So many special and wonderful things are happening in the lives of trafficking survivors because of your support! Here's just a glimpse of everything taking place in Eye Heart World.
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Eye Heart World staff has had to be creative in providing recovery services in a way that promotes safety without compromising the quality of our services.
In early July, some of our participants completed our first fully virtual group. In this 10-week group, these ladies went through a book together & used therapeutic techniques (i.e., journaling, goal setting, art, music, etc.) to connect the contents of this book to their lives. One of the most significant aspects of this group was that this group marks the first time that participants in Alabama and Wisconsin have been able to grow and bloom together.
Fittingly, one of the ladies’ favorite quotes from this book was “the process of blooming is just as important as the flower it produces.” This quote speaks to the importance of growth and the fact that our healing journeys are just as important as the end result we’re envisioning. At Eye Heart World, we celebrate growth at every stage of the journey.
SEX TRAFFICKING AWARENESS - QUICK FACTS
At Eye Heart World, our mission is that we exist to combat sex trafficking through awareness, prevention, and recovery. Awareness is a crucial first step to understanding sex trafficking. With so much recent talk in the media about human trafficking, it’s important for us to inform our supporters with accurate information regarding the domestic sex trafficking industry. Here are some quick facts:
- There are different types of human trafficking: sex trafficking, forced labor, bonded labor, involuntary servitude, & child soldiers. At Eye Heart World, we specifically work with survivors of sex trafficking.
- Trafficking is considered a demand-driven industry. The supply increases each year because the demand increases each year.
- Poverty is the leading cause of human trafficking.
- The vast majority of sex trafficking survivors have experienced childhood abuse or neglect. Around 70% of survivors have experience in the foster care system.
- The average age of entry into “the life” in the United States is 12-14 years old.
- There is no such thing as a child prostitute. Child sex trafficking refers to the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, obtaining, patronizing, or soliciting of a minor for the purpose of a commercial sex act.
- Legally, for an adult to be considered a survivor of sex trafficking, the sexual acts must have been induced by force, fraud, or coercion.
- The vast majority of sex trafficking survivors are coerced into “the life” by a family member, friend, or boyfriend. An estimated 5% of survivors are abducted. This is very disproportionate to what the media portrays.
We hope that these quick facts are helpful as many people begin to dig into the realities of sex trafficking in America. Continue reading to learn more about potential signs of victimization.
FOUR SIGNS THAT COULD INDICATE SOMEONE IS BEING TRAFFICKED
As human trafficking continues to be discussed within the media, many people are asking questions about what they should be looking out for. We at Eye Heart World are passionate about raising awareness of sex trafficking and educating our communities on the potential signs of victimization.
Four signs that could indicate someone is being trafficked are lack of control, abnormal behavior, poor mental health, and poor physical health.
Lack of control may look like:
- Restricted or controlled communication with others
- A lack of personal space or appearing to be closely monitored
- A teen or pre-teen with overly sexualized behavior for their age
- A brand or tattoo of a name, barcode, or symbol
Abnormal behavior may look like:
- Being unaware of what city they’re in due to frequent relocations
- Wearing expensive items they weren’t able to afford before
- Exhibiting hypervigilant behavior
- Having a new, older boyfriend or girlfriend that they don’t want around their friends
- Affiliating with gangs
Poor mental health may look like:
- Appearing to be fearful or submissive with approached
- Seeming depressed or emotionally detached
- Showing overt symptoms of torture, abuse, or general distress
- Abusing or becoming addicted to drugs
Poor physical health may look like:
- Injuries, bruises, or burns consistent with abuse
- Degradation of personal care
- Physical exhaustion or lack of sleep
It’s important to remember that you can make a difference in the fight against human trafficking.
If you suspect someone is being trafficked, you can call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888. To connect someone with our services, you can call our Alabama hotline at (251) 206-8779 or our Wisconsin hotline at (920) 395-5825. If someone is in immediate danger, call 911 to contact local emergency services.
WORLD DAY AGAINST TRAFFICKING – JULY 30TH
The United Nations began World Day Against Trafficking in Persons in 2013 as a way to raise awareness to the atrocious ways that human trafficking violates human rights. Every country in the world is affected by human trafficking in some way. While there are various forms of human trafficking (forced labor, bonded labor, sex trafficking, involuntary servitude, & child soldiers), the vast majority of known trafficking survivors have been trafficked for sexual exploitation.
The theme for 2020 World Day Against Trafficking in Persons is Committed to the Cause - Working on the Frontline to End Human Trafficking. The purpose of this theme is to highlight those who work on the frontlines of this fight for freedom -- those who identify, support, counsel, and seek justice for survivors. This theme also recognizes the ways that frontlining individuals and organizations have had to adapt and overcome adversity in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
At Eye Heart World, we are proud to be on the frontlines of the fight for freedom. Through our awareness, prevention, and recovery services, we commit ourselves to identifying, supporting, counseling, and seeking justice for survivors. In doing so, we aim to build communities where sex trafficking and sexual exploitation cannot thrive - and YOU have a role in this!
Your social media support (shares, likes, comments) meant hat more people see this incredibly important message. And your financial support means that those who need help and recovery services will get them! Click here to make a donation to help survivors find the freedom they deserve!