When we think of human trafficking, we often think about the despondent faces of women and children who live in slums all over the world. What if human trafficking is much closer to home than we think? In 2019, Markie Dell, stood on the TEDx stage to recount her experience of being a domestic human trafficking victim. She was an awkward teenager who was groomed by a girl that she befriended at a birthday party. She was subsequently kidnapped, drugged, sexually violated, intimidated at gunpoint into dancing in strip clubs for an entire year.
She didn’t know that she was a human trafficking victim until a police officer handed her a book called, “Pimpology”. Then, she knew that she was being human trafficked.
According to the Polaris Project, most human trafficking victims are trafficked by their romantic partners, spouses, family members, including parents. In the U.S., in 2018, there were 23,078 survivors identified and 10,949 cases of human trafficking. Even then, these cases are often drastically underreported.
Barbara Amaya ran away from home at the age of 12 after family members would not believe her reports of abuse from her own family. She was picked up at Dupont Circle, Washington DC by a couple that sold her to a human trafficker in New York. The trafficker reprogrammed her and trauma bonded with her. He kept her for 10 years working for him.
In her TedTalk, she said, “Does it matter, if it’s one person or a million? Are you not going to care because it’s a lot of children versus just one?”
To read the full article by Jun Wu on Forbes: Click HereTags: Polaris, TED