Many think of “child abuse” as a physical act of abuse being committed upon kids who are emotionally, physically, or sexually harmed by others. The harm they face, whether as young children or teenagers in households with their families, living in the system, or enduring life on the streets, often is beyond the view of daily life.
Yet, there’s another peril infecting society that recently was raised by child advocates; Human trafficking. This form of abuse knows no bounds. If affects children – and adults – of almost all ages and socio-economic backgrounds everywhere in the world. It can start with an adult befriending an unwitting but vulnerable child and steering them toward a life of sexual slavery.
While government organizations and private groups work to help prevent at-risk kids from falling into the trap of human trafficking, it’s up to society to do more.
“No matter where you are from, no matter your walk of life, understand: Your child can be a victim,” , said U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz at a recent event on human trafficking affects South Florida. “Every family is potentially vulnerable because too many families don’t know what’s going on in their child’s head. We all have to stop tuning this stuff out as something that happens to other peoples’ kids.”
If you see something that looks suspicious, contact the authorities, including the Florida Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-96-ABUSE. Read more here.