National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month
January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. The Department of Homeland Security defines human trafficking as modern-day slavery that involves the use of force, fraud, or coercion to obtain some type of labor or commercial sex act. Tompkins County has become a Safe Harbour county in NY which indicates our commitment to raising awareness and to the coordinated response to youth who have experienced commercial sexual exploitation or trafficking or who are vulnerable to it.
The welfare of youth that may be victims of exploitation or trafficking is dependent on awareness, paying attention to the signs, and your action(s) to help. Victims may look like anyone you encounter every day. Below you will find some helpful tips in identifying the signs that may point to a youth in need of intervention.
Chronic runaway/ homeless youth
Injuries/ signs of physical abuse
Not enrolled in school or has repeated absences
Presence of another person (often older, who seems to be controlling)
High number of sexual partners
Not in control of their own money
Tattoos that he/she/ze is reluctant to explain
Lying about age/ having fake ID
Inconsistencies when describing and recounting events
Unable or unwilling to give local address or information about parent(s)
Exhibits fear, anxiety, depression, submissiveness, and or nervousness
Expresses interest in, or is in, relationships with adults or older individuals
Having things that they normally wouldn’t
Excessive amounts of cash
Hotel key cards
Excessive jewelry or clothing
New electronic devices
Prepaid cell phone
Exploiters can be anyone including friends, family members, trusted adults, or someone who is claiming to have a romantic relationship with the youth. They target vulnerable youth and use psychological and physical manipulation to force them into a life of slavery.
If you suspect that a youth you have encountered is in an emergency situation, where the safety and welfare of the youth is in imminent jeopardy, contact 9-1-1 and report the situation.
If you need to discuss the case or would like to request free support contact the Advocacy Center of Tompkins County on their 24-hour hotline (607) 277-5000 or the office at (607) 277-3203.
For more information visit listenforthesigns.org
Monthly Messages are brought to you by the Tompkins County Youth Services Department, a proud partner of The Community Coalition for Healthy Youth.
If you have further questions or comments about this message or would like information on how to become involved with the Community Coalition for Healthy Youth, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you in advance for sharing this monthly message with all of your networks. More detailed versions of this message and all previous messages can be found at http://www.healthyyouth.org/monthly-messages.php.
For more information on-line, go to Links – Tips for Families, Parents and Youth Workers