Sadly, abductions of women and children are not an uncommon occurrence across the globe. Every day, people are kidnapped, abducted, lured or tricked out of their homes and public places, after which they are transported and exploited for sexual purposes.
Young women are typically the targets of this kind of modern slavery, and should take care to protect themselves as far as possible. Here are 6 tips to stay safe.
Be Aware of The Risk
Being aware of the fact that this is a global issue is the very first step to protecting yourself. When you know that sex trafficking is something that happens to women every day, you’ll automatically become more aware of where you go and what you do.
Make yourself aware by researching the topic and finding out how sex traffickers catch their victims and how to avoid this. Share everything you learn with those close to you to spread awareness.
Being vigilant when you go out is a key tip. Staying alert and making sure that you’re aware of what’s going on around you will help you to identify when something isn’t right.
Avoid using your phone while you’re walking or standing around, and keep your eyes up and alert to the people around you. Staying in public, busy spaces is also a great help – being surrounded by people means you’re less likely to be caught and taken.
Avoid Going Out Alone
While we all need and enjoy our alone time, try to keep this limited to when you’re at home, safe in your room. When going out, rather choose to take someone along with you that you trust. This goes for when you’re going for walks, exercising outdoors, going out for meals or coffee or even running errands.
Walking alone on the street, even in a busy area, can be dangerous.
Trust With Caution
Be careful with who you trust. Oftentimes, sex trafficking begins with a job offer or some kind of alluring opportunity. You might be approached in a shopping mall, at your school’s campus or even online, by someone who seems friendly and helpful.
While it’s not healthy to be mistrusting of everyone you meet, you’ll need to employ some level of uncertainty, especially when randomly met with enticing offers.
Keep in mind that women can be traffickers too, or work with a group – someone is not to be trusted simply because they aren’t a man.
Be Careful With Social Media
Watch out when sharing your location or personal details on social media. Pictures showing where you live or travel to regularly, tagging addresses (especially while you’re at the place) and posting about going out alone could lead to trouble.
It’s safest to keep your social media accounts private and visible only to friends and family that you approve of, especially for kids. However, if you prefer to have a public account, just be careful about what personal details you put out there for the world to see.
Use Tracking Apps
Nowadays, there are a few tools that can help us protect ourselves and stay connected to people who can protect us. Download a tracking app that uses the GPS on your phone to keep you connected to people you trust when you’re out and about.
These apps will send your live location to the people you choose to send it to, and will keep them up to date on where you are. They will be able to see if your GPS is in a location you weren’t supposed to go to and they might be able to help you by contacting the police.
Protect Yourself Physically
If you do end up in a situation where you’re under attack, you should be able to protect yourself physically in order to have a chance at escaping.
You could carry personal safety devices, personal alarms or pepper spray to ward off attackers or call for help.
Another idea is to take self-defence classes and learn how to protect yourself in the case of someone grabbing or attacking you. This could save your life in various different circumstances and is a good idea for any woman.
Unfortunately, you have to be ready for anything, and staying aware and protecting yourself in various ways is a priority.
Use your awareness, your gut instinct and various tools like your phone and alarms to keep yourself safe when you’re out and about (or even at home). Make sure that you and your loved ones are always safe by staying aware and alert.