Victims of human trafficking do not often identify themselves as victims of a crime and therefore do not ask for help immediately due to lack of trust, self-blame or being directly trained by traffickers to distrust authorities. Rehabilitation is difficult. The physical, psychological and behavioral effects experienced by victims as a result of the violence and exploitation they experience before and during the sex trade linger far into their future. They have difficulty formulating their identity apart from being a sexual object. They cannot remember the person they used to be prior to their incorporation into the industry.
What can you do?
• Lobby your legislators — tell them we need more comprehensive laws and enforcement of this crime;
• Join the Center for Active Nonviolence and Peacemaking Anti-Trafficking committee. Call 242-7611 for more information;
• Keep your children safe when using the internet. Attend a workshop at Clinton Community College on Wednesday, Jan. 22, at 6 p.m.;
• Know the signs, see www.clintonfranciscans.com to learn more; and
• Report any suspicious behavior to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline: at 1-888-373-7888.
Laura Anderson, Sister Nancy Miller and Lori Freudenberg, co-coordinators of the Center for Active Nonviolence and Peacemaking and the Sisters of St. Francis, Clinton