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The Trauma of Human Trafficking

By Tricia Andor, Licensed Professional Counselor

As I’ve mentioned before, the types of events that can bring about a traumatic reaction in a person lie on a continuum, sometimes referred to as “capital ‘T’ traumas” and “lower-case ‘T’ traumas.”

Today I’m highlighting a capital “T” trauma, human trafficking. Because of the hidden nature of this hideous crime, many remain unaware of its prevalence.

Here are a few of the statistics:

  • Number of people trafficked across international borders every year: 800,000. (This does not count millions who are trafficked within their own countries.) (Source: U.S. Department of State, Trafficking in Persons Report: 2007)
  • Number of foreign nationals trafficked into the United States every year: 14,500 – 17,500. (Source: DOJ, HHS, DOS, DOL, DHS, and USAID. Assessment of U.S. Government Efforts to Combat Trafficking in Persons: June, 2004)
  • “Impact of human trafficking goes beyond individual victims; it undermines the safety and security of all nations it touches.” (Source: Ron Hampton, University of Nebraska – Lincoln)

In the United States

  • Cases of human trafficking have been reported in all 50 states. According to U.S. government estimates, thousands of men, women, and children are trafficked to the United States for the purposes of sexual and labor exploitation.
  • 70% of female victims are trafficked into the commercial sex industry. 30% of female victims are victims of forced labor. (Source: U.S. Department of Justice, Assessment of U.S. Government Activities to Combat Trafficking in Persons: 2004.)

As a therapist, Christian, and human being, I am deeply concerned about the rescue, freedom, and healing of people who have suffered this type of violence, abuse, and injustice.

Learn more

For more info on human trafficking, visit the Polaris Project. This is an excellent, easy to navigate site for getting the statistics and facts to better understand the scope of this atrocity.

Another similar site: humantrafficking.org

Young Christian women raising awareness about human trafficking (via CBN)

Read about what the Christian Medical and Dental Association (CMDA) is doing to address human trafficking .

And here is a photo story from the United Nations.