How do I know if it's trafficking and what do I do?
What if you're out somewhere and you see a possible trafficking situation? Kelsey, a friend of Revved Up Kids, recently faced a difficult situation and wanted some advice on what to do. She was at a small, not busy, restaurant with her family and there was an older man with a young teen girl (probably 15 or so) dining. The girl was dressed provocatively, and their mannerisms toward each other were inappropriate. It looked as if they were on a date. Kelsey felt strongly that this may have been a trafficking situation, and she wasn't sure what to do.
Child sex trafficking is a $32 billion industry; it is BIG business and it's happening in all 50 states. Scenarios like this play out in plain sight all the time, and most of us feel trapped between intervening and saving a possible victim or accidentally confronting someone in public for what may be a perfectly innocent situation. Kelsey watched helplessly, hoping the girl would go to the restroom at some point, but it never happened. As the couple departed the restaurant, they paused in the small lobby for a romantic kiss. Her stomach was in knots, but she didn't feel equipped to address the situation. Our advice to Kelsey, and to all of you, is this:
When you are faced with a situation like this, if the child is in obvious danger, take action and don't be afraid to be confrontational…you may save a life; call 9-1-1 and get the police involved. If the situation is more subtle, and most of them will be, put the National Human Trafficking Hotline number in your phone 1-888-373-7888. It is answered 24/7 and operators are available in 200 different languages. give them a call and ask for advice. They'll guide you on the best course of action.
Don't stand by and do nothing….if your internal alarms are signaling you that something is wrong, it probably is. Our fear of being impolite MUST take a back seat to the safety of our children! Thank you, Kelsey, for sharing this terrific teaching moment! #humantraffickingawarenessmonth
Revved Up Kids has trained tens of thousands of children to recognize dangerous people, avoid unsafe situations, and escape attackers. Our training programs are available for boys and girls in K-12th grade, for parents, and for youth serving organizations. Contact us to discuss protecting the children you love from predators and violence, 678.526.3335.