As the world around us becomes even more unsafe this knowledge may just save a life. 216,000 people go missing every year, 2,500 of those people remain untraced. Although the problems seem to be increasing the number of people educated remain frighteningly low.
1.) ALWAYS BE AWARE
Pay attention to your surroundings, the people you see, an exit you could take and most importantly what could you use as a weapon. Many times attackers have been watching you, they may have even followed you in from the parking lot. Many people won't acknowledge that. This is very important that you do though, because now not only can they follow you back to your car but they can continue to follow you around the store without you noticing. If you are not good at remembering faces, memorize outfits or shoes, maybe they have facial hair? Even making eye contact with a stranger will make you less desirable to predators. It's extremely important that if you are out and about that you don't bury your face in your phone as soon as you leave the car. Instead, pay attention to the cars around you, are their people in them? Remain attentive as you continue throughout your day
2.) STOP ADDING GUYS YOU DON'T KNOW
This is something many of us are guilty of, many of us don't think anything of it as its just another friend. Social Media is a prime platform for Human Traffickers. Through social media they can so easily find out where you work, go to school, shop, who you hang out with, things that you are interested in. They will then use all of these things to build relationships with you making you think it was just coincidental. They will pretend and play the role of someone like you making it even easier for you to trust them.
3.) DON'T HESITATE
If you feel like something is off, your gut is telling you this just isn't right. DO NOT HESITATE report it, call it in, ask to be walked to your car. Too often women feel they are just being overly paranoid, but your family and community would much rather you play the "just in case card". You may not only save yourself but their next victim as well.
4.) BE PREPARED FOR THE WORST
Although no one thinks they are going to be attacked, you are better to be safe than sorry. Self-defense plays a huge role here if you don't feel like you could fight your attacker off with just your fists, you may want to consider getting yourself some defense weapons. You have many options whether that be a stun gun, pepper spray or knives. These can be found on Amazon or at Walmart for as little as $10.
5.) LOCK YOUR DOORS
Many of us have a habit of getting into our cars and begin checking our phones, reading emails, playing with the radio or pulling up our next stop on our GPS. Whatever your preferred choice may be is making us a prime target. It is very important that after entering your car you lock your doors immediately because chances are as soon as you get into that car you will let your guard down allowing other things to distract you from your surroundings outside of your car.
6.) DON'T FALL FOR IT
Many traffickers and predators will attempt to lure you in. Don't fall for it be able to acknowledge when someone is making too much small talk and asking too many personal questions. Most importantly don't make plans or agree to go somewhere with the random stranger who just approached you at the store no matter how hard they try to make you feel like their best friends.
7.) RESISTANCE IS KEY
You are going to need to fight like hell as if life depended on it. In fact it very well just might. Don't be afraid to fight dirty, kick, scream, even bite. They are looking for an easy target someone they can take that's not going to make a scene so in other words MAKE A SCENE. Dig your fingers into their eyes, use the heel of your palm to hit their nose, go for the neck and of course if they are a male go for the groin. Hold on to or knock over anything in your reach. You need to act like a toddler that just got told no, especially if you are in a public place. Some people will try to ignore what they are seeing, that's why you need to make a big enough seen they can not ignore it.
8.) SCRATCH YOUR ATTACKER
Scratch your attacker so that in hopes that you get away you have their DNA under your nails. That being said dig your nails in as far as you can.
9.) ESCAPING A TRUNK 101
In the event of being placed into a trunk here are a few pointers to escaping. If there is a trunk release handle pull it, then wait until it seems safe to jump from the moving vehicle. Although there are many ways to escape the back of the trunk kicking out the taillight and reaching your hand out will ensure that you can get someones attention without your abductor seeing. You can rip the wires from the tail or brake light which can increase the possibility of the driver getting pulled over by the police.
10.) BE SOMEONE'S HERO
Being able to recognize the signs of sex trafficking or abduction is very important, not every missing person's face gets plastered all over. Avoiding eye contact, talking and other social interactions. Appears to have few or no personal possessions. Is not allowed or able to speak for him/herself. Is "just visiting" and can't say where he/she is staying or from. Looks malnourished and/or show signs of physical abuse. Is not in control of his/her own money or identification. Is fearful or anxious, especially around law enforcement. Has numerous inconsistencies in his/her story. Has goods or services you know they can't afford, has an excessive amount of cash, carries multiple hotel keys, signs of branding. If you suspect someone is being trafficked call the Human Trafficking Hotline 1-888-3737-888