Several years ago my husband and I were on a break at a rural truck stop in northern Colorado. I watched as two high school-aged girls approached drivers. The girls were trying to sell magazine subscriptions to raise money at school.
Most truck stops and travel plazas are safe places, but teen girls are vulnerable to exploiters, and it made me nervous that they were there alone. It was dark, and without their parents around, it wasn’t the best situation.
I knew about Truckers Against Trafficking, and I have watched the training videos. I did approach the young ladies, and I spent several minutes educating them on the potential dangers of being at a location in the evening without parental supervision.
The trucking industry is amazing, and drivers who deliver goods and keep America moving should not be feared. The people who are potentially waiting to snatch these children need to be feared. And traffickers exploit locations as well as people. Trafficking is happening at motels/hotels, rest areas, on the streets, at brothels, large conventions and sporting events, in private homes, etc. I didn’t want them to become victims.
I thought my talk had worked, but after we came back outside from eating dinner, the girls were not only still there, but they had split up. Now they were wandering around in the dark, approaching strangers alone.
At that point, I called the local sheriff’s office and explained that I was worried for these two teenage girls to be out wandering around after dark. They agreed and dispatched officers. The young ladies were sent home.
While this incident wasn't trafficking, it could have been. What if it had been human trafficking? Well, I would have called the hotline number that's on my TAT decals. Because of TAT training, I was proactive! Thank you, TAT, for all that you do to combat human trafficking.
Missing Truck Driver Alert Network