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#31times You Saw a Trafficked Child But Didn't Know It

Born2fly Staff : Jun 7, 2023  Born2Fly

"As long as we think trafficking is abduction, and that it happens only on the other side of the world, we'll never stop the traffic. Trafficking has many faces. Don't miss the one standing right in front of you." -Diana Scimone

[Born2fly.com] Every week you read about the arrest of another child trafficker from Hollywood, government, business, and more. (Screengrab image)

"High-profile arrests and rescues are absolutely necessary of course," says Diana Scimone, president of the Born2Fly Project to stop child trafficking, "but they can deceive you into thinking they're the only face of trafficking. Meaning you miss the trafficked child in your own town—the one standing right in front of you."

That's why Born2Fly partnered with filmmaker Pains Angels to produce a documentary called #31TiMES you saw a trafficked child but didn't know it. The companion #31TiMES memes already have more than one million views on social media.

Face-to-face with a trafficked child

"As you watch the short dramatized scenarios," Scimone says, "you realize how many times you were face-to-face with a trafficked child but didn't even know it—on a plane, the food court of your local mall, a hotel lobby, or the table next to you at Panera. Traffickers and the children they recruit regularly frequent these places and more."

When Scimone asks people how they think kids get trafficked, she usually hears the same response: "Traffickers abduct kids."

"But traffickers don't abduct," Scimone explains. "They recruit. And the recruiting process takes a long time—all with one goal in mind: for the kids to become bonded to them so they won't run. It's the Stockholm Syndrome. (Screengrab image)

"If we still think trafficking is abduction," Scimone adds, "and that it only happens on the other side of the world—or the 'wrong' side of town—we'll miss the trafficked child right in front of us. Traffickers are recruiting right now in our neighborhoods, schools, and even churches. We can ignore it, but it's happening."

What to do if you see a trafficked child

"Don't ever try to rescue a trafficked yourself," Scimone cautions. "Traffickers are armed and the kids are so bonded to them that they'll actually run from you and go back to the very ones holding them captive."

Instead, Scimone says to take note of as much information as you can: What the child looks like, what she (or he) is wearing, hair and eye color, approximate age. Gather the same information for the trafficker. If there's a vehicle involved, remember the make, model, and tag number. And of course note the exact location. You can take a photo with your phone but only if you won't put yourself in danger.

Then immediately call 911. "Almost all 911 operators are trained on how to respond to suspected trafficking situations," Scimone explains. "Calling them is actually faster than calling a hotline because 911 can send someone immediately.

"You might feel hesitant to call, thinking 'What if I'm wrong?' Scimone says. "But what if you're right? What if that's a trafficked child right in front of you? Go ahead and make the call."

Here are some things Scimone says you can do right now to educate yourself, your children, and your community about trafficking in your own backyard:

  1. Watch the #31TiMES documentary 
  2. Show it to your children, grandchildren, nieces, and nephews.
  3. Talk with them about what you learned.
  4. Text the link to schools, teachers, friends, youth groups, community centers, libraries, etc.
  5. Post the documentary on your social media sites along with the companion memes—a scenario a day for 31 days. Find the memes here 

"As long as we think trafficking is abduction," Scimone says, "and that it happens only on the other side of the world, we'll never stop the traffic. Trafficking has many faces. Don't miss the one standing right in front of you." Subscribe for free to Breaking Christian News here

***

#31TiMES documentary

#31TiMES memes

Born2Fly Project to stop child trafficking

If you work with children anywhere in the world, Born2Fly has free age-appropriate trafficking prevention curriculum for young children and teens. Download in 12 languages including Spanish, Chinese, Russian, Hindi, Portuguese, Thai, and more at born2fly.org.







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