Friday, October 09, 2015

Don't let your child be sold

Yes, that sounds torrid--but it happens every day. This can be a hard, evil world, believe me.

Elizabeth Goatley, PhD, assistant professor in Baylor's Diana R. Garland School of Social Work, says it starts small. Maybe your 13-yr old makes new friends from playing an online game. Or your flirty 15-yr-old daughter catches the eye of an older guy at the mall.

Sound like a Lifetime movie? Well, 30,000 to 40,000 children are at risk for recruitment in any given year.

In 2014, more than 5,000 cases were reported, 3600 of which were sex trafficking, with labor trafficking in second place.

Traffickers and pimps play on the vulnernability of young people. Kids want to fit in, make friends. Maybe parents are out a lot or work all the time. The traffickers try tio find the void in the kid and fill it.

Some possible signs your child is in the sway of one of these traffickers:

--Your child begins to use new slang and appear more sexualized. This is especially noticeable if parents and child were formerly close.

--Your child will not allow you access to his or her technology.

--Your child has a second cellphone or multiple accounts on the socials.

--Kids who run away or are thrown out of the home are approached within 48 hours. After 24 hours, the traffickers know they want and need food and safe shelter--they pounce.

--If your kid has a new boyfriend--particularly older. Older can be 18, remember, not some sleazebag 35-yr-old.

The antidotes? Love and care for your children, have family dinners, little talks, outings. Don't pay the cellphone bills and cut the kid loose in the world.

The world is a dangerous place.

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