Throughout Human Trafficking Awareness month in January, you likely saw social media posts, news articles, billboards, and more that highlighted the reality of this crime, both here in the U.S. and abroad.
This information may have been new to you, or you may have heard about it before, but you are now asking yourself, “How do I become involved in ending human trafficking and preventing it from ever happening?”
There are several steps you can take to receive the knowledge you need to be an equipped advocate in your community. We have outlined steps every advocate can take to obtain the foundational knowledge they need, understand the context of human trafficking in their community and their community’s response, and learn how they are uniquely positioned to engage.
Learn what human trafficking is. Human trafficking is complex, layered, and multi-faceted. To learn more and to volunteer or engage at any level, take the free Human Trafficking Awareness course offered by Justice U that will teach you what human trafficking is, what vulnerabilities exist, how to identify it, and how to respond. Also, check out the Engage Together® Human Trafficking 101 blog series to have some of your questions answered.
Find out how human trafficking is manifesting in your community. No community is immune to human trafficking. To address it in your community, you must learn what to look for. Begin by reading the Engage Together® Blog post.
Understand what it will take to stop it. It will take everyone working together to end human trafficking. We must be strategic. Take time to learn everything that has to be present in a community in order to end human trafficking and prevent it from happening in the first place. Understand the strategy that will help you know how to end it, both locally and abroad. This will help you discover where you are already connected and where you can additionally plug in.
Explore the possible ways to engage. The possibilities are limitless! Check out the Engage Together® Plus Toolkit Membership to see how all sectors across the U.S. are engaging. There are creative, innovative, and strategic ways that individuals, organizations, and sectors as a whole can participate. Find out how what you are already doing, what you are passionate about, and the network you have can be the launching points for making a difference.
Connect with your community to learn what is already being done. There are already numerous efforts in states and cities addressing human trafficking and vulnerabilities. Many communities are engaging across sectors to fill gaps. Find out how your community is responding by reaching out to your local law enforcement and/or task force. Ask if they have a list of providers/partners offering services and programs in the area.
Engage! You are needed in the fight to end human trafficking. With your gifts, skills, and talents, you can engage right where you are. Through the network you have and the people you interact with, you are already uniquely positioned.
- If you are an individual, sign-up for the Engage Together® Series and review our Occupational Profiles to see how professionals are perfectly positioned.
- If you are an organization or agency in your community, use the Community Assessment Tools found in a Toolkit Plus Membership to begin to understand what is happening in your community and how your group can specifically and strategically meet the community’s needs.
- If you are a church, the Engage Together® Church Teaching Series will equip you and your members with a unique action plan specific to your church.
Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to view the most recent resources, action items, and news. Check out the human trafficking resources and information on our website, sign up for Engage Together® communications to get monthly resources of existing efforts sent right to your inbox, earn your Human Trafficking Awareness Badge through our Justice U™ initiative and get equipped to increase your impact, or subscribe to an Engage Together® Toolkit Plus membership for many examples of existing national and local identification efforts.