Episode 316 S10-7
Life After Slavery
The Bitter End Ch 7
The world is waking up to the realities of the modern-day slave trade. With efforts underway to rescue many victims from these horrific circumstances, we discuss what happens to these people when they return to the lives their captives stole from them. The chapter from The Bitter End also explores this topic as Gini rationalizes Erika’s relationship with her mentor, Patrick Bennet.
There are several things that most people don’t know about human trafficking. CRS.org highlights some specifics in their article 7 Things You May Not Know about Modern Day Slavery. Most importantly, human trafficking doesn’t necessarily involve a person physically transported from one place to another. Modern-day slavery could be happening in your hometown. Generally, slavers use people for sex, labor, domestic servitude, forced marriage, and organ removal. One in five people in slavery is a child. They use children for begging, sex trade, or warfare.
Poverty does increase the risk of being trafficked, but it is not the only reason. Other factors contributing are corruption, civil unrest, weak government, lack of access to education and jobs, family disfunction, lack of human rights, and economic disruptions.
Human trafficking is a very lucrative trade. The International Labor Organization puts it at a one hundred and fifty dollar industry per year. It happens everywhere, including the United States, and is most prevalent in California, New York, Florida, and Texas.
To stop it, we need to prevent, protect victims and prosecute offenders! Helping people in vulnerable situations in your community is vital.
HRW.org published a telling piece called What Happens When They Return Home. This article shines a light on women in Nigeria. It explains how women saved from slavery in Nigeria are often housed in orphanages or detained in detention centers! Government officials monitor their visitors and restrict their movement. After spending all the time as slaves, they face a severe lack of support services and continue a life of captivity. These women report feelings of depression, anxiety, insomnia, flashbacks that limit their ability to provide for their families. Lacking an understanding of their family member’s experience, their families blame them for these deficiencies they had no control over.
In the United States, Psychology Today reports, one of the most vulnerable populations is runaway teens. Once detained by slavers, these individuals are groomed to be a commodity. If rescued, they physically face STDs, cancer, infertility, heart disease, and urinary tract infections. Psychologically they struggle with PTSD, mood swings, eating and personality disorders, and addictions the slavers forced them to acquire while in captivity. The handlers isolate these individuals from the world for so long that they have to learn what current events happened while they were gone. They may have to relearn how to read and write. Most of them have no idea what to do with themselves now that they have the freedom to choose their path. Society expects them to “return to normal,” but they have no idea what that means. One of the best ways for these individuals to recover is by helping others facing the same circumstances.
Rescue.org published an article Rebuilding a New Life After Human Trafficking. They describe the life of an induvial brought to the US as a domestic servant. To keep them here, the handler threatened the individual with deportation and the promise of money for their family’s future. Luckily, this individual sought help from the International Rescue Committee (IRC), who contacted the Arizona League to End Regional Trafficking (ALERT). This league provides comprehensive case management, legal assistance, safety programs, employment, and physical and mental health services to modern-day slaves.
Unfortunately, there is no escape for victims of human trafficking or modern-day slavery. Many of these victims develop Stockholm Syndrome for their captors. They feel a closeness and sympathize with the needs of their captives, which causes them to marginalize the abuse. This coping mechanism may help them to survive the experience but often prevents them from seeking help.
Most enslaved people have visualized taking their own life and the experiences they had as a slave haunt them forever. Even children who returned to their parents face more than just their recovery. Their parents often struggle with the fact that their children were abused, and this trauma can further damage the children.
There are ways you can help! At CRS.org, you can purchase a gift for survivors to assist with their recovery. Prevention is key. People need to prosper at home.
If you think someone is being held against their will, do not hesitate to speak up!
Call 888-373-7888 to report human trafficking 24/7 and completely confidential.
The Changing Earth Series
Chin Gibson is the mystery prepper. Friend to all and known to none. His real identity hidden from the public, Chin is well known to the online prepper community as the go to resource for finding a community member to solve your problem. He is an awesome people connector and does his best to unite the voices educating the masses about being ready for a unforeseen life challenge. Chin will be joining Sara to co-host The Changing Earth Podcast.