How You Can Help
Tips for Recognizing Victims of Trafficking
- Understand the different forms of trafficking: labor or sex trafficking
- Visible Indicators of Trafficking
- Understand the profile of a trafficked person
- Health Characteristics of a Trafficked Person
- Signs that a person is being held as a slave
- Questions to ask if you suspect you are in the presence of a trafficking victim
Different forms of trafficking
Victims of sex trafficking are often found in the streets or working in establishments that offer commercial sex acts, i.e. brothels, strip clubs, pornography production houses. Such establishments may operate under the guise of:
- Massage parlors
- Escort services
- Adult bookstores
- Modeling studios
- Bars/strip clubs
People forced into indentured servitude can be found in:
- Sweatshops (where abusive labor standards are present)
- Commercial agricultural situations (fields, processing plants, canneries)
- Domestic situations (maids, nannies)
- Construction sites (particularly if public access is denied)
- Restaurant and custodial work.
How Do People Get Trapped Into Sex or Labor Trafficking?
No one volunteers to be exploited. Traffickers frequently recruit people through fraudulent advertisements promising legitimate jobs as hostesses, domestics, or work in the agricultural industry. Trafficking victims of all kinds come from rural, suburban, and urban settings.
There are signs when commercial establishments are holding people against their will.
Visible Indicators of Trafficking
Visible Indicators May Include:
- Heavy security at the commercial establishment including barred windows, locked doors, isolated location, electronic surveillance. Women are never seen leaving the premises unless escorted.
- Victims live at the same premises as the brothel or work site or are driven between quarters and “work” by a guard. For labor trafficking, victims are often prohibited from leaving the work site, which may look like a guarded compound from the outside.
- Victims are kept under surveillance when taken to a doctor, hospital or clinic for treatment; trafficker may act as a translator.
- High foot traffic especially for brothels where there may be trafficked women indicated often by a stream of men arriving and leaving the premises.
Trafficking victims are kept in bondage through a combination of fear, intimidation, abuse, and psychological controls. While each victim will have a different experience, they share common threads that may signify a life of indentured servitude.
Trafficking victims live a life marked by abuse, betrayal of their basic human rights, and control under their trafficker. The following indicators in and of themselves may not be enough to meet the legal standard for trafficking, but they indicate that a victim is controlled by someone else and, accordingly, the situation should be further investigated.
Profile of a Trafficked Person
What Is the Profile of a Trafficking Victim?
Most trafficking victims will not readily volunteer information about their status because of fear and abuse they have suffered at the hands of their trafficker. They may also be reluctant to come forward with information from despair, discouragement, and a sense that there are no viable options to escape their situation. Even if pressed, they may not identify themselves as someone held in bondage for fear of retribution to themselves or family members. However, there are indicators that often point to a person held in a slavery condition. They include:
- Health Characteristics of a Trafficked Person:Trafficked individuals may be treated as disposable possessions without much attention given to their mental or physical health. Accordingly, some of the health problems that may be evident in a victim include:
- Malnutrition, dehydration or poor personal hygiene
- Sexually transmitted diseases
- Signs of rape or sexual abuse
- Bruising, broken bones, or other signs of untreated medical problems
- Critical illnesses including diabetes, cancer or heart disease
- Post-traumatic stress or psychological disorders
- Other Important Signs:In addition to some of the obvious physical and mental indicators of trafficking, there are other signs that an individual is being controlled by someone else. Red flags should go up for police or aid workers who notice any of the following during an intake. The individual:
- Does not hold his/her own identity or travel documents
- Suffers from verbal or psychological abuse designed to intimidate, degrade and frighten the individual
- Has a trafficker or pimp who controls all the money, victim will have very little or no pocket money
Questions to ask if you suspect you are in the presence of a trafficking victim
- Is the person free to leave the work site?
- Is the person physically, sexually or psychologically abused?
- Does the person have a passport or valid I.D. card and is he/she in possession of such documents?
- What is the pay and conditions of employment?
- Does the person live at home or at/near the work site?
- How did the individual arrive to this destination if the suspected victim is a foreign national?
- Has the person or a family member of this person been threatened?
- Does the person fear that something bad will happen to him or her, or to a family member, if he/she leaves the job?
Anyone can report suspected trafficking cases. If the victim is under 18, U.S. professionals who work in law enforcement, healthcare, social care, mental health, and education are mandated to report such cases. Through a grass-roots community-wide effort and public awareness campaign, more professionals on the front line can readily identify the trafficking victim and have him/her treated accordingly.
WASHOUGAL, Wash. (KOIN) — Brett Marquiss smiled and laughed when he talked about where he lives in Washougal.
“This is our home town and we like it and we’re here to stay,” he said of the house on Aberdeen Drive, a few miles from downtown.
Brett, nearly 22, and his 23-year-old brother Michael are squatters. They’ve been squatting at this house for a while, since their parents were the last renters and moved out.
“We haven’t done anything really illegal. We’ve just moved in and everything,” he said. “Maybe we are squatters but we still have rights.
Neighbor Carla Baines told KOIN 6 News the house went into foreclosure around the time the brothers’ parents moved out.
The owner, Sarah Lightner, lives in Winthrop, Washington, about 8 hours north. Serving an eviction notice would cost her about $1500, money she told KOIN 6 News in an email she doesn’t have.
“We’re in a completely gray area and nobody wants to take responsibility for the home,” Baines said.
“Because (Lightner) walked away from the property and gave it up for foreclosure, she has no motivation at all the spend the money to help us,” Baines said.
Another neighbor, Jim Bybee, said sometimes the Marquiss brothers shoot guns at night and race cars around the house.
Brett Marquiss doesn’t see the problem. “If it’s during the day, I don’t see what the big deal is, you know?”
Neighbors also say the brothers are picking the place apart and selling it online — trees and perimeter fencing, among other items.
“I don’t know why they thought that we were selling it,” Marquiss said.
The fact the house is in foreclosure and an eviction notice is not imminent means they will likely stay at the house for a while.
DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. —
In Tsarnaev trial: The middle finger seen ’round the world
Boston (CNN)It’s the image we’ll always remember: the Boston Marathon bomber flipping the bird.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, already well on his way to being the most hated man in Boston, raised his middle finger to a surveillance camera in his cell at the federal courthouse on July 10, 2013. Later that day, he was arraigned on the 30 counts he now stands convicted of — setting off the weapons of mass destruction that killed three people at the marathon’s finish line and fatally shooting a campus cop between the eyes.
For prosecutors, the image of a defiant defendant, middle finger raised in profane insult, was pure gold. It made it so much easier to demonize Tsarnaev, to argue that he should pay for his crimes with his life.
The battle over the control of images and their spin has always been essential to this case. When Tsarnaev’s tousle-haired, softly lit selfie appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone, a retired cop was so incensed that he leaked some far less glamorous photos of the defendant. In those, Tsarnaev was bloodied and a laser targeted his forehead as he surrendered in a backyard in Watertown, Massachusetts.
There are so many other images, almost too many to count, and they can’t and shouldn’t be overlooked. They show the people who are no longer here, and the others who lost part of themselves in the blasts of April 15, 2013.
They’re what this trial is really all about.
Federal prosecutors rested their case Thursday after presenting three days of powerful victim impact evidence. One image that sticks with me is a candid photo of Chinese grad student Lingzi Lu grinning and wearing Minnie Mouse ears. Living in the United States was her big adventure, and it lasted just seven months.
Like most of her generation from China, Lingzi was an only child. Her parents, who had expected her to care for them in their old age, encouraged her to pursue her advanced studies in Boston. When she died, they did not take her back to China. They said she was a part of Boston, now, and buried her here in a pink bridal dress and a tiara. Her mother placed a gold hope bracelet on her wrist, and a matching one on her own, before heading back to China.
Lingzi, her aunt said, “was a beautiful nerd.”
Two memorable photos tell us who Krystle Campbell was. In one, she wears a frilly red costume and tap shoes. As she got older, her father said, she chose tomboy pursuits. She was always his “Princess,” but he seemed proudest of the photo of her in a baseball uniform. She played hardball as a kid, holding her own against the boys. “She had a pretty good arm,” he said. And she could hit.
She also had a wide grin and can-do spirit that won friends easily. She was the glue in her family, the one who rounded up all the aunts, uncles and cousins for big gatherings. And, she was the one person her brother felt understood him.
The MIT officer who was killed, Sean Collier, wanted to be a cop his whole life. He came from what his stepfather called a “Brady Bunch family” — six kids from two marriages. He had two sisters named Jennifer — “dark-haired Jennifer” and “redhead Jennifer,” the family called them.
Collier wouldn’t kill bugs, always setting them free outside, his brother said. And when they played cops and robbers, he was always the cop.
His essence was forever captured in a photo showing his mom pinning a badge on his chest at his police academy graduation. His face shines with pride.
“That was probably the happiest day of his life,” said his stepfather, Joe, who works for the state attorney general.
And then there is Martin Richard, who was 8 when he died the most horrific death imaginable. A writer friend of mine once pondered after a school shooting how one writes an obituary for a child. If it was a good life, he observed, there wouldn’t be much to say because it would be uneventful and filled with simple, ordinary pleasures.
And so we are left with images of Martin and his gap-toothed smile, big ears and sprinkling of freckles, wearing a Red Sox uniform or a string of green St. Patrick’s Day beads. But the photo nobody can forget is the peace sign on a poster Martin made for a school project and its message: “No more hurting people.”
I’ve seen the other, more disturbing images — the ones too graphic to show here. Krystle Campbell’s mouth opened in a scream, even as her friend, Karen McWatters, pressed their faces together. She held Campbell’s hand while the blood drained from her body. “My legs hurt,” Campbell said, and then her hand went limp.
Lingzi Lu, her delicate musician’s hands covering her eyes, screamed and tried to blot out the horror as she, too, bled to death in the street. A police officer, who stood by her side even after she died, recalled how she couldn’t stop vomiting.
We are haunted by the pool of blood in the seat of Collier’s squad car, and how it seems almost too red. In the autopsy photo, the bullet hole in his head seems too tidy, considering the damage it did.
Unforgettable, too, is what we saw of Martin, a tiny lump through the smoke as his mother, Denise, kneeled over him and begged him to live. “Please, Martin, please,” she cried over and over.
Jurors and spectators heard the blasts and the screams for the first time during the penalty phase of the trial. A high school senior’s panicked wailing still rings in our ears; she survived but nearly lost her leg.
In another clip, the first bomb is heard. Somebody says, “What the hell is that? Oh, my God. Something blew up. Oh, my God! Holy s—!” And then a second, louder blast goes off. For a moment, there is only silence, followed by bloodcurdling screams.
Two more images from this trial will haunt everyone who saw them. The first shows Tsarnaev, wearing a white, turned-around ball cap, standing by a tree behind about a dozen children, including Martin Richard. The kids are lined up along a barricade and there’s a metal grate around the tree. That’s where Tsarnaev dropped his backpack containing a four-quart pressure cooker packed with gunpowder, nails and BBs. It was less than 4 feet away from Martin, who caught the full force of the blast.
In a video shown Thursday, Steve Woolfenden enters the frame as Tsarnaev starts to slink away. Woolfenden is pushing his son, Leo, in a three-wheeled stroller. The bomb goes off and he and Martin and Denise Richard are blown to the sidewalk. Leo sits in his stroller, crying, “Mommy! Daddy! Mommy! Daddy! Mommy! Daddy!”
Woolfenden loses his leg — he can see his boot, with the foot still in it, next to him on the sidewalk. Leo has a cut on his head and a skull fracture. Denise Richard has shrapnel in her eye, and Martin is obviously beyond saving.
Tsarnaev vanished into the crowd. For two years, the last known image of him was the leaked photo of his surrender. Until Tuesday, when Assistant U.S. Attorney Nadine Pellegrini asked a jury to make Tsarnaev pay for his crimes with his life. She unveiled the finger photo, a screen grab from a cellblock security camera.
In this phase of the trial, prosecutors must show that Tsarnaev’s crimes were especially cruel and heinous, and that his character places him among the worst of the worst criminals.
If Pellegrini was attempting to demonize the defendant, she initially was hugely successful. Spectators gasped in the three courtrooms set aside to accommodate the throngs who attend this trial daily. Even the most jaded members of the media were taken aback.
“Almost three months after Dzhokhar Tsarnaev had murdered Krystle Marie Campbell, Lingzi Lu, Martin Richard and Officer Sean Collier, he was here in this courthouse,” Pellegini said, setting the scene. She reminded jurors of the “manifesto” Tsarnaev had scrawled in a boat while hiding from police:
“He had one more message to send,” she said, ominously.
And there Tsarnaev was, standing on a bench in an orange jumpsuit, his mouth contorted and one eye blackened, raising the third finger salute.
“This is Dzhokhar Tsarnaev — unconcerned, unrepentant and unchanged,” Pellegrini said. “Without remorse, he remains untouched by the grief and the loss that he caused.”
You could almost hear Pellegrini say, “Voila!” as she ended her argument with the stunning visual aid.
The New York Post featured the cellblock photo on its cover, along with the headline: “NO, F*#% YOU! Boston bomber remorseless.”
The defense tried to soften the blow on Wednesday, showing the video of the holding cell flip off during cross-examination of a federal marshal.
Frozen in time, the still photo makes it appear as if Tsarnaev is defiant. But in the video, he seems more bored than angry, a 19-year-old kid stuck in a holding cell. His raised middle finger passes quickly, just one gesture among several. His actions seem rooted not in jihad, but in teenage selfie culture.
He paces, preens his thick, curly hair, stands on one foot and pushes his face into the camera. He flashes two fingers in a “V” and then leaves the middle one standing. It only takes a second or two. And then he plops back down on the bench in cell No. 4.
His expression seems more like mugging for the camera.
“I’ve seen people looking into the camera, yes,” Deputy U.S Marshal Gary Olivera acknowledged under cross-examination. “A lot of times people do it to get our attention.”
Defense attorney Miriam Conrad suggested in her questioning that the glass covering the lens may be used by inmates as a mirror, and Olivera reluctantly conceded that was possible.
So, what was spun by federal prosecutors as a defiant gesture by an unremorseful jihadist might just be the adolescent preening of a self-absorbed narcissist. It might have been a bit of an oversell.
In the end, it really doesn’t matter whether Tsarnaev flipped the bird because he’s a terrorist or because he’s a jerk.
What matters are the images of all those other people, and what he did to them.
The Jokhar is a malignant ooze and should be blown to pieces in the same manner as his victims. We devolve every time that we take a proven murderer and spare him his just dues. False morality will always allow the foolish argument that we are a more advanced people without a death penalty. Wait till we overpopulate to the tune of 12-14 Billion people and THEN see where we are with our ‘morality’ play.
I would require DNA evidence to execute and pedophiles would be a 100% yes on execution. (of course I would change my mind if the system agreed to work these pieces of garbage 14hrs a day using hard labor, no appeals and no Constitutional Rights).
Washiqur Rahman: Another secular blogger hacked to death in Bangladesh
- The 27-year-old Rahman falls victim to the same brazen act that killed Avijit Roy
- The deaths have emboldened the movement, an activist says
(CNN)When American writer Avijit Roy was hacked to death on a Dhaka, Bangladesh, street in full view of horrified onlookers, blogger Washiqur Rahman doubled down.
Fundamentalists were choking free thought in his secular nation, he wrote. But they couldn’t silence it.
His friends warned him to be careful, to watch what he posted online. But Rahman dismissed those concerns, saying his Facebook profile page didn’t even bear his picture. They don’t even know what I look like, he told them.
On Monday, the 27-year-old Rahman fell victim to the same brazen act that killed Roy, hacked to death by two men with knives and meat cleavers just outside his house as he headed to work at a travel agency.
He was so maimed — with wounds to his head, face and neck — that police identified him through the voter identification card he was carrying.
His death was the second time in five weeks that someone was killed in Dhaka for online posts critical of Islam — but they are hardly the only two who’ve paid a steep price.
In the last two years, several bloggers have died, either murdered or under mysterious circumstances.
“The despicable murder of Avijit Roy last month should have led authorities to step up protection measures for bloggers and others at risk. The killing of Washiqur Rahman today is another clear example of the Bangladeshi government’s utter failure to ensure the safety of those at risk,” said Abbas Faiz of Amnesty International.
“How many more bloggers will have to be attacked before action is taken?”
As shocking as Rahman’s death was, the reaction from some quarters was equally disturbing.
On his Facebook page (for which he picked a custom URL that translates to “unbeliever”), Rahman had posted a picture with the hashtag #IamAvijit.
After his death, someone left a comment, “Now you are.”
Another wrote, “I felt sorry when I first learned of your death. But then I saw what you wrote and I am not.”
On his page, Rahman reposted a cartoon depicting Prophet Mohammed from the French satire magazine Charlie Hebdo. He wished a happy birthday to author Taslima Nasreen, who was forced to flee Bangladesh due to death threats from fundamentalists. And he “liked” a picture of sausages wrapped in crescent rolls that someone had captioned, “Pigs in burqas.”
Posts threatening him were numerous.
“Get ready for the afterlife,” one person commented on one of his posts.
“See you in hell,” said another.
He used to write under the pseudonym “Stupid Man” on a blog but switched to posting on Facebook after 2011.
On Facebook, he is credited for a series, “Jaw-crushing answers to insulting comments of atheists.”
There, he posted questions that critics of Islam often raised and then answered them. But he paired the answers in such a way that they highlighted the contradiction within Islam.
For example, one question asked what proof was there that the Quran was the word of God. The answer, “Mohammed said in his own words that the Quran is the word of God. Since Mohammed is the messenger of Allah, his claims are true.”
He placed the question next to one that asked, “What is the proof that Mohammed was the messenger of Allah?”
The answer, “The Quran claims that Mohammed was the messenger of Allah. And since the Quran is God’s word, its claims must be true.”
Asif Mohiuddin, a blogger who himself was wounded by machete-wielding attackers in 2013 but survived, remembered Rahman as a great satirist.
“I named him the George Carlin of Bangladesh,” he told the International Humanist and Ethical Union. “He wanted with all his heart, a true secular country, where everyone can practice their freedom.”
The irony is that the people who killed Rahman weren’t even familiar with his writings; they were simply following orders, police said.
Of the three involved in the Monday morning attack, two were quickly caught by bystanders.
In confessions to police, the pair — both students at Islamic schools — said they didn’t know what a blog was, nor had they seen Rahman’s writing.
They said they were acting on orders from another person who told them killing Rahman was a religious duty, Police Commissioner Biplob Kumar Sarkar told reporters.
The third person is still to be apprehended.
That appears to be par for the course in the killings of bloggers in Bangladesh.
The only person arrested in the killing of Roy, the U.S. blogger, is Farabi Shafiur Rahman, who had called for his death in Facebook posts.
There has been no conviction in the January 2013 attack on Mohiuddin.
And no convictions in yet another case — the hacking death of blogger Ahmed Rajib Haider, also in 2013.
“The Bangladeshi government must urgently establish accountability in this murder case and others,” the Committee to Project Journalists said after Rahman’s death. “Otherwise the rest of the country’s bloggers, commentators and journalists covering sensitive topics remain at grave risk of being attacked as well.”
Bloggers, unlike political parties, aren’t an organized force — and that makes them an easy target for radicals, said Imran Sarker, who heads the Blogger and Online Activists Network in Bangladesh.
“They want peace, they talk of humanity. If you strike them with stones, they don’t strike back. They try to reach you with flowers,” he said. “So, if you want to sow fear and stifle progressive thought, they are easy to pick on.”
But the deaths — of Rahman, of Roy, of Haider — have emboldened the movement, rather than chill them into silence.
“No one is cowering in their homes because this is happening. Because this has been happening regularly for a long time,” he said. “We want to take the society forward. We know we have a lot left to accomplish.”
When life fucks you in your asshole, it is best to get a really good hemorrhoid cream to ease the pain of every time that you shit through them. I, of course, am referring to divorce in this case, and don’t want my readers to have to suffer from the burning and discomfort associated with shit passing through a raw asshole.
I am that raw asshole right now and am venting through my blog at this time, so I hope that I can impart some humor to the audience at this point in the game
Faith is usually the first theme of the articles posted here, but life takes over from time to time, namely my fucking impending divorce from my wife of 21 years.
If you wanted a good reason to disbelieve, my situation is that example. I supported my wife through everything that her dysfunctional family threw at us and rolled with the punches only to be dropped after working two jobs to pay for her education. People would say that my lack of faith resulted in the demise of my marriage, but I would say fuck you you fucking Asshole!
Faith had nothing to do with it, treachery had everything to do with it. My wife is an ‘agnostic ‘. This, of course, is an atheist without balls who is too afraid to take a stand, and hides behind their fears of the unknown. I possess the guts to stand behind my convictions and lack respect for those who choose the easy way out, which is a lukewarm approach to the absence of evidence. I really can’t believe that the woman who is currently divorcing me is the same person who sat with me during the Neill DeGrasse Tyson event that SHE bought me tickets to.
Personally, I am devastated right now, but I will survive. I am currently working on launching the Roving Skeptic podcast and will give the date soon. Thank you to my community and followers. Please continue to disbelieve in foolish pseudoscientific crap, and go get some acupuncture. ………just kidding.