The Silent Epidemic? – #3

I will start off by being honest; this blog post intimidated me. Initially, I thought I didn’t know anyone qualified to talk on behalf of my topic. Thank God, however, that I was wrong. I decided to share my topic with three people who I trust and have known for a long time due to the discussion’s sensitive subject. My mom, and my friends, Danielle and Ellie, gave me a better understanding of the issue’s impact and directed me onto paths I never would’ve thought to explore on my own. I started off the conversation by reading aloud my previous blog post, The Silent Epidemic? – #2, which stated my thoughts and questions surrounding human trafficking as an issue both locally and worldwide.

Everyone agreed with my statement that human trafficking has grown to current epidemic proportions.

“It almost seems like its too big of a monster to kill,” My mom said.

She claimed that one of the most profitable days for human trafficking is Super Bowl Sunday, as young men’s parties on game day rig up big business for the industries sex rings. This is something I hadn’t thought about, and would like to look into more: where are human/sex trafficking “hotspots”? where do they make the bulk of their profits?

In a world full of human trafficking, we touched on the importance of staying safe, especially as a young woman.

“It seems that young girls just aren’t aware of dangers,” Danielle said.

Jaycee Dugard was brought up as an example of how the ignorance of young girls is taken advantage of by human traffickers.  At age eleven, Dugard was kidnapped on her way to school by a man and his wife. She was forced to live in their backyard, having given birth to two children before she was discovered by the police eighteen years after her capture.

No one plans on being a victim of human trafficking. However, those I talked to believed that certain measures can be implemented to avoid dangerous situations.

“You have to watch what information you put out there and who you talk to,” Danielle said.

She shared a story about a girl she knew personally, whose life was changed for the worse after enacting with a man online.

“I don’t know much, I’m pretty sure she went to meet him in person at some point, but I do know that after [her online relationship], she was a mess. She had to go out of state for therapy and counseling.  Her mom moved with her and as far as I know, she’s still there. It’s terrible.” Danielle said.

Ellie brought up the dangers in parking lots, another point I thought would benefit to look into.

“They’re saying now that parking lots are the worst [for young women]. They’re brazen now, they don’t care if they have an audience.” Ellie said.

In regards to my biggest point in blog post #2, which questioned the lack of advocacy against human trafficking, Danielle said fearful denial from the general public could be a significant contributor.

“If I don’t have to think about it, I don’t feel scared about it,” Danielle said.

If people don’t read about human trafficking, it’s off their radar; they’re free the fear and worry that comes with knowledge.

But although human trafficking is a scary subject, we must learn to overcome this fear and face it if we are ever to conquer it.

“This is now an issue where we can’t ignore it.” My mom said.

How long will our nation choose to live in darkness?

Elizabeth Pietras

3 Responses to “The Silent Epidemic? – #3

  • Jeanie Phillips
    4 years ago


    I’m so glad you found such interesting people to interview about your topic!
    Your post really gets at an interesting paradox: if we know more about human trafficking then we have more fear AND also personal awareness but if we don’t know about it at all we have less fear AND also less ability to take protective measures. You seem to be saying that we must confront our fear by facing reality in order to protect ourselves, our loved ones, and even complete strangers from the risks of human trafficking.

    It also makes me wonder what the right approach is. Do we educate people so they are less likely to become victims? Or do we put systems (laws and law enforcement?) in place to make human trafficking harder to get away with? Or both?

    Thank you for making me think!

  • Elizabeth,

    I love the journalistic tone of this entry–dramatic yet truthful–and the way you weave quotations throughout it.

    Speaking of quotations, I’m interested to learn the source for your mother’s statement about Super Bowl Sunday. I don’t doubt it’s validity, but finding where it came from may provide a lead to other useful information about this topic. The questions you’ve asked, like the one about possible “hotspots,” also seem ripe for investigation.

    One question that came to mind for me when reading this was, What’s the difference between human trafficking and kidnapping? The term “trafficking” in my mind has connotations of buying and selling. Do human traffickers always have an economic motivation, or might they be driven by other factors?

  • I thought that your approach of talking to trusted friends and adults is a very useful and informative strategy, and I believe that you did a good job asking the right questions and using prior knowledge to help back you up. I think that it is important to recognize your limitations like being intimidated about writing this blog post. Recognizing weakness is important, because doing it lets you see what you need to work on or talk about. I think that it interesting how you say that no one plans to be a victim of human trafficking. After that, you talked about watching how much information you give out online. What are some other ways that you can help prevent yourself from human trafficking? I think that your mom’s quote might summarize people’s current feelings about the human trafficking epidemic, “It almost seems like its too big of a monster to kill”.

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