Truckers News Editor Randy Grider says it best in his column in this month’s issue, titled “Your most important call” in reference to the Truckers Against Trafficking national hotline number for reporting incidents of child sex trafficking witnessed on the nation’s highways.
“Each year in this country,” Grider writes, “tens of thousands of kids are victims of human trafficking,” a $32 billion criminal business. “The average age of human trafficking victims is 12 years old. The life expectancy of a child after being forced into prostitution is 10 years.”
Grider made note of a film the TAT group has produced that premiered at the Great American Trucking Show and that , if you haven’t seen it, is absolutely gut-wrenching, and I can personally attest that it will be particularly so for those of you with young daughters. It centers around the story of an Ohio teen who was abducted from her own neighborhood and who then found herself forced to walk the parking lots of truckstops. A call to TAT’s hotline — (888) 373-7888 — from a driver eventually sprung her from that life.
At the same time, though, the film is heartening in the sense that it makes a clear case for drivers getting involved in combating the problem, one often made in it by several drivers interviewed themselves — all it takes to get it started is a phone call, after all. Spend a half hour at the TAT site watching the film if you haven’t as yet. Store the hotline number in your phone’s contacts and, should you see something you know isn’t right anywhere out there on the roadways, call it in.
Your “most important call,” indeed, could ultimately save lives.