This is key questions and answers from Dr. Amanda’s podcast and Youtube interview with Tashina Kabbaz, a doctoral student at Lehigh University in the area of educational leadership. She also is an educational and cultural specialist for VAST the Vehicle Against Sex Trafficking in the Lehigh Valley.
If you or someone you know needs help, call the National Human Trafficking Hotline toll-free hotline, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-888-373-7888 to speak with a specially trained Anti-Trafficking Hotline Advocate.
Dr. Amanda: I want you to be aware of how you are feeling as we discuss the very difficult topic of sexual exploitation. We want to see communities to rise up about ending sexual exploitation and trafficking
Dr. Amanda: What is sex trafficking?
Tashina: According to the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2006 lives under the term human trafficking.
Tashina: The average range of sex trafficking, arguably, is age 11 through 15.
Tashina: Individuals who are sexually exploited are often sexually abused in childhood. They experience an ongoing re-triggering of trauma due to vulnerable youth risk factors.
Dr. Amanda: We do not recognize a lot of children have had abuse in their past; sexual, physical, or emotional abuse based on the literature. Trauma and mental health markers stand out to groomers-such as lack of confidence in these children.
Tashina: Reveals tips, such as how youth who are not confident or do not receive words such as ‘you are beautiful’ and receive it, may indicate to a groomer of sex trafficking.
Dr. Amanda: Is there anything relevant to the Lehigh Valley to support parents?
Tashina: Lehigh Valley is In close proximity to major cities and these routes make it easier to exploit children. The Polaris Project is one place to check out. Pennsylvania is in the top 10 states based on the trafficking hotline.