Hungry Predators

Sligo Irish Famine Statue

The high demand and supply in the USA of sexual and labor trafficking contributes to the human trafficking problem. Young adults, male and female as young as twelve, are victims of this serious crime. Less than 10% are kidnapped. Many victims were sold by someone they knew. They are targeted by their vulnerabilities. Victims may have a history of abuse, be developmentally disabled, be foster children, are homeless, or a runaway. After 48-72 hours after running away, a teen will be approached by a sexual trafficker.

The perpetrator breaks their victims down with sleep deprivation and substance abuse in order to control their victims. Often times, the victim is branded with a tattoo designating ownership by the perpetrator. The victim might have a money symbol, a scan code, property of stamp, etc. The locations of these are the key. They are usually on the side or back of the neck, behind an ear, inner lip, or in the pubic area. The female victims are required to have sex even during their menses cycle and are impacted with sponges or tampons. The victims are groomed what to say to medical personnel if they are brought in to be seen.

77% of victims related to human trafficking will suffer a higher episode of PTSD than a war vet due to the constant re-experiencing of the trauma and disturbing memories. They have difficulty sustaining relationships if they manage to escape. The victims avoid internal and external reminders of trauma and stress. They are hyperarousal due to the nervous system reaction of repeated fight or flight.

If you work in a medical facility or clinic, eye clinic, or dental office, etc. be on the lookout of these indicators of human trafficking:

  • patient claims they are out of town and has no address
  • lack of I.D.
  • disassociation or uncommunicative
  • confrontational
  • abnormal reactions
  • someone always talking for the victim
  • eyes downcast when spoken to
  • can’t be seen alone

What can you do about it?

  • watch your tone of voice when speaking to the victim
  • adjust to resistance
  • listen to them
  • don’t judge
  • avoid confrontation
  • kindness goes a long way
  • ask why the person is here or what happened to bring them here
  • express empathy
  • report suspicions to the National Human Trafficking Hotline @ 888-373-7888 or text HELP to 233733.

Want free material on the subject? Go to dsh.gov/ blue-campaign.

Threats Aimed at Job Seekers

Looking for a job is hard work and the last thing you need is identity theft while searching for employment. Today’s job market begins and ends online. It might be easier to apply and look for work online, but the ease of sophisticated threats directed at job seekers is new.

Before entering personal information online, check the web address bar. There should be a ‘s’ at the end of the http during the beginning of the web address. Bogus jobs are set up in order to skim contact information from victims. These ‘jobs’ are often posted on legitimate social media pages. Scams can be sent via a shortened URL such as bit.ly, etc. They can lead anywhere. Keep your shields up on social media.

Don’t provide confidential information until you have signed a contract with the potential employer. Some scammers ask for bank account numbers to set up direct deposit. Don’t be discouraged while seeking employment online, just be careful how you go about it. Limit the amount of contact information. You can set up a specific email address for job hunting. Be selective where you post your resume. An employer can always ask you for your personal information, not shared online, if they are interested. A legitimate employer would never ask these details via email or digital form. Scammers crawl the internet for personal information. Make sure the recruiter on social media is genuine before you click and apply. If the job seems too good to be true, it probably is. Run an online search on the recruiter’s name. The most common job scam online includes data entry, stuffing envelopes, rebate, forms processing, wire transfers, money movement, craft assembly, work from home gigs, and shipping management.

The structure of an email can be a red flag. Scammers often have grammar issues, misspellings, and punctuation errors. They often mimic legitimate letterheads, but if it looks off, just delete it. Don’t download any attachments or links from these emails. It’s a scary world where threats are posed everywhere. Keep your eyes open.

Prevent Hostile Situations

In today’s world of violence, we need to prepare ourselves for hostile situations. Be alert to what is going on in the area around you. If you’re on the job, work out a signal with your co-workers to let them know you’re in trouble and need assistance. Know where the nearest phone is located.

Confused or frustrated individuals need to feel they are being heard. Listen carefully and be patient. If the person is unable to clarify what the problem is, start asking questions. Paraphrase what you think you’re hearing. Help them define the problem and what they need. Let them know you understand their feelings and want to help them. Define your role and abilities for them. Let them know what you can and can not do. If you can’t solve their problem, tell them who can and how they can reach that person.

When tempers flare, your best response is to listen. Let them ventilate. Anger that isn’t diffused will build up to hostility. The best way to maintain your cool when they lose theirs, is to understand their anger isn’t a personal attack. They are mad at the situation. Watch your body language and tone of voice. Your words only deliver 7% of the message you communicate and the other 93% is body language. Keep your hands in front of you. A confused person might lash out or wonder what you’re hiding if you put your hands behind you.

Explain that you want to help them, but you can’t if they speak to you in a hostile manner. If you can’t calm the irate person down or the situation gets dangerous, walk away and call the police.

You Know You’ve Reached Your Breaking Point When…

your boss hands you a stack of paperwork to do on top of your pile of things to get done and you jump up and shout, “Woo-hoo!”;

after he has to pitch in and help because of staff shortage.

You Know You’ve Reached Your Breaking Point When…

your grandmother complains that you need to speak clearer and you annunciate each word very slowly just to bug her.

You Know You’ve Reached Your Breaking Point When…

you get the giggles after performing CPR on that same 500 lb. person and they make it.

You Know You’ve Reached Your Breaking Point When…

you laugh after straining your back from trying to scoot a 500 lb. person into their recliner with the help of 2 assistants and the person didn’t budge an inch.

You Know You’ve Reached Your Breaking Point When…

your spouse accuses you of having an affair and knowing you haven’t done anything wrong, call the time and whisper to meet you at the cemetery.

You Know You’ve Reached Your Breaking Point When…

a co-worker that has a fear of snakes, gossips about you, and you give her a rubber snake wrapped inside a box.

You Know You’ve Reached Your Breaking Point When…

your friend has cancelled plans with you for the third time and you invite her over for her birthday, but you don’t open the door when she arrives.

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