Welcome back to Silent Voices Project! We are still continuing on the topic of human trafficking. If you aren’t aware of what human trafficking is, please see the podcast and blog here. If you would like to know more about the signs, please see this podcast and blog.
For a brief recap: human trafficking is the illegal transportation of an individual or persons in order to force them into some type of service- be it sexual or physical or even to steal their organs.
This is a very serious situation as it affects many countries and all races and ages.
We can help these individuals find their way back to their families and loving environments by knowing the signs.
We would like to delve into two stories about amazing people who have known the signs and have saved innocent lives in this battle against human trafficking.
The biggest story was all over social media, which is great. We want these victim’s stories heard and how we can help spread all over so everyone knows!
Shelia Fedrick was a flight attendant for Alaska Airlines, flying from Seattle to San Francisco, at the time of the incident.
This is what she saw:
-A young female about 14 or 15
-Her travel companion was a very well dressed, much older man
The two did not look compatible at all and Shelia did her best to make conversation with the two to learn more. The man was not having any of it and became defensive with simple questions.
So, in order to see further, she left a note in the bathroom the girl was most likely to use and waited. Eventually the girl went to the bathroom. When the girl was back in her seat, Shelia went into the bathroom.
On her note- asking if the girl needed help- was written “I need help.”
From there, Shelia called the pilot who then called authorities at the destination. When they landed, the man was taken into custody.
Thank you Shelia!
Here is our second story:
Denice Miracle was a customer service agent at the check-in counter for American Airlines at the time of the incident.
While she was working her shift, she spotted two teenage girls checking in for first class flights from Sacramento to New York City .
This is what she saw:
-Two young girls about 15 to 17 looking scared and anxious
-Limited bags for a long trip
-Expensive plane tickets
-Young girls flying alone
Denice denied them access to board their flight while she called authorities. It was discovered that the girls were contacted by a “modeling and acting agency” through Instagram from someone named “Drey.”
When one of the girls contacted this “Drey” about the flight delay, he immediately deleted his Instagram account.
Thanks to Denice’s insight, these girls were saved from a very dangerous situation. Their “round-trip” ticket was just one way unknown to them. All signs that “Drey” was not who he claimed to be.
Thank you Denice!
These stories show that human trafficking is alive and well in the United States. It is very much alive in other countries across the world.
These stories also show how ordinary people can know the signs and help those who need it or who might not know they need it.
Due to these incidents, and many others, airlines are now training their employees signs to help prevent human trafficking further.
You don’t have to be a trained police officer to see when a situation doesn’t feel right like these wonderful women. They followed their intuition.
However, as a safety precaution, never confront the supposed human trafficker- call the authorities when a suspicion is had.
Transient spots are the easiest places and maybe the only places to spot human trafficking. Places such as airports/airplanes, bus or truck stops, gas stations, hotels, motels, etc.
These airline employees are not the only ones who have helped victims before. There have been many stories of truck drivers and hotel staff notifying authorities of a suspicious person or activity.
All proving, not all heroes wear capes.
If anyone reading this is a “Incredibles” films fan, you will know of the superhero outfit designer Edna Mode. She says: “No capes!”
If the Incredible family doesn’t wear capes, neither do we!
One last thing, it is also important to discuss with the next generation about these signs so they can help their peers before things go wrong. Especially in today’s age of social media and having contact with people from all over the world, it is easy to get in contact with the wrong people.
Discussing these stories and signs with the next generation might also prevent one of these stories from happening again.
If this resonates with you as in it reminds you of someone, please leave us a message and we will look into it!
This week we are talking about how not all heroes wear capes. Our new podcast and blog, link in bio, outlines two stories that state exactly what #tatetaylor says here. We are all capable of being a hero and for bringing change!
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