Helping kids and combating exploitation is not just for joiners and team players. Part 3
Maybe you read my previous articles and followed my advice, but found that you’re just not a joiner. No matter the reason, there is always something individuals can do to help fight exploitation. The following are ways of helping on your own.
Be THAT GUY.
Shut down people with agendas that would legalize the exploitation or victimization of other humans. A big one is correcting people who think prostitution is a legit career and equate “survival sex” with working at McDonalds. I’ve spoken to a lot of feminists who had no idea they were advocating in favor of women and children surrendering their bodily autonomy in order to survive. They had been told that selling sex was liberation and power. This is not a feminist ideal. My other talking points are internet safety, cell phones for kids, use of the word “runaway,” and the importance of diet on top of medication in managing mood disorders. Really, the list is extensive. Pick your topics, educate yourself, then start educating others.
Be an observant reporter.
There are two apps everyone should have: the first is Traffick Cam. It’s an app that has users take photos of hotel rooms. Those images are fed into national databases to aide in identifying locations and identities of victims and their abusers. The second is See/Send. This is a reporting app that allows users to submit truly anonymous tips or photos to their state’s Fusion Center. Tips can relate to terrorism, to trafficking, to drugs and organized crime. The Center then disseminates it to the proper authority for follow up. They talk to everyone from the Secret Serice and Interpole all the way down to the local PD. The added benefit is that this information is also helping to develop better statistics and to lobby for legislation and money to the places that need it.
Talk to your neighbors about exploitation.
This is not looking for a fight or confrontation, like in #1. These people are not schills and puppets… yet. It’s what I call ambush activism. Kind of like the people who go door to door, baptising vapor locked home owners, that didn’t know what they were opening their door to. Friendly smile, nice conversation, maybe plan a future event. Then slide in a little question like, “how much do you know about child trafficking in the US?” Or you can be more subtle and let friends, family, and coworkers know when local kids come up missing. Then, slip in a little knowledge about the trafficking problem in your area. The whole point is to introduce exploitation and child welfare topics into daily conversation. I call it “ambush” because you are telling people things they do not want to hear.
Obviously, this is not an all inclusive list, but I do hope if gets you th)inking about the needs of your community and how you can serve it. If you’d like to discuss specifics or learn how you can help at work or with your skillset, email me. [email protected]