Familiarize yourself with some of the key indicators of child exploitation

DECATUR, Ala. – January is known as National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month.

One in six endangered runaways in the U.S. commonly become a victim of human trafficking, according to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. The signs of human trafficking are very inconspicuous and they often go unnoticed.

Decatur Police Department shares some of the key indicators of child exploitation. Your knowledge could save a life.

Red Flags :

• Be alert of younger individuals. Youths between the ages of 10-21 are the most vulnerable to human trafficking. Many are adolescents who come from troubled homes. Exploitation often occurs when teens attempt to flee an already-difficult home situation.

• Checks for marks if you make contact with suspected victims. Injuries like cuts, bruises, or burns can signify abuse. Other signs are malnourishment or neglect of pre-existing health issues.

• Watch for social strains. There are signs to watch for if you speak with someone you believe to be the victim of human trafficking.  Some behaviors include failure to make eye contact, fear, anxiety, nervousness, or potential evidence of an addiction.

See something, say something:

If you believe that someone is being exploited, contact your local law enforcement agency immediately.

Your words could make all the difference.

More Information:

Visit the Department of Defense’s resource toolkit.

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