How Can You Keep Yourself and Your Loved Ones Safe?
Trust me, I know in our society watching tv, movies and reading the news can set you on edge wondering if everyone out there is out to get you and if your family and friends are safe in your community. While it’s important to remain vigilant and aware of your surroundings, it’s also important to live and experience life to its fullest without constantly wondering if someone is going to lure you from the streets.
In this blog, we’ll be looking at how you can keep yourself and your loved ones safe as you go about your normal routines.
- Take it upon yourself to learn more about trafficking and become more aware of the signs and indications of human trafficking. Feel free to look back at previous blogs on this site to educate yourself and share the information with those around you, such as friends, and family or perhaps on social media.
- Raise your voice! Once you’ve gained insight and information, use your voice to speak up against sexual exploitation. Share your feelings/ insights regarding human trafficking with those around you to enhance awareness and become an advocate for those who are being exploited.
- If you suspect someone is being human trafficked or there is a risk, tell someone. Call the Canadian Centre To End Human Trafficking. They provide 24/7 support to anyone who is experiencing trafficking or anyone who is unsure what to do if they believe someone else is being trafficked 1-833-900-1010
- If this is something that you feel passionately about, there are also opportunities for you to volunteer your time with a front-line organization assisting survivors of human trafficking Awareness and continuing to spread awareness.
Spot The Warning Signs
Human trafficking can be hard to spot, especially if you’ve never encountered that kind of situation. Victims generally keep or are forced to keep a low- profile. By raising your awareness and knowing what to look for, you could help save someone’s life.
As stated earlier, learn the warning signs of human trafficking and make sure those around you know them too. Remember, someone who is being trafficked may:
- Suddenly become showered with gifts or money.
- Dive into a fast-paced relationship (possibly over social media) without thinking it through.
- Distance themselves from friends and family.
- Feel overly controlled in their relationship, but not ask for support.
- Seem held back verbally by another person speaking for them.
- Speak in a rehearsed, unnatural way.
- Have an escort with them watching at all times.
- Experience reduced control of their own cell phone.
- Appear anxious, submissive, withdrawn or avoid eye contact.
- Significant change in their baseline behaviour
What To Do If You Witness This
If you suspect that someone or yourself is being groomed or trafficked, please know there are actions that you can take to support yourself or others, often anonymously.
Feeling fear due to reporting a crime is normal and understandable. You can anonymously tell the appropriate supports about any signs of human trafficking, without declaring who you are or that you’ve filed a report. This COULD SAVE SOMEONE’S LIFE!
It’s important to remember never to confront the victim or trafficker directly. This could cause them to flee or bring you harm. Instead, if someone is in imminent danger, call 911 right away. If there is no imminent danger, take note of all the suspicious signs you see and any information you can.
The following are points you may want to record:
- Why you believe the situation to be human trafficking.
- The date, time and location of the event.
- Description of all those involved: hair colour, height, weight, age, tattoos, clothing, etc.
- Any names, nicknames or people.
- Vehicles: make, model and licence plate number.
As you can see, all support and pieces of information are worthwhile and helpful. By helping your community and making it a safer place by being aware and knowledgeable, you, in turn, protect those directly connected to you.