Prevention Education in Utah
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Mandatory Reporting and Requirements
In Utah, all adults are legally obligated to report suspected child trafficking, not just teachers, social workers, or police. Anyone who suspects any type of child trafficking is required by law to call and report. For parents and guardians, there is an added layer of significance in reporting as they hold positions of trust and power. If one suspects a youth is being (or has been) trafficked, that person should immediately call law enforcement and Utah’s 24-hour Child Protection Line: 1-855-323-3237. The National Human Trafficking Hotline is 1-888-373-7888.
Effects of Human Trafficking
Victims of human trafficking often experience various physical and/or mental health problems. Survivors report increased likelihood of substance abuse, anxiety, insecurity, fear, medical issues, and trauma. The side effects include increased risk of cognitive impairment, memory loss, depression, and even suicide. Many victims report that the emotional effects are lifelong and devastating.
Myth 4: Individuals must be forced or coerced into commercial sex acts to be a victim of human trafficking.
Myth 5: Human trafficking and human smuggling are the same.
Myth 1: Human trafficking does not occur in the United States. It only happens in other countries.
Myth 6: All human trafficking victims attempt to seek help when in public.
Myth 2: Human trafficking victims only include foreign-born or impoverished individuals.
Myth 3:All human trafficking is sex trafficking.
How to React
Victims of human trafficking may not self-identify as victims. Trafficking victims often blame themselves for their situations. If you suspect a youth or child is being trafficked, immediately report what you suspect to law enforcement. When a youth discloses that he or she is being victimized, the reaction from the listener plays an important part in whether he or she will continue to and share experiences. Parents and guardians should actively listen as youth share and ask themselves, “am I showing care and love, or am I quick to cast aside their experiences in response to my own uncomfortable feelings?” Youth will pick up on everything from mannerisms to attentiveness (or lack thereof), and potentially call themselves “guilty” or “dirty” according to their perceptions of how parents or guardians view them. It is important to learn what to say, and what not to say.
There is often a strong emotional attachment between a trafficker and a victim. A trafficker holds control of his or her victim to induce commercial sex or forced labor and sustains that control by using intimidation, manipulation, isolation, coercion, minimization, denial, and blame-placing. Forms of abuse include economic, emotional, physical, verbal and sexual. The trafficker’s imposed control often leads to an established trauma bond the trafficker and the victim.
Victims of human trafficking who undergo multiple mental, physical and emotional forms of trauma experience poly-victimization. The trauma experienced leads to change in the plasticity of the brain and a “rewiring” of cognitive functions.
Using a Trauma-Informed Approach to Discuss Possible Victimization with a Child
Trauma alters the “normal” or “typical” reactions of a child. The trauma-informed approach changes an adult’s perspective from questioning why a youth is difficult, to understanding what has happened to the youth.
Utah Human Trafficking Tipline: The Utah Human Trafficking Tip Line is a 24-hour tip line run by the Utah Attorney General’s office. Call the tip line to report tips about human trafficking. Leave a detailed message, along with your contact information and an investigator from the SECURE Strike Force will return your call.
Utah Attorney General’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force: The Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC) is a multi-jurisdictional task force that investigates and prosecutes individuals who use the Internet to exploit children.
ICAC Tip Line: 801.281.1211
National Human Trafficking Hotline: The National Human Trafficking Hotline is a national, toll-free hotline, available to answer calls, texts, and live chats from anywhere in the United States, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, in more than 200 languages. The National Hotline’s mission is to connect human trafficking victims and survivors to critical support and services to get help and stay safe, and to equip the anti-trafficking community with the tools to effectively combat all forms of human trafficking. The National Hotline offers round-the-clock access to a safe space to report tips, seek services, and ask for help.
Text BeFree (233733)
National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC): As the nation's clearinghouse & comprehensive reporting center for all issues related to the prevention of and recovery from child victimization, NCMEC leads the fight against abduction, abuse, and exploitation - because every child deserves a safe childhood.
CyberTipline is the nation’s centralized reporting system for the online exploitation of children. The public and electronic service providers can make reports of suspected online enticement of children for sexual acts, extra-familial child sexual molestation, child pornography, child sex tourism, child sex trafficking, unsolicited obscene materials sent to a child, misleading domain names, and misleading words or digital images on the internet. www.cybertipline.com
NetSmartz is a place where the public and electronic service providers can report suspected online and offline child sexual exploitation. The millions of reports made each year uniquely situate NCMEC to identify trends and create prevention resources to address the evolving needs of kids and teens online. www.netsmartz.org
NetSafe Utah provides online videos and resources for kids, teens, parents and educators,
including Internet Safety information that Utah schools need to meet the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA) requirements. www.netsafeutah.org