Think about it, online predators are willing to take their time in grooming young, impressionable, and innocent boys and girls (tweenagers and teenagers alike!). Young people who want nothing more than to “get outta this one horse town” with a desire to move upward and onward to bigger and better things. With things like poverty, tension with parents, looking for value and affirmation and acceptance from anyone anywhere – why wouldn’t those from a small town be a great target? As we continue to travel and talk about the coercion, force and fraud of human trafficking I wonder – ARE YOU AWARE OF THE POTENTIAL WOLVES IN YOUR LIFE? Exploitation often happens from those we know, that are already in the sphere of our relational influence. While force is certainly a tactic used in domesticating young persons, there is an incredible rise in coercicn and frauding some as young as 7 or 8 years old who get introduced into “The Life.” For many of us who care about our youth and the substances they abuse as a way to medicate or escape from the pain and hurt they have experienced, we must take a more active role in becoming more Aware and knowledgeable about this underbelly of our county. Perhaps taking more steps to be Trauma Informed, and then also learn how to support Survivors of such a crime. Together we are better as we learn to build resiliency in our communities. Isn’t it time to set aside the created image, deconstruct the façade, and desist with the comparison trap? I hope and pray that you are with me in this!
Al Meyers (I am Little Red/CSEC facilitator through CCA)