Many parents are aware of sex trafficking, but think it can never happen to their child. Pamela Samuels Young, attorney-turned-writer and advocate, wants to dispell that myth. "If your child has a cell phone, predators have direct access to them," Young says.
Young stresses the importance of awareness. Any child is accessible, the problem is not exclusive to foster kids or runaways. Predators are no longer lurking around schools, but instead utilizing social media to find vulnerable young people. When parents learn to navigate changes that occur with new technology and new risks, children are safer.
How To Help
In order to protect your child, Young gives solutions. For example, know how your child might be groomed by adults, either romantically or forcefully. Be aware of who your kids are friends with, what they're doing online, and raise your girls to have self-esteem.
Children's safety depends on a parent's awareness and involvement. The more you engage with your child, the easier it becomes to advocate for them. Knowing how problems and dangers have changed generationally is one of the toughest parts of parenthood, but could save your child's life.