Why doesn't a trafficking victim just leave?
- Traffickers teach victims to distrust outsiders, especially law enforcement.
- Foreign victims are afraid of the government and police because they think they'll be deported (whether they're in a country legally or not).
- Victims often feel it's their own fault that they're trafficked.
- The Stockholm syndrome kicks in; they develop loyalty to their captor as a coping or survival skill. Sometimes they even protect them from authorities.
- Even if they're being raped for profit night after night, it may still be better than what they came from (unbelievable but true).
- Victims, whether domestic or foreign, probably don't know their rights.
- Their captors have lied to them about their rights.
- They don't see themselves as victims or trafficked.
- They don't have a cell phone, and their captors took away their ID, visas, and passport
- They never heard of calling 911, and they distrust police anyway.
- Their captors may threaten their families, and say if they try to escape, their families will pay the price.
Remember, if you see someone you think is being trafficked, call the National Human Trafficking hotline at 888.3737.888 (US) or here (other countries). Someone will direct you to people in your community who can help.
For information on how The Born2Fly Project is working to stop children from being trafficked in the first place, visit www.born2fly.org.