For Parents/Caregivers who think their child might have been a victim of human trafficking?
- Contact law enforcement and report your suspicions.
- Learn your child’s rights as a victim. There are programs and agencies that can assist with supportive, nonjudgmental services. Extreme stress and trauma may be exhibited and impact someone’s ability to function.
- Seek medical care. A victim of trafficking may have been exposed to sexually transmitted infections and should be examined immediately. If left untreated, a curable disease could have long tern consequences and possibly result in infertility.
- Think about psychological safety. Help them identify who and what makes them feel safe. Stress the importance of staying away from what does not.
- Seek counseling. A provider who is trauma informed and has experience with human trafficking victims may be most beneficial.
- Monitor social media. Internet usage, website and data history should be viewed frequently.
- Be prepared to deal with substance abuse addictions, PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), depression, low self-esteem, anger, anxiety, and confusion during the recovery process. Avoid blaming child for his/her role in trafficking. Refrain from words that suggest his/her behavior and actions caused the trauma.
- Find support in your community. A peer mentoring program or group therapy is helpful and can provide a victim with the tools to feel like a survivor. Strength and empowerment can be part of the healing process.
Additional Resources from Shared Hope International (sharedhope.org)