After we arrived we entered a small conference room in the back of the Portage Police station and began to listen as he explained how my digging may have saved my daughter from abduction.
Bruce was like I said, a normal 15-year-old boy, what I didn’t know was the friends that were men acting as “friends” have set Bruce out as a scout… He was the first safe face that our children see; he unknowingly was luring young girls into his circle as prey for the men to pick and choose from. The circle of Bruce’s friend list reached the globe and his over 2k followers were nothing more than a smorgasbord of young unaware children these men were chatting with. OUR CHILDREN…
This is not someone else’s problem, this is right here, right now and real as the tears I shed for the innocence that was stolen from my daughter. My beautiful girl was prey for these monsters, she was quickly approaching a meetup (in her words) and I fear that I may have never seen my daughter again.
I hope this triggers fear in the hearts of every one of you. Dig in your children’s accounts, ask them questions, and tell them not to have “friends” that they don’t actually know. I had no idea just how close it came to never seeing my daughter again, it’s worth the little upset hurt feelings of your child to keep them safe. If you do not know or understand what to look for or how, ASK someone that does that you trust with the life of your child.
This picture of my daughters may have been the last picture I had with both of them together. This was taken around the time Hayley met Bruce…
How is Instagram being used for human trafficking?
Here are some typical patterns and procedures on social media:
- The trafficker builds a relationship with a potential victim through social media.
- Some traffickers use fake profiles. They may also impersonate or use a “bottom girl” to make contact. (“Bottom girl” is a sex trafficker slang term for a victim that is still under the trafficker’s control, but has earned a “higher ranking” among other victims. She may be the trafficker’s “right hand” help for controlling and/or recruiting the other victims.)
- Many traffickers use their own personal social media profiles for communication.
- Some sex traffickers use fake job offers for modeling, singing, or other potentially legitimate business opportunities to attract victims.
- The recruitment may begin with the trafficker commenting on potential victims’ photos and sending direct messages (DMs). This is to build rapport, intimacy and trust with the victim.
- “Boyfriending” may be used – a manipulative tactic that involves extreme flattery, fake romantic interests, promises of financial gain, gifts, and even providing help with family issues.
- The online relationship will usually end with the trafficker purchasing travel tickets or covering transportation costs in order to meet with the victim face-to-face.
To request help or report suspected human trafficking, call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888. Or text HELP to BeFree (233733).