Grace and Peace Agents of H.O.P.E
The metro-Atlanta is preparing to host one of the biggest events of the year in our newly constructed Mercedes-Benz Stadium!
Without a doubt, there is an undeniable excitement in the air as we prepare for the multitude of celebrations that will take place over the Super Bowl Weekend. In the days leading up to Super Bowl LIII, city officials continue to make preparations to accommodate the thousands of people who will travel to Atlanta to take part in the festivities. With the influx of visitors that will arrive in Atlanta, it is important for us to take note of an important issue, human trafficking.
According to the United States Department of Justice, human trafficking “is a crime that involves exploiting a person for labor, services, or commercial sex.” The infrastructure of the metro-Atlanta area (i.e. busy international airport, frequency of large events, and four major interstates that run through the city) is particularly attractive to those who seek to benefit financially from the exploitation of young women and men. As of 2018, Georgia sat amongst the top 5 states in the country with regards to human sex trafficking. As an organization, it is important that we continue raise our level of awareness surrounding issues that are close to home.
I encourage all members and friends of I.W.O.H. to remain vigilant during our celebrations to individuals we may encounter who are victims of human trafficking. Below you will find a general list of signs that may indicate that an individual is a victim of human trafficking and a list of local resources for additional help.
Recognize the signs:
Common Work and Living Conditions: The individual(s) in question
Is not free to leave or come and go at will
Is under 18 and is providing commercial sex acts
Is in the commercial sex industry and has a pimp / manager
Is unpaid, paid very little, or paid only through tips
Works excessively long and/or unusual hours
Is not allowed breaks or suffers under unusual restrictions at work
Owes a large debt and is unable to pay it off
Was recruited through false promises concerning the nature and conditions of his/her work
High security measures exist in the work and/or living locations (e.g. opaque windows, boarded up windows, bars on windows, barbed wire, security cameras, etc.)
Is living and working on site
Experiences verbal or physical abuse by their supervisor
Is not given proper safety equipment
Is not paid directly
Is forced to meet daily quotas
Poor Mental Health or Abnormal Behavior
Is fearful, anxious, depressed, submissive, tense, or nervous/paranoid
Exhibits unusually fearful or anxious behavior after bringing up law enforcement or immigration officials
Shows signs of substance use or addiction
Poor Physical Health
Shows signs of poor hygiene, malnourishment, and/or fatigue
Shows signs of physical and/or sexual abuse, physical restraint, confinement, or torture
Lack of Control
Has few or no personal possessions
Is frequently monitored
Is not in control of their own money, financial records, or bank account
Is not in control of their own identification documents (ID or passport)
Is not allowed or able to speak for themselves (a third party may insist on being present and/or translating)
Claims of just visiting and inability to clarify where they are staying/address
Lack of knowledge of whereabouts and/or do not know what city he/she is in
Appear to have lost sense of time
Shares scripted, confusing, or inconsistent stories
Protects the person who may be hurting them or minimizes abuse
This list is not exhaustive and represents only a selection of possible indicators. The red flags in this list may not be present in all trafficking cases. Each individual indicator should be taken in context, not be considered in isolation, nor should be taken as “proof” that human trafficking is occurring. Additionally, cultural differences should also be considered.
National Human Trafficking Hotline
1 (888) 373-7888
BeLoved Atlanta is an organization that focuses on the "community of women who have survived trafficking, prostitution and addiction". BeLoved Atlanta will provide a residential home to adult women who were personally affected by sexual exploitation, they are able to provide their services to residents for up to two years
Out of Darkness is an organization that is against sex trafficking which is located in Atlanta Georgia; Out of Darkness falls under the section 501(c) (3). Their "mission is to reach, rescue and restore all victims of commercial sexual exploitation, that the glory of God may be known."