Ending modern day slavery

The presence of human trafficking is much closer to home than you may imagine. Just how close?

by Kate Anastas, contributing writer

You may have seen someone with it walking around in the grocery store.

You may have seen it on the news. If you’ve been on social media lately, you’ve definitely noticed it all over Instagram pictures or on Facebook news feeds.

It’s thousands of people posting pictures displaying a large, red X marked on their hand, mostly accompanied with the simple hashtag- “End it”.

It’s people creating a trend that has spread awareness to one of the greatest yet most silent human violations in our current world.

And that is human trafficking. Although there is a growing amount of consciousness and efforts being made to stop human trafficking, many don’t realize fully understand the reality or how close these incidents are to their home.

never underestimate the power of the red x
Approximately 20 to 30 million slaves in the world, and between 14,000 and 17,500 people being trafficked into the U.S. each year.

Before you pick up the red sharpie and join those with the signature red X on their hand, here’s some facts you should know and ways you can help locally.

First, there are approximately 20 to 30 million slaves in the world, between 14,000 and 17,500 people being trafficked into the U.S. each year.

There is a common misconception that these cases are only found in crime rate high, urban cities, however, research shows that it is just as prevalent in rural areas.

First, there are approximately 20 to 30 million slaves in the world, between 14,000 and 17,500 people being trafficked into the U.S. each year.

There is a common misconception that these cases are only found in crime rate high, urban cities, however, research shows that it is just as prevalent in rural areas.

The 2013 Geography of Trafficking in Tennessee shows us that there are at least eight counties showing to have more than 100 cases of sex trafficking cases—one of those being Hamilton County.

Human trafficking isn’t always what everyone thinks. It’s not always a pedophile sitting in a white van outside of a playground. It’s not always the older male online talking to young girls in a chat room. It also could be a friend’s dad. Or be instigated by a family member.

Sexual slavery takes forms in many ways.

It starts by luring in and brainwashing and ends in abuse, neglect, or even death.

The facts:

In the United States, on average, every two minutes, a child is bought or sold for sex

The average age of a child sold for sex is 13 years old

Human trafficking is the second-fastest growing criminal industry, just behind drug trafficking

Source: Tennessee Bureau of Investigation

How can you get involved as Chattanooga State student or in our community to end modern day slavery?

You can join the Social Justice club here on campus created by some of the Social & Behavioral Sciences professors.

This specific club discusses social justice issues and how we can deal with them, one of those being human trafficking.

It’s an opportunity to meet and connect with other students that have the same desire to stop this movement.

The Chatt Sync page keeps you updated on when and where the SJC meets.

You can also become involved by becoming a part of the Chattanooga Coalition Against Human Trafficking.

Its goals are to raise awareness, equip first responders to human trafficking, and restore victims that have been affected.

They post events on their Second Life of Chattanooga Events calendar that you can attend that have the motivating factor to inform people about human trafficking, “Never underestimate the power of the simple red X.”

Because of this, many people are starting to recognize this as a real social issue.

Find ways to get involved in your community. Be a voice for those that don’t have one.