Runaway teenagers are most vulnerable to become victims of human trafficking
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Human Trafficking is happening around the state of Alabama. And according to experts, teenagers running away from home are most vulnerable into becoming victims of human trafficking.
The Alabama District Attorney’s Association said one in three teenagers running away will be lured into human trafficking within two days of leaving home.
“A young person just has to be vigilant and diligent in not being susceptible to that. The problem is, it can happen before they really realize it,” said executive director, Barry Matson.
Carrie Hill is the co-founder of the Child Trafficking Solutions Project. She said most teenagers are either running from a troubled home or running to something.
“Then you have some kids where there’s not those kind of issues at home but they met someone on the internet or they have a friend that’s introduced them to someone,” said Hill.
Teenagers running from a troubled home make them an easy target for predators since they have some sort of trauma in their past, according to experts. Matson said it happens quicker than you think and a hard cycle to escape.
“When you don’t think you have any friends, you don’t think your family likes you and you don’t have a lot of resources, guess what, that’s most kids most days.”
It’s recommended you talk with your children about the dangers of strangers on the internet. That way if they find themselves in an uncomfortable situation, you have already opened the door to the conversation.
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