Last month was declared Human Trafficking prevention month by President Trump.
New Bethel A.M.E Church in Quincy held a public human trafficking awareness event on Jan. 20, shedding light on the importance of being both educated as well as aware of human trafficking, and how to identify it within your surroundings.
Human trafficking earns profits of roughly $150 billion a year for traffickers, according to the ILO report from 2014. While only 19 percent of victims are trafficked for sex, sexual exploitation earns 66 percent of the global profits of human trafficking. The average annual profits generated by each woman in forced sexual servitude ($100,000) is estimated to be six times more than the average profits generated by each trafficking victim worldwide.
Speaker Mindy Conney, a senior intelligence analyst with the Bureau of Criminal Investigations and Intelligence of the Florida Highway Patrol said, “It’s important to be educated on what to do when you identify human trafficking.” In efforts to act on this crime, informational bookmarks were to be given to each trooper in the state of Florida as a reminder of the questions that need to be asked to identify a possible trafficking victim. Do you work? Are you being paid? Can you leave your job if you want to? Can you come and go as you please?
Conney also taught the importance on how to approach a victim, peacefully and calmly. She has made it her duty to make sure her troops are educated and trained to ensure the safety of the community and the protection of the victims.
There are open services to victims in need, including donations of clothing, housing and placement of jobs for all victims, foster care and parents are open and willing to take in victims as well.
With the assistance of the Porch Light a service provider for the Open Doors Outreach Network, survivor- mentors are assigned to victims. Ensuring those who have experienced trauma are on the path of recovery to building better ongoing relationships along the way.
“I don’t know much about human trafficking, and until you informed me on the statics I had no idea, we tend to overlook moments in time where people are going through these things. No one considers tragic events like such until it’s too late to save someone, I want to find a way to make myself more educated, so that I can make a true difference, this could potentially happen to anyone,” said Mia Arianna, sophomore psychology major at FAMU.
Where do we go from here? How can we get the community involved?
“I will say that I have very limited experience on human trafficking that’s why this event was so important, so we could get information and I can know personally what to do for that person I’m working with,” said Monica Smart-Gainous.
What message do you want victims of human trafficking to hear?
“My first and main message to all the victims of trafficking out there to, is to know that their not alone, there are people that can help them and can help them be safe to move out of that trafficking situation, into a place where they cannot just survive but also thrive and that is why we named our organization what we named it,” said Robin Thompson, executive director of Survive & Thrive Advocacy Center of Florida.
Help stop Human Trafficking, contact :(1-800-DHS-2-ICE)