It can be difficult to talk about and even harder to process, but in the past few years an insidious wave of sex trafficking has hit the Navajo Nation and Navajo Nation Council delegates want people to be aware so they can help protect potential victims.
Delegates Amber Kanazbah Crotty and Nathanial Brown say raising awareness about the issue is crucial to mitigating the threat that has permeated Navajo’s highways, byways and border towns. “We have to let offenders know this is not a target area,” said Crotty, “that we are going to protect our children and our community members.” Sex trafficking is defined as the use of coercion, force or fraud to elicit commercial sex acts in exchange for something of value, whether that is money, or goods and services.
Three participants are involved in the sex trafficking transaction — the buyer, the seller, and the victim, who can be a man, woman or children. Furthermore, there is an intersection between sex trafficking and missing and murdered indigenous relatives, said Crotty.
Sex trafficking is prevalent at casinos, hotels, and highway truck stops or gas stations, where there are a lot of people coming and going, and the buying and selling of sex can occur largely undetected. Additionally, sex traffickers use online resources and social media to seek out vulnerable youth, said Brown. Facebook and Instagram are used to lure and trade victims, he said, and there are also apps that can be used to buy sex.
Crotty said it’s important to monitor your children’s online and phone activity. “Someone’s being groomed and someone’s being exploited,” Crotty said. “It’s not happening by accident.”
To read the full article by Rima Krisst on Navajo Times: Click HereTags: Generational trauma, Navajo, Navajo Nation