Awareness vs. Understanding of Human Trafficking.
It’s essential to move past myths, stereotypes, and fears that feed panic around Human Trafficking. We need to replace these dangerous myths with a deeper understanding of how human trafficking happens to create ways to stop it before it even happens and help survivors.
Awareness can be defined as, “concern about and well-informed interest in a particular situation”. Awareness is key to learning about prevalent social issues such as human trafficking because it allows people to be notified about key issues within society. However, moving past awareness is what’s most important. Simply having awareness about an issue, like human trafficking, is a great first step but in order to enact real change and create preventative measures, understanding is what we need. Awareness can only have smaller-scale impacts because it’s based in individuals’ responses. Just having awareness can also lead to the spread of misinformation, myths, and misunderstanding which causes harm to survivors.
Understanding means comprehension or being “sympathetically aware of other people’s feelings; tolerant and forgiving.” Therefore, awareness needs to be present before understanding can take place. We need to move past attention to a deeper understanding of how trafficking happens and who it happens to. We need to replace simple awareness with meaningful understanding. With understanding can come long-lasting change because it creates mass prevention strategies that can help individuals in the future from being a victim of human and sex trafficking in the first place. Thus, we can combat misinformation and myths by learning, adapting, and understanding. We can begin to fight for the facts and help survivors.