January is Human Trafficking Awareness month, and it’s the time to help spread the solution through awareness. Holistic Releaf by Design is proud to partner with different organizations in our local communities that will help us with this ever growing issue affecting our state. You can join thousands of people across the globe in turning awareness into action and taking direct steps toward ending human trafficking today.
What is Human Trafficking?
Human trafficking is a lucrative global crime. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime estimates there are 24 million victims of modern-day slavery worldwide; an average of 100,000 people every year. This can be any exploitation, whether forced labor or sex trafficking or both. Victims are trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation, domestic servitude and forced labor.
Learn more from our last weeks blog article – https://holisticreliefbydesign.com/human-trafficking-in-montana/
Understanding Human Trafficking
Many people don’t realize what human trafficking is. Statistics show that human traffickers profit around $150 billion a year and 66% of profits come from sex trafficking, even though it only accounts for 10% of human trafficking. It goes beyond just knowing statistics and signs because there’s an entire cycle of how human trafficking works.
It is often difficult to tell if someone is being trafficked for sex, for work, for labor or as a refugee. The signs of human trafficking are something everyone is aware of, but every now and then, we make snap decisions. This can lead to judgment toward a situation before it even has the chance to unfold. This can also be harmful in a way that makes it harder for people to help or come forward —especially if they’re in danger themselves. That is why it’s important to know their story, not the signs.
Know the MYTHS versus the FACTS.
MYTH – All traffickers are cartel members. FACT: many victims of human trafficking are trafficked by a family member or a person they trust.
MYTH – All the reported cases are victims self-reporting. FACT: 87 contacts in Montana in 2019, only 15 of those were victims’ reports.
It’s important to know the myths and help spread the facts.No one wants to believe that it happens, and that’s why myths and misconceptions get repeated.
Part of understanding is knowing what to do when you personally witnessed an incident. Here’s what you need to do:
- Call 911 if it’s an emergency.
- If you see suspected human traffickers DO NOT INTERVENE. Remain at a safe distance and call the authorities.
- If possible, take pictures/images of the suspect, victims and license plate numbers.
- In Montana you can call or text 1-833-406-STOP (1-833-406-7867) to report suspected human trafficking.
By determining how human trafficking applies to your community and realizing the steps you can take to help at home, you will be beginning to take part in a movement that is sweeping the nation. The more people who are aware of this local and global epidemic, the more people who can fight against it, so do your part and help dismantle this brutal business model.
Organizations that Take Action with Holistic Releaf
Holistic Releaf by Design partners with different organizations that will help us with this ever growing issue affecting the community.
HER established a Transitional Living Program for adult women survivors of human trafficking. Their mission is to help HER heal, grow, and find purpose. We do this through providing residential programs for survivors of human trafficking. This home serves 4 women at a time, including women with children for up to 2 years while they work towards economic independence.
They provide services such as:
SAFE HOUSE – 3-5 Day Shelter for Crisis Intervention 30 DAY EMERGENCY SHELTER – The Emergency Shelter will provide women 18+ with next step therapy, mental health and wellness assessments, etc.
HER REFUGE FAMILY ALLIANCE – A network of families mentored and trained by HER Campaign to integrate survivors into their families.
TRANSITIONAL LIVING FACILITY – Home for continued safe place to have emotional, spiritual, and economic independence.
Know more about their movement here: https://hercampaign.org/
The Tumbleweed Program
Tumbleweed meets at-risk youth and young adults where they are and strives to create a continuum of care. Tumbleweed’s services are free of charge and include crisis prevention and intervention; family counseling; adolescent support groups; information, advocacy, and referral to other community services; parenting courses; aftercare and assistance with runway youth and reuniting them with their parent/legal guardians. Check more of their programs and services here: https://www.tumbleweedprogram.org/
Alliance for Youth Great Falls
Aims prevention and reduction of underage drinking and illegal drug use, abuse and dependency as well as championing improvements in mental/emotional health, delinquency, juvenile violence, school drop-out, and early childhood trauma.
The Center Offers:
Food (including a meal each day at 5 p.m. for our guests)
Clothing & hygiene products
Shower & laundry facilities
Mental health & addiction counseling
Suicide prevention services
Medical & dental care
Connection to employment, education/training & housing
According to an article, runaways that have been on the street for 48 to 72 hours will most likely be propositioned. These programs help the Big Sky be a safer place for them. Providing help and food to any in need. Prevention is better than cure and that is what these amazing programs are doing to our community.
Other Organizations that fights Human Trafficking
Formerly known as End Exploitation Montana now as Project Stand is an organization that has a mission to extend human dignity through ending all forms of sexual exploitation. We honor and uphold the inherent value of all human beings and believe people are meant to be loved, not used or abused. Learn more about them here: https://www.endexploitationmontana.org/
TAT (Trucker Against Trafficking) is formed to help end this global issue. Truckers Against Trafficking is raising up a mobile army of transportation professionals to assist law enforcement in the recognition and reporting of human trafficking. Read more here: https://truckersagainsttrafficking.org/
Thorn is another organization that aims to eliminate child sexual abuse from the internet. Living In the digital world, Thorn builds a world where all kids can be safe, curious, and happy. Their response to this epidemic is redesigned for the digital age. It won’t be easy, but it is possible. Check them here: https://www.thorn.org/
Be Brave. Take Action. Share the Solution
We can work together to put an end to modern-day slavery. With your help, you can make a difference. Educate yourself through the information above and help others realize what is at stake when someone becomes a victim of human trafficking. By using your voice to raise awareness and spread the word about this issue, you are perpetuating change and making a difference. It’s only when we examine the issue from various angles that we can come up with solutions and take positive steps towards making a difference. So, start getting proactive about the issue in your community, donate to organizations and charity drives, and help begin to end this crisis. Together let’s make the Big Sky a safe haven from Human Trafficking.
Live well, live holistic!