Human Trafficking, After the Headlines

f you were asked to imagine what a survivor of human trafficking looked like, how would you picture them? For someone exposed to stories of trafficking through blockbuster movies and Sunday night cable news specials, the image would probably be one of a woman, perhaps alongside images of someone who has done something awful to her. But who is that woman, outside that sensationalizing spotlight?
She could be one of the nearly two million workers in the United States (according to an estimate from the Economic Policy Institute in 2012), many of them women of color and immigrants — women who we also know there is a very high demand for, one driven in part by economic inequality, resulting in a deeply gendered and racialized industry. These women are meant to be invisible, even when we see them in our own neighborhoods. Their work is sometimes not even regarded as work, but just something women are happy to do because it is something women do.

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