Here are a few tips on what we can do as parents, guardians and adults to protect our kids.
1. Educate your kids about human trafficking. That it is here, what it looks like and to talk to you or another responsible adult if they think they see it. Give them tips to help them recognize the indicators.
2. Communicate with your kids and let them talk to you without judgment. They need to know they are safer with you than anywhere else.
3. Technology is a big part of how sex trafficking happens with youth. Know your kid’s passwords, know what is on their phone. A good rule is “as long as you live under our roof, we have access to passwords, emails, texts, etc.” Your child’s privacy is important but so is their safety. If you talk to parents whose children have been sex trafficked, without exception, they will all tell you they wish they had monitored their computers, cell phone and activities on social media.
4. Know your kid’s friends. Have them over to your home. Feed them a pan of brownies, a batch of cookies and sit down and talk with them. Know where they hang out and what they are like.
5. Get youth involved in positive things, community groups, sports, music, community service, and church youth groups. Surround them with positive peer pressure.