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Here's what YOU can do to prevent child trafficking

We've all heard, "SEE SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING," but what does that really mean?

Most of us don't really know what to look for and we're not entirely sure when or to whom we would say something.

We second guess ourselves when we see a kid who's out a little too late. Maybe he is a troublemaker who snuck out of the house. Maybe the old guy with the young girl is her uncle. Maybe the woman clutching tightly to the arm of that 13-year-old is a frustrated single mom just trying to get her daughter to listen to behave. Maybe we didn't really see what we thought we saw. Did we read something into an innocent situation? Just to be on the safe side, we decide to mind our own business.

We would all do what we could to keep children from being sold for sex if we only knew what to do. The good news is that there IS something we can do. It takes just seconds. It costs no money. You don't have take a course or become some kind of a Lone Ranger vigilante. Just read this article or skip ahead and watch the 1 minute video, and then share it. In about a minute you'll know what to look for and what to do if you ever see anything that doesn't seem quite right.

It really is that simple.

The difference between a child being sold for sex and being safe can be us watching for the 4 signs of possible trafficking and our willingness to report it to the proper authorities.

The following 4 things to watch for and 1 action to take are from the U.S. Department of Transportation combating human trafficking training. Of course these are not the only indicators of possible trafficking, but they will give you a basic understanding of the types of signs often associated with the trafficking of children.


Here are 4 things to watch for to prevent child trafficking:


1) Young people looking as though they're being controlled.

2) Young people who seem avoidant or withdrawn.

3) Young people who look as though they've been abused.

4) Young people who seem like they're unaware of their surroundings or situation.


Examples can include:

  • someone accompanying a young person who holds their ID, money and phone, speaks for them or interrupts them;

  • people who fail to make eye contact, or who seem paranoid, fearful, or mentally shutdown;

  • people who have bruises, cuts, broken bones, or who appear exhausted, malnourished, or who have bad hygiene;

  • people who appear to be unaware of their surroundings, who don't know the name of the person they're with or where they've been, or who talk about unrealistic plans for the future such as becoming an actress and making lots of money;

  • people who comment about having money or food withheld or who mention a quota.


The presence of any of these things is not necessarily an indication of trafficking, but make the report and let trained law enforcement determine whether or not what you've seen is actionable.


Here is the 1 action to take to prevent child trafficking:




If the person appears to be in imminent danger, call 9-1-1. If not, call or text the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 888-373-7888 or BEFREE (233733). This hotline is available 24/7/365 in multiple languages.


Helpful information you can provide includes:

  • Location, date and time last seen

  • Estimated gender, age, height, weight, any physical identifiers such as scars or tattoos

  • Mode of transportation (if any)

  • Any other information you notice


Do NOT investigate or confront on your own.

Do NOT alert the suspected victim or trafficker.

Always leave the investigation to trained law enforcement professionals.


If we can interrupt the process of even one buyer, we may save the life of a child.

If you're interested in learning more, here is a free video training by

I AM ON WATCH, a non profit organization dedicated to helping us all rise up and prevent human trafficking.

Here are ten things you can do to help stop human trafficking, provided by the HHS Office of Trafficking in Persons:

Did you know that survivors of childhood trauma are the #1 target of traffickers? We can prevent human trafficking by understanding the way traffickers exploit our vulnerabilities. Start by listening to the Ending Human Trafficking Podcast.

For more information on preventing child trafficking in Las Vegas, click here

Here is an update on what's being done in Las Vegas to prevent child trafficking.

TO REPORT A MISSING CHILD call 911 and NCMEC 8008435678 or


We are your successful survivor team. We are survivors of childhood trauma who have mined the lessons out of all we've been through. We use those lessons (character traits, learned abilities and healthy coping skills) to create successful lives. We are your tribe. We have been in hard places. We know the way out, and we can help you find the tools you need to create your successful life. Please join us in making a difference in the world here. Check out the podcast here--we'd love your input. We're stronger and more effective together.

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Please help us launch the PREVENT CHILD TRAFFICKING initiative in Las Vegas. 100% of your donation is tax deductible and is spent directly on meeting physical needs of those who are most vulnerable to traffickers--foster and homeless kids


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