The real battle in our backyard

Every day I wake up and ask if I can make a difference? It is one thing to recognize that there is a true battle going on in our backyard, it is another to do something about it. Human trafficking is going on all around us, yet it is most often unrecognized, or never reported. I live on the I-95 Corridor and have traveled I-95 many times over the past thirty years. It is hard to imagine that the I-95 Corridor is one of the biggest human trafficking pipelines in the world. It is hard to believe that truck stops, rest stops, bus stations, and all kinds of businesses up and down this pipeline are hubs for the sex trade. It is also hard to believe that young children are being exploited at all of these locations. The average age for a human trafficking victim right now is 13 years old. That is hard for our brains to compute. Cognitive dissonance is a condition we all have where what we believe is in conflict with reality. Generally humans choose to “un-see” what is too alarming for their brains to handle. Could our brains recognize an eight year child being forced into the cab of a truck at a truck stop, or a teenaged girl waiting without reason at night in a rest area? I-95 is not the only pipeline in the US. Trafficking goes on in every neighborhood, in every town, and in every county.

Another human trafficking battle we may not see is what happens when women are trafficked, purely for the enjoyment of those who are trafficked. This double negative is another one that is hard to wrap my brain around. The cartel has smuggled women from Mexico into the US in order to make money off of the men they have smuggled into the US. A recent human trafficking case in Georgia uncovered an operation where women were taken to migrant worker camps and forced to have sex with up to 50 men in a row for $25 apiece. The money was handed right over to the pimps who then took the women to the next migrant camp. The Cartel not only made millions from this endeavor, they also made millions off of the migrant workers whom they smuggled into the US in the first place.

How can we fight back? We at Captive Audience would argue that you need to train your brain to recognize what normal looks like before you can detect abnormal. I call it “Get your head out of your app!” Americans have become oblivions with their eyes constantly focused on their cell phones. We have lost the ability to pay attention to our surroundings. We have also lost the ability to recognize when something is not right. The biggest and perhaps most important thing you can do today to fight back is to pull your head out of your app, and start paying attention to what right looks like. We talk about 360 degree situational awareness in our book 365 Days of Survival. We will talk about this more in our next article. Please share this with your friends, as this may be your opportunity to fight back today. Have a solid weekend, and train hard.

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