The first step in preventing human trafficking is to know the warning signs. want to go over some warning signs. You can never be too safe so be sure not to keep this information to yourself. Share it with every woman in your network and let's spread the word.

Be aware that the below list is not exhaustive. These are just some initial tips you should take into consideration when attempting to be safe as it relates to human trafficking.

Don't Be Too Eager
Many human trafficking victims have fallen prey because they were too eager. For example, if a job offer seems too good to be true (little work, high pay) it probably is. Or, if a potential employer or talent recruiter cannot give you details about the job until you are willing to commit and sign the paperwork, this is a huge red flag. Don't be so eager for money and opportunities, that you fail to do your due diligence.

Trust Your Judgement
You know that "gut feeling" we often talk about? It's there for a reason! Be sure to follow your instinct. If a friendship, relationship or even conversation is going in a direction that makes you feel unsafe, get out as soon as possible. You are feeling unsafe for a reason. Look past a person's charm and pay attention to how they treat you or the things they ask you to do. Concerning behaviors can include (but are not limited to) asking you to perform sexual favors for friends, demanding you turn over important documents, taking control of your finances.

Online Safety
If you find yourself in an abusive relationship that you believe has the potential to turn into a trafficking situation, there are things you can do to remain safe. Consider the following:

- When you can, use public computers (such as a library computer) as these are harder to trace than personal computers.
- Communicate with those outside from a brand new email address that does not disclose your name or gender.
- Do not post daily family habits, or location of you and loved ones, when posting online.

For as much as human trafficking can be scary to think about, there are ways to remain safe. Consider the information above and I'll be back next week to discuss part II. Don't operate in fear. Operate in knowledge and in power. We got this!

Be Well,

Dr. Mya