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You may have heard of the tragic situation straddling the I corridor, the stretch of highway that runs between Birmingham and Atlanta. The intimate settings of this illegal trade? Familiar places in our backyard: the hotels on Oxmoor Road, Woodlawn, Bessemer, and establishments all over the city of Birmingham.
Yet sex trafficking is not just confined to the I corridor, as many media reports would suggest. The Global Slavery Index estimates that there are over victims of human trafficking each day in Alabama, which includes labor and sex trafficking.
In the idyllic foothills of Alabama, we are touched by dark and complex operations with global reverberations. Sex traffickers prey on the Huntsville sex womens, such as people who come from poverty or broken families. She is often a year-old girl who has already been a victim of sexual abuse by a family member. An emotionally vulnerable young woman, she is lured in by the promises of comfort, love, and acceptance that an older man offers her.
One example provided by Carolyn Potter, the executive director of The WellHouse, offers us a glimpse into the world of the girls who become victims of traffickers:.
Her captor started luring her in and buying her Hello Kitty items. She loved this. Nobody who was supposed to protect her protected her. Sex traffickers often prey on girls who have been abused by the people who love them.
The accumulated trauma and experiences of abuse that these girls have Huntsville sex womens subjected to in their young lives gives rise to a sense of apathy and hopelessness. This has been happening to me all my life. To numb the pain of repeated abuse, they may turn to drugs provided by the captors and become addicted. Traffickers then have a way to keep them from leaving.
A few might escape this life by her own efforts, but more often than not they escape through rescue operations carried out by law enforcement. Once rescued, one of the most important steps to helping victims is simply the process of gaining their trust, as most victims who have been trapped in this life suffer from complex trauma. As a Huntsville sex womens activity, sex trafficking in Alabama can take on many forms. On one end of the spectrum, there are individual pimps conducting a small-time business.
They might even be family members who are pimping out their children for rent or drug money—and these cases often go unreported because of the family connection. On the other end, there are the massage parlors that are the fronts for international criminal networks, laundering money and trafficking women from places as far as China and Korea. Street gangs such as the Bloods, Simon City Royals, Latin Kings, and Surenos are known to be engaging in sex trafficking to make a profit alongside the illegal drug trade.
Gangs like the Surenos, which have a powerful reach back to El Salvador, can even coerce the women by threatening their families back home. In many cases, other criminal activities such as drug dealing, money laundering, and murder also surround sex trafficking operations.
One reason Alabama attracts traffickers of all stripes is because it is easier to get away with the crime than other states like Georgia that have a tactical task force dedicated to combating sex trafficking, according to Collier at the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency.
The Department of Homeland Security is investigating an array of cases in Alabama and prosecuting cases at both the state and federal level. These trainings focus on how to how to recognize the s of sex trafficking, how to respond to a call, and how to support the victims.
Meanwhile, local law enforcement agencies such as the Tuscaloosa Police have jumpstarted special initiatives to combat sex trafficking in Huntsville sex womens. Officers placed fictitious for sex services on various sites, which led to the arrest of Johns over 16 days. Undercover agents are seeking out these secret online groups to find traffickers and victims as traffickers learn from past mistakes and become savvier at using the digital tools at their disposal.
A popular website hosted in the United States, back. They have recently passed three resolutions that would require training for truckers and healthcare workers to spot the s of human trafficking and make it easier for the trucker to identify victims.
It is revealing and disheartening to see the extent of the modern-day slave trade right here in our backyard in Alabama. Without the right consciousness, it may be invisible to the average person. You may see a scantily dressed young woman walking through a gas station, a Sonic, or a Walmart.
She is always accompanied by someone. She Huntsville sex womens depressed or hopeless… You may have just run into a victim of human trafficking. Vulnerable women and men and children are being exploited over and over again for the profit of more powerful and unscrupulous individuals and criminal organizations. The traffickers could be anyone, but what they have in common is a disturbing disregard for human life and human dignity. The WellHouse — A hour shelter offering immediate assistance to trafficked women who are rescued from anywhere in the United States.
Dianna Bai is a Birmingham-based writer who currently writes for AL. Her writing has been featured on Forbes, TechCrunch, and Medium. You can find her portfolio here. Who are the victims of sex trafficking in Alabama? He will later become her captor. What does the sex trafficking industry look like in Alabama? Right in Our Backyard It is revealing and disheartening to see the extent of the modern-day slave trade right here in our backyard in Alabama. UAB also encourages applications from individuals with disabilities and veterans.Huntsville sex womens
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