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Victims’ Voices Will Be Heard

The United Nations has declared July 30 to be "World Day Against Human Trafficking." In 2013, the United Nations General Assembly established July 30 to be the World Day Against Trafficking in Persons, stating that such a day was needed to "raise awareness of the condition of victims of human trafficking and for the promotion and protection of their rights."



Human Trafficking is observed all over the world for various purposes but is highly prevalent here in India as well. It is a serious problem in India, despite the fact that it is prohibited under Indian law. Women and girls are transported inside the country for commercial sexual exploitation and forced marriage, particularly in places where the gender ratio is heavily skewed in favour of males.


Victims suffer from both mental and physical difficulties as a result of human trafficking in India. Disorders such as PTSD, depression, and anxiety are examples of mental problems. Victims’ lack of control in human trafficking raises their chance of developing mental illnesses. Trafficking victims experience a large amount of trauma, they are scarred for life, it is like a tattoo on their minds, they can never get rid of what they went through. They never asked for it.



Understanding How victims of human trafficking are permanently scarred


Survivors of human trafficking have physical and psychological scars. While medical therapy can help survivors regain their physical health, many survivors struggle with emotional scars long after their bodies have healed.


No one can erase their memories, psychological effects, their past haunts them. Human trafficking victims experience nightmares and and anxiety attacks. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), complex post-traumatic stress disorder (C-PTSD), depression, panic disorder, and Stockholm Syndrome are all hallmarks of human trafficking. Many survivors of human trafficking suffer with substance misuse because their traffickers habituated them to narcotics in order to preserve their compliance and reliance.


Their experience tends them to be guarded and makes them deal with a lot of trust issues. They are unable to live life the normal way anymore, all they feel is lost, confused and vulnerable.


PTSD in Human Trafficking Victims


Human-trafficking survivors, like many other persons suffering from PTSD, may experience one or more of the following symptoms: intrusive memories, flashbacks and nightmares, physiological responses to memories-triggering stimuli, alienation and lack of trust, pessimistic thinking and/or behaviour, memory loss, rage, guilt or shame, hyper-vigilance, sleeplessness, feeling alienated from reality, irresponsible or self-destructive conduct, difficulty concentrating, sadness, and other symptoms.


PTSD, in the words of a victim, is like a nightmare you can't get out of. It produces an incapacity to go ahead in your life. It generates a sense of perpetual danger based on past issues repeating in the here and now. Survivors need to be treated with an immense amount of empathy, patience and care.



A Guide for Friends and Families of Human Trafficking Victims


Communicating effectively with a victim is an important step. Your ways of communicating with the victim may or may not cause a stir of past emotions in him/her.


Some of the ways you can communicate are as follows:


  • Maintain your composure. Although you may be surprised or offended, expressing these feelings to the victim may bring misunderstanding or discomfort.

  • Trust the victim. Make it clear that you think the attack took place and that it is not her or his fault.

  • Give all power to the victim. During the attack, control was taken away. Allow the victim to make decisions regarding the following steps, and avoid instructing her or him what to do.

  • Allow the victim to exhibit a variety of emotions, such as crying, shouting, or remaining silent. Remember that the victim is upset with the person who abused her or him as well as the situation, not with you. Simply be present to listen.

  • Assure the victim of your assistance. She or he has to know that no matter what happens, your relationship will be preserved.

  • Make no threats towards the suspect. Threats of danger may simply make the victim concerned about your safety and the possibility of arrest.

  • Maintain their privacy. Allow the victim to pick who to inform about the attack.

  • Promote counselling. Give the victim the phone number of the local trafficking crisis center, but allow him or her to decide whether or not to call.

  • Before providing physical assistance, inquire first. The victim's sense of comfort, safety, and control can be restored by asking, "Can I give you a hug?”

  • Tell me what you can promise. Make no unbreakable promises, such as promising that the victim will never be harmed again or that the criminal will be imprisoned.

  • Allow the appropriate authorities to handle the attack. Confronting the perpetrator of the sexual assault can be damaging or hazardous. Attempting to investigate or interview witnesses to the attack may jeopardize a legal inquiry. This should be left in the hands of appropriate authorities.

  • For those who have suffered and been in this situation before, are reading this right now, come to terms with what you went through and when ready create awareness about the same by sharing your story. You never know how many lives you will benefit.


In conclusion, Studies have shown that Mental health issues are common among trafficked persons, and survivors frequently require assistance in recovering from the psychological effects of their experiences. Mental health experts play an important role in reacting to human trafficking. Raising awareness and training are necessary to ensure that professionals are equipped to respond to human trafficking and securely identify and send trafficked persons to the treatment they require and deserve.




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