by alyssa helsel
Human trafficking is the modern-day form of slavery which broadcasts internationally. It is the fastest growing criminal industry in the world. Earlier in January, two men were found and arrested for holding two underaged girls captive andforcing them to do sexual acts. Occurrences of this illegal activity appear to be rare, but off of Rancho California Road, outside of Claim Jumper, a woman was approached by a man who repeatedly asked her on a date. She contacted the police and the man turned up to be a wanted human trafficker for holding a girl hostage for two years; this was made public on Temecula Patch May 17, 2018.
Sex trafficking has exploded in recent years, becoming an epidemic problem nationwide. The Sheriff’s Department created a specialized unit, with special training, called the Riverside County Anti Human Trafficking Task Force to hunt down traffickers. The majority of their cases consist of the victim escaping or a citizen notifying the police. Micheal McCreary, Deputy Sheriff for Riverside County, expresses that sex trafficking is, “increasing on a daily basis. I have numbers that are a few years old but they are so much larger now than back then.” In an article from the Police Department, there are “27 million slaves currently worldwide today.” When asked where the majority of these crimes take place, Deputy McCreary responded, “Honestly, this can happen next door to you. You can go on for years without the knowledge of it.” There is no clear way of telling whether a place is conducting themselves in business or not. The exterior surroundings may seem normal, but human trafficking can be conducted in houses, businesses, as well as other places that remain uncovered.
Deputy McCreary asserted that the greatest way to prevent acts like this is, “having a close, good family foundation. A lot of these cases,especially with young people, come from broken families. They might’ve had an abusive upbringing, or suffered some form of sexual abuse in the past, where they ran away and got caught up in the human trafficking or sex trafficking world because they are promised a better future.” Unfortunately, the majority of people who get swept up in human trafficking are underaged. Another way of preventing incidents like these are by trusting instincts or gut reactions. Victims are not usually allowed to come and go freely. Victims also act standoffish or lacks communication skills with other people. A large amount of human trafficking does not mean the victim is locked up in a cage.
Sex trafficking is much more common than many people think. It can happen within the friendliest of neighborhoods or the unexpected corners of streets nearby. If something does not feel right, police departments encourage citizens to call them because it is always better to be safe than sorry.