At Love146, we approach the table as learners, and believe that continually holding conversations about the issue is an important part of being abolitionists. We want to talk about what you want to know, so we asked you to submit questions using #Ask146.
Here are our answers to some of the questions you have submitted…
Questions about human trafficking
“How are some ways kids get pulled into trafficking?” – Sara Driediger
Traffickers can use many different tactics to pull youth into trafficking through force, fraud, and coercion. This can include, but is not limited to, false promises of love, emotional manipulation, and threats of physical and emotional harm. Traffickers take advantage of vulnerabilities—Ken “Pimpin Ken” Ivy, a notorious trafficker, writes in his book Pimpology: The 48 Laws of the Game: “It doesn’t matter to a pimp what hoes’ weaknesses are, so long as they have them. Then he uses those weaknesses to his advantage.” Vulnerabilities for children can include a history of sexual abuse, homelessness, familial neglect, high-conflict relationships, and unhealthy romantic relationships.
“I live in a rural area with a high migrant worker population. How can I tell if the workers in my area are trafficked?” – Tracy Lovell
For general clues on how to recognize victims of human trafficking, including labor trafficking, refer to this fact sheet from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. You can also learn about red flags specific to child sex trafficking. Remember, if you ever suspect trafficking, call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center at 888.3737.888.
Questions about Love146
“When did this organization start? and by who?” – Sehar Hashmi
In 2002, the co-founders of Love146 traveled to Southeast Asia on an exploratory trip to determine how they could serve in the fight against child sex trafficking. In one experience, a couple of our co-founders were taken undercover with investigators to a brothel where they witnessed children being sold for sex. You can read the story of how it started and the story behind our name here: www.love146.org/love-story
“Is Love146 working in Uganda or know of anybody who is? Or know any stats of slavery there?” – Richard Freeman
Love146 is currently working in the United States, the U.K., and the Philippines. Our friends at International Justice Mission work in Gulu and Kampala, Uganda, where they defend widows and orphans who are victims of property-grabbing, a crime that leaves women and children vulnerable.
“Any plans on expanding to more states in the near future (hint hint New York)?” – Gayla Pollock Brasel
We have no immediate plans for expanding into more states, but who knows what the future holds?
“Any plans to start a round home in the Middle East?” – Christina Tutts
We don’t have plans to open a survivor care center in the Middle East, but you can check out the work that Hagar International is doing in Afghanistan, including a Transitional Care Center.
Questions about ways to get involved
“How could a teenager help out?” – @mate_less
One great way you can help out as a teenager is to start a Love146 Task Force at your high school or on your college campus! Love146 Task Forces are groups of people who get together to learn more and take action to help their community together. We’ve got everything you need! To get started, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
“I am going to school for art therapy and was wondering about how art therapists are/can help in this issue?” – Alexis Plastow
Art therapy can definitely be an important part of both prevention and aftercare. It could play a role in helping youth understand their vulnerabilities, empowering them in a way that prevents exploitation. It could also play a role in the therapy that a survivor receives to heal from their exploitation. Continue to ask yourself this question as you go through school—there are so many creative ways we can help children, and art therapists can definitely play a part.
“What are ways a person can be proactive where they live?” – @amandasogge
One way you can be proactive where you live is to get together with a group to educate your local hotel/motel owners about how to recognize and respond to human trafficking—educating key community members is an important part of ending trafficking and exploitation.
“How can we start a career in helping others? And maybe even more ambitious how can we start a foundation in our city?” – Daniel Eastman
Starting a career in helping others starts with learning! As you delve into the complexities of the problem, you can observe the aspects of the issue that you are drawn toward, and challenge yourself to think of potential solutions. Nourish your drive and enthusiasm by taking the time to educate yourself on the nuances and details of what trafficking is and by staying up to date on trafficking in the news. Having a career that helps others doesn’t necessarily mean that you work at a non-profit organization or start an anti-trafficking foundation; it can mean being an artist, business owner, etc. Think about your unique talents and interests, and how they can overlap with working toward abolition—you might be surprised about where this leads you! Check out this blog for more food for thought.
Questions about raising awareness
“What is the best way to educate someone about human trafficking?” – @3_aiko
One of the best ways to educate someone about human trafficking is to share stories—share the story of how you first learned about trafficking, stories of human trafficking cases in your area, the story behind our name, and stories that inspire hope for the end of modern-day slavery! A statistic can shock, but it rarely provides sustainable motivation for action—a story is something that people will remember and that sparks ongoing conversation.
“I am interested in raising awareness. Outside of sharing information on social media, friends and family, and hanging some posters at work, which direction might I go to educate those around me?” – Alyssa Rodriguez
One way you can go beyond social media to raise awareness is to create venues for people to gather together (in person) and discuss human trafficking. Perhaps you can host a screening once a month of a documentary that addresses human trafficking, or start a book club (here are our picks).