More and more attention is being given to human trafficking. Women and children are taken from the poorest and underdeveloped areas around the world, and they are transported to wealthier countries. Popular culture implies that this mainly happens in countries with corrupt governments and weak law enforcement, but the reality is that it can happen to anyone.
How Are College Students at Risk?
Traffickers are all over the world, and they don’t fit a particular mold. They may be lurking behind dating app profiles or on social media. They can be any person anywhere, and it is important to recognize their presence in society. College students need to be aware of strangers and protect themselves.
How College Students Can Avoid it
The first step to avoiding it is to understand what it looks like on the campus at college. First, it is important to understand groups of people who are most at risk. Research shows that traffickers exploit people who are economically disadvantaged, mentally ill, distressed, and using substances. They are most likely to become a victim to traffickers because they know how to manipulate and exploit their insecurities.
Traffickers always look for a weakness and exploit it. They are street smart and know how to spot people who are primed to become their victims. They meet people and look for a way to give that person hope by offering them something they are lacking in their lives. For college students, this may be a lack of money, increased stress, sleep deprivation, and exposure to alcohol and drugs.
Where Do Traffickers Find Victims?
Traffickers find victims in places where college students gather. They look for music festivals, crowded venues, sporting events, and more, and they find people so that they can sell them for commercial sex. There are many college students at this type of event, and they can easily find them and exploit them. It is important to be vigilant at crowded venues, especially later at night. The best defense is awareness, and college students need to take extra precautions when they use dating apps or attend large events.