Monday was human trafficking awareness day. The Department of Children and Family Services wants to alert citizens of some of the warning signs of child trafficking. According to DCFS, the average age of someone who is trafficked is 14.
DCFS partners with the FBI, and multiple government entities to solve the case and help find the child. In 2020, DCFS investigated 239 allegations of trafficking of children, though many experts feel the actual number was higher than that. Often victims do not seek help because they are scared, distrust the law, or become trusting of their abductor.
Warning signs of trafficked children might include having an adult control them by speaking for them, seem out of place given the time of day or night, look disheveled or dressed in clothes they couldn’t afford to buy, show signs of physical abuse such as bruising or red marks, not possess any ID, or perform inappropriate work for their age.
If you believe a child has been trafficked or is in danger of being trafficked, please contact 9-1-1 or the Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-25-ABUSE or (800-252-2873).