A friend of mine was so excited...she'd meet the man of her dreams. Handsome, well - to - do, educated, worldly and was madly in love with her. I was so swept up in her elation, I ignored the fact that they'd just met and only been on a few dates.
Fast forward a few weeks later, we talk and she shares a little bit more about this fabulous man - and it has me be slightly suspicious. As she continues to share I begin to notice a pattern that matches what traffickers do to lure women into their trap.
They met online - he had no picture on his profile.
He only came to see her.
He didn't invited her to where he lives, meet his friends or family.
The dates were late night - after 8pm.
He professes undying love and says he wants to marry her.
Always saying how excited he is to see her, then doesn't' show up
The excuses for not showing up when he says he would, sound really good.
Always very busy flying here and there to exotic places
Then it hits me - she's being set up to be trafficked. And she's in her late 30's - with children.
She was so upset about being 'abandoned' on her date that she didn't fully realize that she was being targeted. It didn't decrease the pain of being 'left', however, it did give her time to pause and be thankful that he didn't show up.
Since then, she's connected with her local police to report everything she had on him to ensure other woman won't fall prey to him.
Trafficking is serious business - one girl can generate up to $250,000 a year for a pimp. It's a 32 Billion dollar global business - growing faster than drug trafficking or guns.
It can be a challenge to meet amazing men - however, I believe they are out there. We must learn to trust ourselves, trust our gut instincts. Have your new man meet your friends quickly so they can get a read on them too. You are far to valuable to be taken away and thrust into slavery.
The links below are some great resources to educate yourself and your family on this silent crime. No one is immune. There is no age discrimination with trafficking.
Be aware, be diligent and be strong. Together we can stop the flow of women and young adults being seduced into this dark world.
Are you being Groomed to be Trafficked?
A Guide - are your children being targeted?
Trafficking in American Schools