Trafficking has many guises…

Often trafficking strikes us as something terrible and shocking, but not necessarily as something that would ever happen to us. Chapter 3 of Steve Chalke’s book STOP THE TRAFFIK opens by exploring the story of a mother living in the UK, who never imagined that her thirteen year old daughter would be at risk from sexual exploitation by traffickers…

The experience of Mary Rogers*, is absolutely harrowing. She tells of her 13 year old daughter, Jessica, as a normal hard working, energetic teenager before she was targeted by a group of men who saw vulnerability in her age and exploited this. They groomed her – taking her for car rides, giving her lots of attention and gifts like mobile phones, jewellery and they eventually encouraged her to drink alcohol and take drugs.

Jessica went missing on numerous occasions, and would sometimes be found alone, such as on the hard shoulder of the motorway, where she had been dumped by the group of men after being drugged. She became distant and unrecognisable to her family, was arrested for shoplifting for the men, and of taking class A drugs – as the group used these substances to guarantee she returned to them and did as she was instructed. Jessica was moved about by the gang, forced to visit other men, where she would be sexually exploited and beaten.

Mary Rogers campaigned endlessly to authorities, her MP, even considered going to the press to get help after Jessica was abducted from foster care. The experience clearly has changed the family’s life forever and the story is such an eye opener about the need for people and authorities to be more aware about trafficking in their local communities and the various guises this takes on…

The chapter goes on to discuss the differences and similarities between internal trafficking and trafficking across international borders. A key similarity is that traffickers exploit need, and target vulnerability, they prey on people with hopes, needs and dreams – who are most susceptible to jump at the offer of a great exciting opportunity elsewhere. Not knowing that the promises are lies and what their trafficker has in store for them is unimaginable. The book describes various real life experiences, from people in Colombia, USA, Japan, Moldova, Cambodia…and what strikes me the most is the range of different situations of these people, the ways the traffickers tricked them, and the less talked about forms of trafficking….organ trafficking, child soldiers for warfare, illicit adoption and begging…

We have the means to inform ourselves about these occurrences, and we should do so, in order to start a dialogue within our community and help others learn and become aware of the dangers. Previously I said that what traffickers do is ‘unimaginable’ – it is, and the stories in the book are not easy to read about because they are dreadful, but I feel that we have a duty to know, in order to STOP it.

(*names had been changed)

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5 thoughts on “Trafficking has many guises…

  1. RACH!!!

    as part of my gcse english we have to a speech on a topic we could choose ourself and i have chosen trafficking. i included part of mary rogers story in it and the book was very helpful. If anyone wants to learn more about trafficking, the book is certauinly a very good way of doing it

  2. Yeah- I was really shocked when i read that chapter – hadn’t really considered the domestic aspect of trafficking and how vulnerable young people can be in this country to this kind of situation – something I really want to try and raise awareness of in our local schools and community. Definitely would recommend the book as a place to start finding out about trafficking in its various forms.

  3. It’s great to hear that all of you have read the chapter…it really is so shocking, and worrying that this is not just a one off incident – its part of organised crime. Just by reading this and talking to people about it you are doing a really big thing – spreading awareness. Thanks so much and keep up the good work! G

  4. Sarah

    Could you please post the entire story, full length. Like it is in the book. I do not have the book and the story was read to us in class, I really need to read the whole story again to be able to respond.

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