January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month, created to help share survivor stories and important signs so that everyone can be a part of the solution.
Human trafficking has been occurring for thousands of years. It is a modern-day form of slavery that targets victims of any age, race, or gender. Traffickers use force, fraud, and coercion to obtain labor or commercial sex acts. Traffickers often use the promise of a better job, living situation, or educational opportunity to coerce victims across borders.
Human trafficking occurs every single day. Some signs of human trafficking include unexplained injuries, branding or tattoos, unable to make decisions without approval, sexually provocative clothing inappropriate for weather or situation, and claim of an older boyfriend/girlfriend. It is important, to be able to recognize these signs and to be aware in everyday life.
The Catholic Charities Diocese of Venice Anti-Human Trafficking program offers intensive case management services and transitional housing to survivors of human trafficking. Catholic Charities also accepts donations and volunteers for those with the urge to help this cause.
Stay aware and do your part in preventing the spread of human trafficking. The best defenses against human trafficking are strong communities. If you have identified someone showing signs of human trafficking or are in need of help, please contact the human trafficking hotline at 1-888-373-7888.