Modern-day human trafficking in your own backyard

If you or someone you know is a victim of human trafficking, call 1 (888) 373-7888.

CANTON, Ohio – A 2019 report says Ohio ranks fourth in the nation for human trafficking, making it one of the worst in the nation.

Human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery that occurs in every state, including Ohio. According to the National Human Trafficking Hotline, Ohio has had 2,632 total human trafficking victims since 2007. The issue of human trafficking isn’t distant; it is happening in your own backyard.

What is it?

Human trafficking is the illegal trade of human beings. It’s the recruitment, control, and use of people for their bodies and their labor. Through force, fraud, and coercion, people everywhere are being bought and sold against their will–right now in the 21st century.

Types of Trafficking

  • sex trafficking
  • forced labor
  • bonded labor
  • involuntary domestic servitude
  • child soldiers

How does it happen?

Traffickers use different methods to recruit victims. According to slavery survivors, the most common methods of recruitment are false job advertisements, sold by family, loverboys, abduction, trafficked by a friend, or false immigration.

There are many cases of human trafficking attempts in Ohio. One local story is of Lauren, 24, who reported finding a distracting piece of paper on her windshield after leaving her shift at Belden Village Mall. She shares:

“When I left my closing shift and walked out into the parking lot, I noticed my car was boxed in by the only other three cars in the lot. When I approached my car, I noticed there was a piece of paper covering my windshield. My coworkers immediately told me not to walk around to the passenger’s side of the car to take it off. None of us felt right about this situation. They watched me get in my car, and I waited until I was far away from the mall to take the paper off my windshield. When I turned it in to the police, they told me that it was an attempted kidnapping that it was good I was aware of what was happening. Apparently, Belden Village Mall is a hotspot for trafficking. So scary!”

How can you help?

Slavery is more stoppable than ever, and that’s why there are multiple local and global organizations rallying around the world and doing the work together. The first thing you can do is know the signs.

Signs of Human Trafficking

  • controlled by another person
  • controlled movement
  • lack of earnings
  • foreign, unfamiliar with the language
  • overly fearful, depressed, and submissive behavior
  • bad health or malnutrition
  • lack of official identification
  • signs of physical abuse
  • substance abuse
  • lack of trust
  • lack of personal belongings
  • signs of dependance
  • deceived by a false job offer
  • feelings of being trapped

Next, educate yourself on this rising conflict. Share resources with others and draw attention to this very relevant fast-growing criminal industry.

If you want to take a step and contribute to the end of human trafficking, multiple local organizations in Northeast Ohio can help you you get involved.

The first organization is a branch of the non-profit organization A21 Campaign founded by Christine Caine called Not for Sale: One Step at a Time. A group of ladies here in North Canton, Ohio, are dedicated to preventing human trafficking and providing education that brings awareness to this modern-day tragedy.

A21’s annual and global Walk for Freedom.

Another way you can get involved is by supporting Rahab Ministries. This non-profit organization helps women in our area who have been sexually exploited recover from their trauma.


As you can see, the issue of human trafficking isn’t distant; it is happening in your own backyard. Help put an end to human trafficking by knowing the signs, educating yourself on the conflict, and partnering with organizations that dedicate their lives to ending modern-day slavery.

If you or someone you know is a victim of human trafficking, call 1 (888) 373-7888.

Published by cassiesibila

Hi there! My name is Cassie and I am a 24-year-old writer striving to encourage and inspire others to live a life full of authenticity, passion, and self-love.

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