January is Human Trafficking Prevention Month. While anyone can fall victim to human trafficking, here are some of the individuals and groups at the highest risk of becoming victims of human trafficking.
Risk of becoming a victim
Some people are targets of human trafficking because they belong to a vulnerable population or find themselves in a vulnerable situation.
Migrant workers and job seekers are especially at risk due to vulnerability in the process of migrating or searching for work.
Children who have run away, are homeless, or are in foster care are also at higher risk of falling prey to human traffickers.
Additionally, people with disabilities, people who are fleeing natural disasters or violence, individuals who have previously been abused, and members of the LGBTQ community are all among vulnerable populations, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
Members of the Black community and other racial minorities are also disproportionately impacted by human trafficking. For example, in King County, Washington, 84% of child trafficking victims are Black while only 7% of the county’s overall population is Black.
Protecting victims and preventing future trafficking
It’s important to understand risk factors for someone being trafficked and address them early on. By teaching children and young adults what behaviors are and are not okay, warning them of “stranger danger,” and providing a reliable support network, we can save victims and prevent future trafficking.
Assistance for victims of trafficking
During Human Trafficking Prevention Month Awareness Month, please help Valley Oaks Health spread the word that victims deserve unconditional support and that help is available. If you or someone you love is a victim of human trafficking, Valley Oaks Health offers individual counseling and therapy to help you on your path toward healing. Learn more today.