Did you know January is National Human Trafficking Prevention Month?
Every year since 2010, the President has dedicated the month to raise awareness about human trafficking and to educate the public about how to identify and prevent this crime. According to the Polaris Project, in 2021, 10,359 situations of human trafficking were reported to the U.S. National Human Trafficking Hotline involving 16,554 individual victims. Shocking as these numbers are, they are likely only a fraction of the actual problem.
The Madison County Youth Bureau runs the Safe Harbour program, which offers supportive services to youth to 21 years of age, who have been trafficked, exploited or are at risk of victimization. Safe Harbour also offers trainings to community agencies, medical facilities, schools and the general public to raise public awareness and education on exploitation and trafficking of youth for both sex and labor.
Human trafficking can happen to anyone. Youth’s vulnerabilities can put them at higher risk of trafficking. Risk factors and possible indicators of trafficking seen with Madison County youth include contact with strangers on the internet, sexual risk taking on social media, having an older and/or controlling significant other, unaccounted money or goods, not attending school regularly, substance use, mental health concerns, involvement with the child welfare system and being a runaway or homeless youth. For more information or facts about Human Trafficking go to https://polarisproject.org/myths-facts-and-statistics/.
For more information visit https://www.madisoncounty.ny.gov/2674/Safe-Harbour or call (315) 366-2548 option 5. The National Human Trafficking Hotline is 1-888-373-7888 or Text BEFREE to 233733.