Since 2007, there has been 12,951 reports of sex trafficking in Florida and 3,737 cases, according to https://humantraffickinghotline.org/state/florida.
There are more alarming numbers: 229,020 contacts and 51,919 cases have been reported nationally since December 2007. This year alone there have been 41,088 national contacts and 1,885 in Florida, according to the same website.
For those who are confused about human trafficking, it is when a person (the trafficker) uses force or mental and physical manipulation to control a person against their will.
Human trafficking is basically a form of modern-day slavery.
Sex traffickers use many tactics to try to lure people to them such as acting as if they are stranded on the side of the road and need assistance with their car. Or, driving around in white vans and, and parking them on the sides of the victim’s cars and, simply snatching him or her up.
To raise awareness, FAMU has even sent out alerts through texts, warning students about sex traffickers in vans wandering around campus at night.
As a result, students have been worried about their safety, due to the fact that some students have late nights at the library and have to walk a fair distance to their car or dorms alone.
“With all this talk about sex trafficking going on, I am terrified. I always wonder if I’m going to be someone’s next victim,” Christina Caines, a FAMU student, said.
Some students on campus are single mothers and have to bring their kids with them to study sessions or practices that may last late as well and fear all the possibilities that could happen.
Alexis Barini, a student, said: “I have a 4-year-old son and it’s always just me and him alone, and with me having to bring him with me to certain things and, leaving late at night to go home, I’m always scared of the chances of someone catching me with my son and taking us. Or taking me and leaving him alone,” she said.
It is important that we protect ourselves when we are out at night, or even during the day. Never go anywhere by yourself alone, and always carry some form of protection with you.
“All my friends have my location, and I have theirs. It’s too much going on for us not to be concerned about our safety,” said Jasmine Fowler, a FAMU student.
Also, share your location with your friends and family so they could possibly find you if something were to happen. You want to minimize the chances that something could happen to you.