Spot the Signs: You Can Do Something about Human Trafficking

Did you know that on average there are 313,000 victims of human trafficking in Texas and approximately 79,000 of those victims are minors?

According to the polarisproject.org, human trafficking is a multi-billion dollar criminal industry that affects members of the communities we work and live in. It’s the exploitation of a human being through force, fraud or coercion.

It involves the recruitment, harboring, transporting or procurement of a person for labor or services for the sole purpose of involuntary servitude or forced commercial sex acts. Under U.S. federal law, severe forms of trafficking in persons includes both sex trafficking and labor trafficking.

As part of its work as a member of the North Texas Anti-Trafficking (NTATT) Task Force, which is dedicated to rescuing and ensuring the safety, well-being and health of trafficking victims, the Arlington Police Department (APD) holds presentations in the community to raise awareness and educate citizens on how to identify and report trafficking crimes.

Karen Carranza, a volunteer with the APD Community Support Division, acknowledged the importance of keeping the Arlington community aware of this international crime.

“One of the key takeaways APD officers want the community to remember is that this is a real problem that we can all solve together,” Carranza said. “It’s important to know that if you see signs of trafficking, you can do something about it by reporting it to the APD.”

Human trafficking is often a crime that is hidden in plain sight. Here are a few signs someone might be a victim:

  • Shows signs of physical injury or abuse
  • Avoids eye contact, social interaction and authority figures/law enforcement
  • Any evidence of being controlled
  • Appears malnourished
  • Evidence of inability to move or leave a job
  • Appears destitute/lacks official identification documents
  • Not speaking on own behalf and/or non-English speaking

What can you do about it? If you know someone who is in immediate danger or could potentially be in a trafficking situation, please call 911 or call the National Human Trafficking toll-free hotline at 1-888-373-7888. Visit humantraffickinghotline.org for more information.

If you’re interested in learning more about human trafficking, contact the APD Crime Prevention Unit at (817) 459-5725.

 

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