Being unaware can be detrimental. Especially when it comes to serious issues such as human trafficking – a form of modern-day slavery.
Sacramento is identified as a hub for human trafficking among the 18 top most cities for U.S in human trafficking. Along with this statistic, Sacramento is among the top five cities experiencing an epidemic of child prostitution according to an FBI report.
After interviewing GBHS students, they all came to the same conclusion that this huge issue is not being addressed enough.
“[Sex trafficking] isn’t well known because isn’t advertised or publicized by the media since it isn’t a positive thing about our area,” junior Haley Miller said.
There is a lack of understanding that Sacramento is so distraught with this problem.
“Sacramento is used as a transportation hub to ship people out all over the country,” senior Ryan Corp said. “People are being shipped from Mexico and foreign countries to Sacramento,” Corp said.
Corp described that although incidences of sex trafficking occur in close proximities of this region, many people remain unaware of the issue.
“Up in the suburbs, (sex traffickers) will take over normal houses and turn them into undercover brothels,” Corp said. “No one would ever know because they look like regular houses.”.
The obscure nature of this problem makes it that much more difficult to detect.
“Once (the sex traffickers) find a way to lure people into the profession, it’s almost impossible to leave,” Corp said.
The justice system itself encourages this problem to persist by not reprimanding the sex traffickers and wrongly punishing the victims instead. Corp stated that even when victims speak out, they are still tried as criminals in court.
While there is a definite need for social awareness about the growing concerns of sex trafficking in the Sacramento area, there are public outreach resources as well.
“There’s some educational programs and some organizations such as Courage House,” Corp said, “(They) bring awareness and fundraise in order to aid victims.
The Three Strands club is a new club started this year by juniors Haley Miller and Audrey Wagner. The purpose of the club is to assist women in Cambodia and Nepal who have just escaped sex trafficking.
“We sell bracelets made by these women and send the profits back so they don’t have to sell themselves back to human trafficking,” Miller said.
If one wants to help, there will be fundraisers held by Three Strands at soccer games . Their goal is to raise “$5,000 because it takes that much to save one girl by the end of the year. We’ve raised quite bit,” Wagner said.