I hope you are staying safe and well during this unique time.
I realize that for some of us, our general safety and safety from covid-19 do not co-exist. Some of us may be in or forced into situations that make us vulnerable to physical and/or emotional abuse as we become isolated by staying home/ social distancing, or become desperate through job loss. Current or past situations that make us vulnerable are what traffickers use to cunningly lure new victims.
With that in mind, I wanted to share resources I’ve compiled related to fighting human trafficking in the midst of covid-19.
This information will be released in 4 parts over the course of 4 days. These parts include: 1.Help for basic necessities, safety, and healing, 2. Awareness, 4.Specialities, and 3.Giving. Today’s blog post includes resources for Help for basic necessities, safety, and healing.
During this time of covid-19, you may find yourself unemployed, unable to find work, and desperate to do whatever it takes to survive and/or provide for your family. You may also need to get out of an abusive situation or find healing because of current or past abuse.
Traffickers look for desperation and current and/or unhealed wounds to exploit.
The offers traffickers make, and even the traffickers themselves, usually appear like the perfect solution. But when the trafficker becomes abusive, you cannot pay off a “debt” they have imposed, or you are physically and/or psychologically trapped, the true motives of someone with “the perfect solution” are revealed. Not to help you, but exploit you.
This is why I have included the following resources. Turn to these solutions for help rather than falling prey to the lures of a trafficker.
If you are in immediate danger, call 911!
If you need assistance finding food, paying housing bills, or other essential services, use this link or dial 211 to speak to someone that can help.
And please reach out to the U.S. National Human Trafficking Hotline if you or someone you know is in a sex or labor trafficking situation by calling 1-888-373-7888 (TTY: 711), texting 233733, or chatting here.
This link leads to resources for Virginians specifically. If you scroll down you will see a list of resource links for different people in different situations and ways to apply for assistance.
This link leads to the National Domestic Violence Hotline website. Their “advocates are available 24/7 at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) in more than 200 languages. All calls are free and confidential.” TTY: 1-800-787-3224.
You can also chat online and/or follow these hyperlinks to learn how abusers monitor victims without them realizing it and how abusers use covid-19 to exert more power and control over victims.
This is the link to the national sexual assault telephone hotline website. Call 800.656.HOPE (4673) for “confidential support from a trained staff member.” One of the many things the hotline can help with is referrals for long term support in your area. You can also “chat online with a trained staff member who can provide you confidential crisis support.”
This link is from the anti-trafficking organization Safe House Project. It is information on a free app that has voice activation, GPS location, direct to 911 connection, and evidence collection. When activated via voice command, critical data is captured that can help prosecute criminals who have historically gotten away with abuse.
These two links are resources for those struggling with acting out sexually to the point that it is no longer controllable. Also referred to sometimes as sexual addiction. The first link is for those struggling and the second is for anyone who knows or has been affected by someone with that struggle.
There is no shame in receiving the help you need to bring healing to yourself and impact your future and the future of others positively.
This link leads to an app that is “an online support community for men and women – young and old – seeking lasting freedom from pornography.”
“Fortify users report an 85% decrease in depressive symptoms…Over 90% reported that Fortify helped move them toward longer-term change…Users report an 88% reduction in porn use.”
This is a link to further resources regarding covid-19 from Virginia Senator Tim Kaine.