In the popular movie Taken, Bryan Mills’ daughter is abducted and sold into sex trafficking. The rest of the film shows Mills taking down everyone in his path in order to find his daughter.
Many people have this movie as their only frame of reference when it comes to human trafficking. Americans think that this only happens overseas and does not happen here in our own towns and cities across our country. Unfortunately, this is not the case.
Yvonne Williams, founder of Trafficking in America Task Force spoke at East Carolina University last Thursday as part of a Passport event conducted by the ECU Honors College. She spoke on how trafficking is a huge problem in America as well as around the world. She made a significant point during her lecture. Many victims of domestic minor sex trafficking, in the United States and the rest of the world, come from fatherless homes.
Now let’s think about this. Americans, most often than not, assume that the parents of these children and teenagers, who go missing, are seeking out their children. Their fathers much like Bryan Mills in Taken, are hunting for them, just not in the same unrealistic manner portrayed in the film. These fathers of trafficked children are pursuing the criminals and trying to find their daughters and sons. We all assume, that they care and love their children and will do anything to help them.
So what happens to these children that do not have fathers? Who is going to come save them? What about those children who are orphaned? Those who do not have a caring family or a loving mother? What happens to them? Whose job is it to actively pursue the perpetrators and victims of domestic minor sex trafficking?
That responsibility is ours and I challenge those reading this post to think about it and take it upon yourselves to make a difference. To defend, pursue, and protect the often fatherless victims of human trafficking around the world. Do not assume someone else will because what will happen if that person does nothing?
– Margaret Morris, Intern and Federal Work Study Student for ENC Stop Human Trafficking Now