It’s a whole lot better to actually prevent someone from being trafficked than it is to rescue them after the fact, and it’s one of the most effective ways we can work in our communities.
Let’s think about the ways people get trafficked and what types of preventative measures might be useful.
In the case of sex slavery, sometimes girls* are recruited by a cute boy who acts like he has a romantic interest in them, a man who serves as a father figure, a girl who acts like a girlfriend or a woman who seems safe. Did you see the movie Taken? Remember the boy at the airport who shared a taxi cab with the two girls when they arrived from America for a European holiday? That boy was a recruiter.
There are cases in which a “girlfriend” invited the victim to her home for a sleepover, then the man who was allegedly her father (but really wasn’t) popped a drug into her drink. She wakes to find herself being raped by a succession of men.
Often kids from abusive homes are befriended by a charmer who poses as a boyfriend. He “loves” this girl and makes her feel special. Over time, he says that if she loves him, she will sell herself for sex to make the money they need to buy a house and live happily ever after. He becomes increasingly violent. He follows tried and true methods for breaking a girl into sex slavery. (There’s actually a manual to tell him how. For real.)
What if these young people—and their parents and teachers—had seen a presentation in school about the tactics and dangers of traffickers? If we simply opened some naïve eyes, how much heartache might be avoided?
My dream is to create a presentation to do just that, and bring it to schools, youth clubs, inner city and immigrant service providers and the like. It would take so little, to do so much good.
This project is very do-able, very affordable, and can be very effective. Like the idea of a slave-free community? Me too. Let’s make it happen!
Here‘s what you can do:
- Act in a short drama portraying the tactics of traffickers
- Direct this drama or write the script.
- Use your musical skills to write and/or perform a song that will stay in kids’ minds after the presentation, causing them to think twice if they encounter red flags.
- Once polished, video the presentation so we can distribute it more broadly.
- Take leadership. Organize and oversee this project.
- Donate toward the cause, to "work of Derri Smith for prevention."
Contact us here
* Boys and men are trafficked too. Because 80% of victims are female, I choose to use the feminine nouns and pronouns for victims.