Parents, help your kids wise up on predators
Any time there is a major event, such as the Super Bowl, human traffickers transport prostitutes to the area because of the abundance of men with expendable income (see earlier story). But sexual exploitation occurs every day in America in virtually every zip code, according to Nita Belles, founder of In Our Backyard, a group that is educating the public on sex trafficking.
Belles has written two books on the subject, especially with a focus on encouraging parents to work with their children so they aren’t lured into the hands of traffickers. One step, she says, is getting the passwords to children’s phones and computers and checking on their activities.
“These predators don’t come saying they’re predators,” Belles explains. “They come saying, You’re the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. I just like being with you. They tell the kids what they want to hear in order to lure them in. [So] know your children’s friends.”
At an appropriate stage, says the author, parents should have frank discussions with their children about trafficking to lessen their vulnerability.
“Get youth involved in positive things – community groups, sports, community service, church youth groups,” she encourages. “Surround them with positive peer pressure, watch out for who your kids’ friends are and just keep that line of communication open. But most of all, know what they’re doing with online technology.”
If parents equip their children with enough wisdom on the subject, Belles contends they will be less likely to be lured into the dangerous and sometimes deadly threat.