January is National Human Trafficking Awareness Month
GSACPC has been a leader in the fight against human trafficking for over 20 years. Seen as one of the best prevention models in the country, Girl Scouts empower girls with the skills they need to become self-aware and self-reliant. From how to take healthy risks to social and emotional skills for building healthy relationships at every age.
As we aim to bring awareness to human trafficking, it’s unfortunate to know that all children may be vulnerable. As a parent, grandparent or guardian, here are some tips to remain vigilant against human trafficking:
- Empower yourself with current and accurate information.
- Be willing to talk about difficult subjects with your children and loved ones to keep the lines of communication open to allow for healthy dialogue. By continuing to have ongoing conversations with your kids about healthy relationships, positive body image, social media concerns, bullying, and cyberbullying, this will make them more aware and more likely to open up to you if they encounter an unsafe situation.
- Actively listen when a child comes to you and shares their concern about a topic.
- Encourage children to participate in healthy activities and programs in their spare time. Studies have shown that unsupervised youth and teens who hang out with friends unsupervised for long stretches of time are more vulnerable than those who have somewhere to go or something to do.
In addition, here are some signs that a child is being groomed for future trafficking:
- Has new, older friends
- Talks about friends who seem too good to be true
- Spends a sharply increased amount of time online or on their phone
- Has suddenly changed their appearance, dress, or grooming habits
- Has items they’d be unable to afford, like a cell phone, new clothes, etc.
- Has become withdrawn from the family and/or friends and become more secretive
For more information and additional support, you may contact the Arizona Anti-Trafficking Network (AATN) and its affiliates by visiting visit www.aatnaz.org.
If you would like to receive training and materials, reach out to the TRUST (Training and Resources United to Stop Trafficking) by visiting www.trustaz.org.
If you suspect Human Trafficking, call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-3737-888.
Source: “How to Talk to Your Kids About Human Trafficking” by TRUSTAZ