Mariah was previously the Program Manager of End Slavery Now. She graduated from the University of Cincinnati's DAAP program with a degree in Digital Design.
Sex trafficking exists within the larger commercial sex industry. Not all participants in the commercial sex industry are victims of trafficking, but many are. It becomes trafficking when someone is forced or coerced into the commercial sex trade against their will. Sex trafficking is found in escort services, at truck stops, in strip clubs, within street prostitution, in fake massage parlors and on internet networking and advertisement spaces. Read more about recognizing slavery here.
Sex traffickers target vulnerable women, girls and boys and then execute a psychological and physical grooming process aimed at transitioning them to a dependent role. Using violence, substance abuse, false promises and manipulation, traffickers then abuse the dependency and soon have physical and mental control over their victims. Learn about the stages of this grooming process below and learn how to identify situations that may include the crime of human trafficking. And if you recognize something suspicious, report a tip to the National Human Trafficking Hotline (includes a hotline database for countries outside of the U.S.).
Consider voting for Freeset Bags & Apparel in the FedEx Small Business Grant Contest. The grant would fund training for 50 women at-risk of or coming out of sex slavery.
April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Take the opportunity to learn about sex trafficking.