A Message From The Sheriff
A MESSAGE FROM THE SHERIFF
I wanted to share with you some very important information about human trafficking that I believe is crucial to keep you - our community - better informed of the issues that are occurring in our county. Please share this with your circle of influence. Each of us can have a great impact on this human trafficking problem. Collectively, we can have an even greater impact. And just to remind you - if you see something, say something.
Sheriff Tim Ryals
Human Trafficking Overview
Human Trafficking is defined as the action of recruiting, transporting, transferring, harboring, or receiving a person through force, fraud, threat, abduction, or deception for the purpose of exploitation, including but not limited to: debt bondage, servitude, slavery, labor, Sex Trafficking, or Organ Trafficking. Anyone can be a victim - yourchildren, sister, brother, mother, father, aunt, uncle, grandchildren, friend, neighbor, or you.
- Force - Physical assault, sexual assault, rape, physical confinement, or isolation
- Fraud - Fraudulent employment offers, false promises about work or living conditions, or withholding wages
- Coercion - Threat to life and/or safety of family members or others, threat of deportation, withholding documents, debt bondage, creating a climate of fear, psychological and/or emotional manipulation
According to the law, anyone under the age of 18 and in any form of sex trafficking is automatically a victim, and they do not have to prove force, fraud, or coercion.
Recognize the Signs
- Noticeably older "boyfriend" or "girlfriend"
- Appears to be under someone else's control, watched at all times, and all or most of their contact with family and friends is controlled or monitored
- Does not manage their own money or their own money is largely controlled by someone else
- Lives with multiple people in a very cramped space
- Avoids eye contact and does not speak for themselves
- Appears to have scars or physical injuries, such as cuts, bruises, or burns
- Does not have possession or control of identification documents
- Changes in attitude, appearance (new clothes, accessories, tattoos), multiple phones, new friend group, etc.
- Exhibits emotional distress, depression, anxiety, nervousness, paranoia, etc.
- Tattoo/branding markings, such as a barcode, crown, numbers, rose, or name/initials of their "boyfriend"
- STDs or STIs, multiple pregnancies, or poor health
Did You Know?
- In the August 2017 ARBEST (Arkansas Building Effective Services for Trauma) report, Faulkner County and White County were cited as having the highest at-risk youth.
- An estimated 200,000 slaves are in the United States and hidden in plain sight.
- Human Trafficking is the fastest growing criminal industry in the United States, and according to the United Nations, has surpassed Drug Trafficking as the leading criminal enterprise.
- Human Trafficking generates more than $99 billion a year (data as of 2014)
- In the United States, approximately 600,000 to 800,000 people are being exploited. Of those, between 300,000 to 500,000 individuals are Sex Trafficking victims, and 98% of victims are female - half of who are under the age of 18.
- Human Trafficking exploits a reusable a product - a human. Drugs and guns can only be sold once, but a human exploited is sold again and again and again. On average, a woman who is a victim of trafficking will bring in $250,000 to $300,000 over the course of three years in slavery.
- 54% of victims were recruited by strangers, and 46% were recruited by people they know.
- Within 48 hours, 1 out of 3 runaways will be approached by a trafficker.
- The average age of a trafficking victim is 12 to 14 years old with many cases citing children as young as 8 years old.
- The growth in sales of child pornography has increased the demand for younger victims.
- Traffickers seek children in the foster care system, runaways, intellectually-delayed children, and children living with guardians other than their parents.
- Arkansas is experiencing an influx of gangs that run Human Trafficking rings.
What to Do
- People from every profession and season of life can have a positive impact on this crisis.
- If you are aware of or suspect trafficking, please do not attempt to remove the victim - call 911! If possible, take notice of what they look like, what they are wearing, and the location where you saw them.
- Share what you know. Talk to friends, family members, and coworkers about Human Trafficking.
- Take a stand. Join us in our fight to end Human Trafficking.
Organizations in Faulkner County
- Bethlehem House
- Choosing to Excel
- Conway Ministry Center
- Conway's Women Shelter
- Deliver Hope
- Harbor Home
- The CALL
- United Way
- Children's Advocacy Alliance
Support Businesses that Help Human Trafficking Victims and Survivors
- Exodus Cry
- Immerse Arkansas
- OUR Rescue
- Magdalene Serenity House
- Polaris Project
- Shared Hope International
- Nefarious: Merchant of Souls
- Operation Toussaint
- Very Young Girls
- What I've Been Through Is Not Who I Am
- Making of a Girl (A 5-minute video regarding commercial exploitation of children)
The National Human Trafficking Hotline: (888) 373-7888