Online discussion aims to educate and address questions regarding human trafficking | News

People fighting trafficking in Kern County are increasingly concerned about false information about trafficking by users on Facebook and other social media platforms and the spread of urban legends.

So they decided to start a serious conversation about it.

The Kern Alliance for Trafficking — a grassroots organization working towards a comprehensive approach to combating trafficking in Kern County — held a virtual debate Thursday night entitled “The Truth About Trafficking: Honest Conversations” Hosted.

“We all felt that there was a big wave of such false information this year, especially for all of us participating in the anti-trafficking battle,” said Union co-director Sandy Woo-Cater. .. “There are many misconceptions there.”

The idea was to address some of the most common misconceptions currently affecting local anti-trafficking efforts in Kern County.

However, the online panel discussion also addressed the warning signs to watch out for, the legal aspects, and the need for a victim-centric approach to trafficking.

Dustin Contreras, another co-director of the coalition, said one of many examples is when a trafficker puts a leaflet on the windshield of a car in a target or Wal-Mart parking lot and the driver gets off. Her car to remove the leaflet from the windshield, which said it was a Facebook post allegedly warning readers that it was vulnerable to kidnapping.

Many of these urban legends focus on kidnapping, Contreras said. Except in rare situations, it is not the way trafficking usually occurs.

Traffickers aren’t tagging cars as potential targets, as another urban legend makes people believe. There is no evidence to support a long-term post claiming that kidnappers approach people with perfume samples that are actually chloroform.

According to Contreras, these stories invented by those who seek attention and the “click” of the virus are dangerous. It diverts the attention of law enforcement officers and the general public from the real problems that cause real pain to real victims.

According to the National Trafficking Hotline, the most prevalent myth about trafficking is that it always or almost always involves physically forcing someone into the situation by kidnapping or otherwise.

“I call it the Liam Neeson version of trafficking,” Wu Kata said, referring to the popular actor “Taken” movie.

In reality, most traffickers use psychological means such as deceiving, fraudulent, manipulating, and intimidating victims to provide commercial sex or exploitative labor.

“This is a global issue, but we also need to be aware of what’s happening in our backyard,” said the supervisor of a commercially sexually exploited children’s unit in Khan’s Child Protective Services County. One Angela look said.

According to Luck, about 250 children have been identified as victims of trafficking in Khan, but the actual damage is because the victims are rarely identified until they are identified as victims. The number of people is much larger.

Alicia Zayas is a behavior therapist working with young people in the heart of Bakersfield and has over 10 years of experience in trafficking prevention.

According to Zayas, individuals with a rescue spirit regarding trafficking victims are known to believe in fake posts about trafficking and attempt rescue where nothing is needed. Other false reports lead to calls to police or other law enforcement officers.

She said it is already growing thin resources. Also, calling the police or emergency hotline can be counterproductive.

“It can stall the hotline system,” she said.

According to Look, “boyfriend pimps and finesse pimps” use gifts and romance promises to lure teens into the world of prostitution, rather than adopting action movie moves. Often.

These men who prey on vulnerable girls and boys often look for foster parents and LGBTQ teens who have been abused or victimized.

“But one positive adult (in their life) can really make a difference,” she said.

Be careful, she said. ask a question. Ask for help.

Reporter Stephen Mayer can be reached at 661-395-7353. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter: @semayerTBC.

Online discussion aims to educate and address questions regarding human trafficking | News Source link Online discussion aims to educate and address questions regarding human trafficking | News

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