship and fail to see the danger.

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3. Traffickers Only Go After Girls

It is true that girls are usually the ones who are trafficked, but male trafficking does still occur. Either way, trafficking still affects boys in one way or another. Even more so, we should teach boys from a young age that trafficking is wrong, and it is honorable to stick up for women and those who don’t have a voice.

4. Your Child Would Never Fall for a Human Trafficking Ploy

It all comes down to survival and what your child feels like she needs. If your daughter feels unloved or is lacking in basic human essentials, she will search for those essentials and emotions elsewhere.

This could mean a simple message from a guy with a compliment or someone offering her luxuries could get her to buy into the ploy. They either search for love and belonging or basic survival.

5. We Can’t Stop Human Trafficking

The key to this misconception is simply to inform your children about sex trafficking. It is an uncomfortable subject, but the younger the children, the more ideal they are for traffickers.

Making them aware before the traffickers spread false notions is essential to avoiding this modern day slavery.

Keep your children informed, and that will prevent their vulnerability.

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Erin Shortall is an editorial intern for The Western Journal. She is currently finishing her Bachelor's Degree at Grove City College. She has a passion for homeless ministry in her home city of Philadelphia, PA.
Erin Shortall is an editorial intern for The Western Journal. She is currently finishing her Bachelor's Degree at Grove City College. She has a major in English, minors in both Writing and Communication Studies, and a Technical Writing concentration. She is currently working on designing and writing a book of poetry to financially support a new homeless ministry of Grove City, PA called Beloved Mercy Ministry. In her spare time, she loves to sing, play piano, exercise, traverse cities, and find the cutest coffee shops. She also has a passion for homeless ministry in her home city of Philadelphia, PA.
Philadelphia, PA
Scholarship of Academic Achievement and Moral Character
Grove City College
Grove City, PA
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
Visual Design, Document Design, Technical Communication, Literature, Computer Ethics