January is national Human Trafficking Prevention Month
It’s more widespread than you believe and it’s a danger to the dignity and freedom guaranteed every individual in America: "January is Human Trafficking Prevention Month," noted Marshall County Prosecutor Nelson Chipman, Jr., "and it is important to educate citizens about its prevelance and how to reconize the signs."
This January, learn how to recognize the signs of human trafficking, and where to report suspected instances. Not all indicators are present in every human trafficking situation, and the presence or absence of any of the indicators is not necessarily proof of human trafficking, but awareness can help citizens end human trafficking:
•Does the person appear disconnected from family, friends, community organizations, or houses of worship?
•Has a child stopped attending school?
•Has the person had a sudden or dramatic change in behavior?
•Is a juvenile engaged in commercial sex acts?
•Is the person disoriented or confused, or showing signs of mental or physical abuse?
•Does the person have bruises in various stages of healing?
•Is the person fearful, timid, or submissive?
•Does the person show signs of having been denied food, water, sleep, or medical care?
•Is the person often in the company of someone to whom he or she defers? Or someone who seems to be in control of the situation, e.g., where they go or who they talk to?
•Does the person appear to be coached on what to say?
•Is the person living in unsuitable conditions?
•Does the person lack personal possessions and appear not to have a stable living situation?
•Does the person have freedom of movement? Can the person freely leave where they live? Are there unreasonable security measures?
"If you believe you know of someone who is a victim of human trafficking, contact your local police agency,” Prosecutor Chipman reminded. “If you believe the individual is under the age of 18, contact the Indiana child Abuse and Neglect Hotline 800-800-5556.”
Finally, Prosecutor Chipman added, “If someone discloses to you that they are a victim of sexual abuse, don’t ask details and don’t judge whether the information is true, and above all, be prepared to cooperate fully with investigating agencies”.