The average child trapped in the sex trade will enter when they are just 12 years old. More than half of the people who are forced into human trafficking are children, and nearly 100,000 of these children are forced into prostitution or pornography. Unfortunately, this number is continuing to grow each and every year. As a parent, we all worry about the dangers of our children talking to strangers or being abducted. Fortunately, there are ways you can protect your children! Here are five things you can do as a parent to help protect your child from sex trafficking.
Talk to your children about sexual abuse and sex trafficking
Every two minutes, a person in the United States is sexually assaulted. Many of these people are between the ages of just 12-17 years old! It’s terrible to think, but younger children are at risk too. Because of this, it’s important to talk to your children early. Sexual abuse, sex trafficking, and human trafficking aren’t fun topics, but teaching them now could save their life. In addition to educating them about these topics, make sure they know what to do if they find themselves in a situation where this could happen. Preparing them now could save them from this fate later.
Pay attention to your children
While this applies to all ages, this is especially important for teenagers and children with access to social media accounts. Though you may feel like a nosy parent at times, it’s important to keep tabs on your children’s internet use. Create an open and honest relationship with them, and talk with them about what’s going on in their lives. Knowing their friends and who they talk to online isn’t a bad thing! In fact, it could help you protect them from potentially dangerous situations.
Know who the registered sex offenders are near you
Fortunately, sex offenders have to be registered. Once registered, they are not allowed in public parks or places where children could be. However, this doesn’t mean they can’t show up in your local grocery store or won’t be found walking down your street. Sit down and do your research to know who the registered sex offenders are near you. Make sure your children are aware of them as well.
Teach your children to question authority figures
Sadly, it’s not enough to just tell your children to find an adult. Children need to know which authority figures should be approached, and which should be avoided. Teach your kids about signs to look for, and numbers they can call if you can’t be reached. Children need to know what is considered okay and not okay, and what to do if an adult asks them to do something that is not okay.
Set a good example
The way you express and share
No matter where you live, these tips could not only help keep your child from falling victim to human trafficking but also help reduce the number of children who end up being trafficked as well! Remember to sit down and talk with your child and explain the dangers of human trafficking to them. One conversation now could help protect them in the future.
What tips do you have for protecting your children?