The following excerpt from the September 2014 ARTA Newsletter is based on materials from the Northern Virginia Human Trafficking Initiative.
" What is Human Trafficking?
A few months ago a man was arrested in Annandale for illegally bringing in a number of women from Korea. He kept them in a house on Backlick Road and forced them to work at his Karaoke bars in Annandale as “hostesses”. A local high school girl met a young man at a local mall who suggested that she could make easy money since she was so pretty. Meeting him later, she was severely beaten and forced to become one of many girls working for him in fear of her life.
This is human trafficking. Human trafficking is an issue that no one wants to discuss, but it is happening around us in Northern Virginia. According to Fairfax County police, gangs in our area have discovered human trafficking to be a very lucrative business, even better than selling drugs. It could be happening next door! It is important for all of us to recognize the signs. It generally involves two main categories, sex trafficking and labor trafficking.
Here are some signs of which we, as concerned citizens, should be aware.
• Persons are not free to come and go from a residence or work site and are isolated from the community.
• People are living on a worksite.
• Workers are not paid, paid little, or pay is confiscated.
• Locations are visited by men at all hours for relatively short periods of time.
• Locations have darkened windows and or bars on the windows.
• Young people are soliciting sale of goods during school hours or have unexplained injuries, unusual amounts of money, clothes, expensive items, additional cell phones, and hotel keys.
The key issues in human trafficking are control, manipulation, or confinement. As former teachers, we tend to be more observant of unusual behavior. If you observe circumstances in the community where you see individuals controlled, confined, exploited, or manipulated, report your observation to the appropriate authority. To learn more about this situation, you can call
1-888-373-7888 or please go to the website: www.polarisproject.org."