How to protect yourself from human trafficking in Michigan

Michigan has the second highest rate in the United States

Any woman who has been on Facebook recently has seen the posts by concerned moms about human trafficking in Michigan.

Human trafficking is a dark trade of humans against their will, most commonly for forced labor and sex slavery.

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This prevalent concern, in part, is because Michigan has the 2nd highest human trafficking rate in the U.S., only falling behind Nevada.

The National Human Trafficking Hotline states that there have been at least 136 reports of trafficking in Michigan since the beginning of the year.

The stories about this have been widespread and astounding, whether it's the man convicted of human trafficking just two days ago, the warrants put out for the arrest of two Battle Creek men last Thursday, or any number of stories you might see circulating online, like the video of this husband:

Also prevalent are fearful stories posted on social media by all types of people who have been personally affected by this issue.

I know this isn’t exactly my story to tell, but it’s something that I feel should be shared. Keep in mind, I do not have…

Posted by Amy Jean Webb on Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Even though Governor Synder appointed a human trafficking team to help fight this issue back in 2015 and some cities started holding workshops that teach people how to identify the warning signs of human trafficking, it is clear that many people still don't feel safe.

A UMich freshman engineering student says that the idea terrifies her. "I feel like if I take a bus to the grocery store alone that I'm not going to make it back."

Some steps that the Human Trafficking Hotline recommends to take in the fight against this issue include: educating yourself about the myths of human trafficking, protecting yourself online, calling the hotline if you have a tip to report (1-888-373-7888), volunteering in your community, calling the police if you see anything suspicious, and remembering to always be aware of your surroundings and trying your best to be safe!

University of Michigan