With a stunning 10 million Americans losing their jobs in the past two weeks and young teens stuck at home, desperation and ample time for online grooming will certainly cause a spike in victimization. “Pre teens and teens at home alone with their parents for days on end due to school closures will be groomed by predators online,” the advocate told The Daily Wire. “They will be promised a ‘better life’ if they run away. The national average run away is trafficked within 48 hours of leaving home.” Parents and Guardians need to be “extra vigilant” when monitoring their child’s online activity during the quarantine.
Generally, the most at-risk populations include “those experiencing homelessness, addiction, poverty both rural and urban, immigrants, LGBTQ, indigenous populations, people of color,” the advocate said, “and the new addition… everyone. Any parent that will do whatever it takes to feed their child in a moment of desperation is at risk. Anyone living paycheck to paycheck, with no paycheck, is at risk.” For anyone who is “right on the edge,” as Bleu put it, “please pause before considering sex work.” The advocate asked the vulnerable to call 1-888-373-7888, the National Human Trafficking Hotline, which is always available, “completely confidential and non judgmental.” Or folks can text HELP to 233733, visit HumanTraffickingHotline.org, or reach out to Bleu via Twitter.
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