There are signs. A lot of late-night male traffic to and from the same home, apartment or extended-stay hotel, or numerous women living in one location, might suggest a brothel. Same thing might apply to an unusually busy nail salon or massage parlor.
A young girl under the age of eighteen with a man’s name tattooed on her neck or ankle can indicate a pimp has “branded” her.
An older man, who is not the girl’s father, speaking for a younger girl. He may act as her interpreter. She may have multiple cell phones. She may also have signs of beatings, rope or cigarette burns. These are red flags.
According to Mary Frances Bowley, founder and CEO of Wellspring Living, a faith-based rescue and rehabilitation organization, “We know from a study done a few years ago by the Schapiro Group that 42 percent of calls for sexual services are coming from the suburbs outside Atlanta.” Wellspring Living helps women by providing a safe place to heal both physically and emotionally and begin to survive childhood sexual abuse and exploitation.
If you suspect human trafficking might be occurring near you, please contact local police. Several organizations are helping these girls become survivors. Two excellent choices are www.wellspringliving.org and www.outofdarkness.org.
Karen Huppertz has lived in Gwinnett County for 14 years. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.