3Strands Global Foundation Community Education
Wondering why we are asking you to complete a survey?
We are a results-driven team, and our desired results is always the prevention of human trafficking. Our day-to-day work is rooted in raising awareness and educating the community. We strive to produce and share the most helpful resources possible and to leave those we engage with hopeful and more informed than they were prior.
Your honest reflection on your own knowledge and understanding of human trafficking before and after interacting with this Community Training allows us to measure the success of our work and identify areas for improvement.
By filling out these surveys, you are helping us to continue to educate other communities in the most effective and impactful manner possible.
For that, we would like to say, thank you.
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PRE SURVEY QUESTIONS
There are no right or wrong answers :)
Q1. I feel confident that I can accurately describe human trafficking as an issue.
Q3. Based on your knowledge of the issue, do you think you have seen signs of human trafficking in your community?
Q2. I know how to contact the Human Trafficking Hotline.
Q4. If you are uncertain about whether a minor is involved in human trafficking, would you report their suspected involvement to child welfare, law enforcement, or the human trafficking hotline?
Q5. Would you argue there is one designated or specific profile of a perpetrator (a buyer or trafficker)?
This video will introduce you to the PROTECT program and explain why prevention changes everything.
Fact vs. Fiction
Human trafficking exists in every country, including the United States. It exists nationwide–in cities, suburbs, and rural towns–and probably in your own community.
Human trafficking does not occur in the United States. It only happens in other countries.
Human trafficking victims can be any age, race, gender, or nationality, including young children, teenagers, women, men, runaways, United States citizens, and foreign-born individuals.
Human trafficking victims only include foreign-born or impoverished individuals.
You may have heard about sex trafficking, but forced labor is also a significant and prevalent type of human trafficking. Victims are found in legitimate and illegitimate labor industries, including sweatshops, massage parlors, agriculture, restaurants, hotels, and domestic services. Note that sex trafficking and forced labor are both forms of human trafficking, involving the exploitation of a person.
All human trafficking is sex trafficking.
According to U.S. federal law, any minor under the age of 18 who is induced to perform commercial sex acts is a victim of human trafficking, regardless of whether he or she is forced or coerced.
Individuals must be forced or coerced into commercial sex acts to be a victim of human trafficking.
Human trafficking is not the same as smuggling. “Trafficking” is exploitation-based and does not require movement across borders. “Smuggling” is movement-based and involves moving a person across a country’s border with that person’s consent, in violation of immigration laws.
Human trafficking and human smuggling are the same
Human trafficking is often a hidden crime. Victims may be afraid to come forward and get help; they may be forced or coerced through threats or violence; they may fear retribution from traffickers, including danger to their families; and they may not be in possession or have control of the identification documents.
All human trafficking victims attempt to seek help when in public.
Our Most Vulnerable
Though there is no standard profile of a trafficking victim, several risk factors make certain individuals more susceptible. Reports indicate that traffickers often target children and youth with a history of sexual abuse, low self-esteem, and minimal social support. Runaway and homeless youth—male, female, and transgender—are at an exceptionally high risk of becoming victims, though some trafficked youth continue living at home and attending school. There is also a strong correlation between sexually exploited youth and childhood sexual abuse, chronic maltreatment and neglect, and otherwise unstable home environments. Research estimates that between 33 and 90 percent of victims of commercial child sexual exploitation have experienced these types of abuses. Evidence also suggests that LGBTQ+ youth can be up to five times more likely than heterosexual youth to be victims of trafficking. (Source)
Trauma can be defined as a psychological, emotional response to an event or an experience that is deeply distressing or disturbing. It can also be defined as the exposure to experiences that exceed one’s capacity to cope.
It is important to know that what traumatizes one person might not traumatize the next. Some have undergone trauma and have worked or are working to address it, but many have undergone trauma are not yet aware of its impact. Various environments or experiences may be triggering to one impacted by trauma, and many find it difficult to identify their triggers.
When loosely applied, this trauma definition can refer to something upsetting, such as being involved in an accident, having an illness or injury, losing a loved one, or going through a divorce. However, it can also include experiences that are severely damaging, such as rape or torture.
Signs that someone has been impacted by trauma include, but are not limited to, the individual may be anxious and withdrawn, may have difficulty with impulse control, may have impaired short-term memory, may experience times of confusion and disorientation, may appear on-edge, and may frequently daydream.
Previous traumatic experiences are key risk factors for future victimization. Trauma can lead to changes in behavior and the way one reacts. When victims undergo multiple mental, physical, and emotional forms of trauma, this leads to changes in the brain and rewiring of cognitive functions, which is known as poly-victimization. Due to the intense trauma, coercion, manipulation, and isolation that occurs within situations of trafficking, victims also often experience a strong emotional attachment to their trafficker called a trauma bond, also known as Stockholm Syndrome. This bond offers an explanation as to why many being trafficked do not immediately ask for help.
The more we understand trauma, the better our perspective on behaviors or responses from those who may be being exploited. This understanding allows us to go from asking, “What’s wrong with you?” to “What happened to you?” This subtle but profound shift focuses on building relationships and removing blame.
How to React
It is essential to actively listen if one discloses that they have been a victim of human trafficking. Ask yourself, “am I showing care and love, or am I quick to cast aside their experiences in response to my feeling uncomfortable?” Establish trust by helping the individual feel comfortable and reassuring them that the abuse is not their fault. Don’t react with shock or anger, or force the individual to tell you everything. Be supportive and help them understand that they do not have to carry the burden alone. Report to law enforcement as soon as it is possible to do so.
Through this video, you will be equipped with conversational tools surrounding these topics and ultimately learn what you can do to prevent exploitation.
The Prevalence of Human Trafficking in California
Human trafficking occurs in every state and California is no exception. With its cost of living, multiple freeway intersections, and high level of tourism, California is a dream for traffickers. 3Strands Global Foundation was founded in 2010 when a case of human trafficking hit the most unexpected region- a northern California sleepy suburb. There, a teen was befriended by a trafficker and lured into his car. After abusing her himself, he drove her to a city where she was sold multiple times a day for eight days before being recovered. The reality that trafficking takes place in California is a hard one to digest, but with awareness and education comes identification and prevention, pushing us one step closer to the eradication of exploitation.
Reporting Human Trafficking in California
National Human Trafficking Hotline:
Text: HELP to BeFree (233733)
P.O. Box 65323 Washington, DC 20035
245 Murray Ln. SW Washington, DC 20528
International Justice Mission:
PO Box 58147 Washington, DC 20037
The International Labour Organization:
4 Route des Morillons, CH-1211 Geneve 22, Switzerland
Federal Bureau of Investigation:
935 Pennsylvania Ave., NW Washington, DC 20535
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children:
699 Prince St. Alexandria, VA 22314
Additional Reporting Resources
Request PROTECT Prevention Education in Your School or District
Contact: Amanda Taggart
Questions on Resources and Direct Services for Survivors or Individuals At-Risk
Contact: Kaitlyn DiCicco