Among both children and adults, there is little evidence that human trafficking is a widespread phenomenon in need of universal public awareness. In 2018, the National Human Trafficking Hotline received 10,949 reports of human trafficking, but these figures are based exclusively on anonymous calls and are not verified in any way. The hotline’s director, Caroline Diemar, said that many calls are simply vague suspicions — there’s a massage parlor on my street; I saw a suspicious family at the mall — that may reflect public anxiety about trafficking rather than trafficking itself.
The mismatch between the small number of confirmed cases and the large estimates that appear in anti-trafficking publicity campaigns (the U.S. Institute Against Human Trafficking, for example, says America has “potentially over a million” victims of sex trafficking) can’t be reconciled as underreporting. Other crimes for which victims are reluctant to come forward, including sexual assault and domestic violence, produce more confirmed cases each year.
I mean, if we are truly afraid for our children, we should be blanketing the airports and neighborhood baby-toy-swap groups with posters about the dangers of gun violence but that would make the NRA have a sad, so instead we have PREDATORS ARE SEXNAPPING YOUR CHILDREN!
(They are, but not the “your” usually implied in mainstream press coverage. Or the “they” for that matter.)
I don’t know what it is about this kind of thing that makes people WANT to freak out about their Suburban White Daughters. Like they look for a reason to freak even when you tell them this isn’t a thing you have to worry about.
Yikes! It’s a battle field out there. Predators every where.
I would be overjoyed this was a thing I could safely consign to the realm of Liam Neeson films. I spend all day every day worrying about my kid. It is all I think about. Right now she is in a top-rated public school with reasonable amounts of security with teachers she adores five blocks from home along a route she probably, in extremity, could travel by herself from memory. Mr. A works from home and can be there in 30 seconds. She knows my phone number. She knows our address. She has no known food allergies and she’s never shown any interest in chemicals or sharp knives and she’s smart enough to know to ask an adult before doing something that seems dodgy. She is as safe as it is possible to be as a middle class child in America.
And every single day I am barraged with thoughts of car accidents and sudden brain tumors and wandering off into a drainage ditch. I breathe a sigh of relief every time she wakes up in the morning. When I am away from her, as I have been every working day since she was 8 weeks old, all I can think of is the moment I can wrap all four of my limbs around her body and clutch her head to my neck.
So if you present me with evidence that one source of my anxiety (I am dealing with it, don’t comment that this is unhealthy, I KNOW IT IS) doesn’t exist, dear God, I’m not gonna yell at you.
Keeping myself paralyzed over the idea that this MIGHT happen to MY CHILD is just preventing me from doing something about what is actually happening to the children it’s actually happening to. Who also deserve someone to wrap themselves around them in protection.