Tuesday, March 3, 2015

In the Know: A Survivor's Perspective March 2015 Lost in a World of Abuse and Trafficking – My Story by J. A. Elam

In the Know: A Survivor's Perspective March 2015

Lost in a World of Abuse and Trafficking – My Story

by J. A. Elam

Thank you Kylla Lanier and Truckers Against Trafficking for featuring my story this month! I also want to thank you for your passion and dedication to bringing and end to modern day slavery! You are a blessing and a beacon of hope for those without a voice! I cannot thank you enough for allowing me to share my story and reach into the darkness to pull all those suffering in silence into the light!
Warmest Regards,
Jerome Elam

In the Know: A Survivor's Perspective March 2015
Lost in a World of Abuse and Trafficking – My Story
by J. A. Elam

How To Identify A Human Trafficking Victim

•     Seems anxious, fearful or paranoid.  Avoids eye contact.
•    Tearfulness or signs of depression.
•    Unexplained bruises or cuts or other signs of physical abuse.
•    Appears to be in a relationship with someone who is dominating.
•    Never is alone and/or always has someone translating or answering questions on their behalf.
•    Not in control of their own finances.
•    Presents with secrecy or unable to answer questions about where they live.
•    Inconsistent details when telling their story.
•    Has no identification such as a license, passport or other ID documents.
    Inability to leave their job or residence.  Says they cannot schedule appointments.
    Being a recent arrival to the United States and does not speak English.
    Is under 18 and providing commercial sex acts.  Or at any age unwillingly providing commercial sex acts.
    Is afraid of law enforcement or receiving help from an outside entity.

If you can find an opportunity to get he/she alone, ask him/her the following screening questions:
     Can you leave your job or house when you want?
    Where did you get those bruises or is anyone hurting you?
    Do you get paid for your employment?  Is it fair?  How many hours do you work?
    (If foreign national) How did you get to the U.S. and is it what you expected?  Are you being forced to do anything you don't want to do?
    Are you or your family being threatened?
    Do you live with or near your employer?  Does your employer provide you housing?  Are there locks on doors or windows from outside?
    Do you owe debt to anyone?

If you suspect they are a victim of human trafficking,take the following actions:
    Ask the person if you can help them find a safe place to go immediately.
     If they need time, create an action plan with them to get to a safe place when they are ready.
     Call and make a report to the human trafficking hotline at 1.888.3737.888.  The hotline has language capabilities, so any individual can call directly if they choose.

The Department of Homeland Security online training about how to spot the signs of and report suspected human trafficking:

The Department of Homeland Security's Blue Campaign is now offering online training about how to spot the signs of and report suspected human trafficking. The training is aimed at the general public, the Federal workforce, first responders, and airline employees and focuses on:
    •    Defining human trafficking
    •    Differentiating between human trafficking and human smuggling
    •    Recognizing populations vulnerable to human trafficking
    •    Recognizing indicators of human trafficking   
A glossary and additional resources also are provided. View the Human Trafficking Awareness Training on the Department of Homeland Security's website:

Jerome Elam
Staff Writer and Columnist for Communities Digital News http://www.commdiginews.com
Read my column here:
A Heart Without Compromise; Advocating for Children:

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"The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing." - Albert Einstein

Always remember that you are never alone and that others have walked the healing path before you and are here to lift you up! Also remember that as survivors and victims, alone we may be strong but together we are unbeatable!

An End To Silence Blog is the copyrighted property of Jerome Elam. Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING CONTENT FROM AN END TO SILENCE BLOG OR ANY CONTENT WRITTEN BY JEROME ELAM WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.

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