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How to recognize human trafficking in schools

To stop human trafficking in schools, staff should educate themselves on the signs that their students who have been victimized may show.

As they live their normal day-to-day lives, people in Texas don’t typically get exposed to the scenarios of human trafficking that are happening all the time. Despite the lack of awareness, it is a real issue that affects people’s families and communities at large. There is a real epidemic of people’s rights being taken away as they are sold into a trade that will destroy their lives. Due to the hidden nature of these crimes, human trafficking can happen in the most public of places with nobody ever becoming wise.

The most vulnerable communities

Human trafficking is a significant issue that the Texas Attorney General has set as a priority to solve. One of the last places that anyone wants to have to deal with this phenomenon is unfortunately one of the more common places that predators will target: schools. Because of the importance of protecting some of the most vulnerable people-children-what follows will be a guide to identifying the signs of human trafficking in these environments.

The signs that things are not okay

While it is good to be vigilant and protective of the younger generation, it is also good not to jump to conclusions. That is why if a student is showing some of the issues stated in the following list from Texas State University, it is a good idea to report the suspected crime to the Department of Family and Protective Services, or to Law Enforcement, to allow them to do a full investigation, rather than for someone to take matters into their own hands:

· Social signals that may indicate a child is involved in sex trafficking could be if they online profile is hyper-sexualized, or if they are seeing someone romantically who if much older.

· Problems with anxiety and depression can be a thing a lot of teens deal with, but if these issues appear suddenly without apparent cause, there may be more to it.

· One red flag that indicates someone needs help is if he or she has bruises or other signs of physical abuse.

· Academic struggles can just mean that a student needs more practice-but can again be a sign of deeper problems if they develop suddenly and at the same time as other things on this list.

It is important for school personnel to remember that while they may not be able to fix everything by themselves, that being aware of the above signs and promptly reporting anything that seems wrong can save kids’ lives.

Anyone in Texas who has had his or her life affected negatively by human trafficking, or who has struggled with allegations of this type of abuse, will be want to have confident representation that will see that the truth comes to the surface. An attorney in the local area who practices criminal law may be able to help in such matters.