There are a number of reasons why survivors of human trafficking or domestic violence do not reach out for help. Whether it is a foreign born survivor or a U.S. citizen, a common factor that keeps a survivor from reaching out for help is fear.
In this video, I spoke specifically to foreign born survivors. In the immigrant communities, survivors hear all kinds of conflicting stories that prevent them from accepting help even when an advocate who has their best intentions show up or offer them help. For example, I worked with someone refused to go to the battered women’s shelter because she was told by friends and families that the people at the shelter are drug addicts.
There are many whose cultural practices or traditional beliefs prevent from getting help. I worked with a man who was constantly kneeling down to beg, a practice that is considered a taboo in his culture.
It is especially difficult for people in the immigrant population because they do not know or understand the efficacy of the resources that are available to them. I received an email some years ago through a form submission on Imprisoned Show from a male survivor that states, “For bukola. Just came across your story. Need to share my experience and the trafficking still going on against me. This lead to my being deaf and other health problems. Even this email, may be compromised because the crooks still hack into my emails and phones.”
Unfortunately, I couldn’t help this young man because, even though I called the national hotline on his behalf, I was told that he has to make a call to them by himself. In the past one or two years now, Polaris Project has been taking emails and text messages, which is a very great step, especially for individuals like the one I quoted in this post. There are survivors who may not have access to phone but might be able to access a computer to reach out for help.
I am using this opportunity to call on all survivors out there to reach out for help today. Watch the video below.
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Bye for now, until next time.