How can we make women, children, and young adults feel safe in a world that has increasing numbers of kidnappings and human trafficking?

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Importance of the Issue at Hand

Human trafficking has had a spiking increase in cases over the last few years and leaves many people in the world feeling unsafe and vulnerable to possible kidnappings. Many human traffickers exploit vulnerabilities in people such as being a woman who lives by herself or being a person who lacks awareness of their surroundings or simply just being a kid.

Statistics that Standout

  • Overall, 12% of college students self-identified as having been stalked. Additionally, 42.5% (45.4% female; 35.7% male) of students reported experiencing at least 1 behavioral indicator of stalking victimization; however, only 24.7% of those self-identified as being stalked (25.6% female; 22.0% male). (“Stalking Victimization among College Women and Subsequent Help-seeking Behaviors.”)

  • One-fifth of women reported stalking victimization while enrolled at their current institution. Individuals are known by victims, such as the following, were most commonly reported as stalkers: acquaintances (48.7%), classmates (37.2%), and boyfriends or ex-boyfriends (34.6%). (“The Prevalence of Stalking among College Students: The Disparity between Researcher- and Self-identified Victimization.”)

  • Although the majority of legally defined stalkers are men stalking women, studies utilizing other definitions find many more women as stalkers, with no significant gender differences in many studies. (“Research on Stalking: What Do We Know and Where Do We Go?”)

Source: Vivint Source

Important Information

The list of missing persons has been continually increasing which leaves many Americans thinking about how they can keep themselves safe. 

Human Trafficking involves the use of force, fraud, or coercion to obtain some type of labor or commercial sex act (“What Is Human Trafficking?”). The reason this subject matter is because human trafficking takes away from life’s humanity as most people are forced into sexual labor and over-extensive abuse at an average age of twelve to fourteen years old. Many people in today’s society have an ability to act as if “the worst possible thing” will never happen to them which makes them susceptible to being unaware of their surroundings.  Because of this unawareness, we have lost generations of people over the years who have experienced unimaginable pain and suffering. Detection of human trafficking is very hard, but law enforcement has been working on solutions and strategies to better catch potential predators. Many times, law enforcement has to wait to save potential victims because they have to gather information on the scheme behind the human trafficking network. This way they can get warrants and make busts on many locations behind the operation scheme (“Why Does Human Trafficking Matter?”). It is now time to spread awareness on the topic of human trafficking and kidnappings so we can better protect the citizens of this world. 

For Now

What to Do If You Encounter a Potential Instance of Human Trafficking -  United States Department of State

source: US Department of State

My solution to this problem involves creating a technological innovation that will help people who feel scared in a possible kidnapping situation feel much safer and not alone. My innovation will be run through an app, which will also have a tangible camera that is used to process information from a potential user that may be in danger. This camera will have a 360 degrees lens and will be able to be clipped onto either a pocket or possibly a belt loop. The idea is through the app you will be able to enter three emergency contacts that will be contacted in emergency situations. The app will contact the emergency contacts when the camera lens is tapped three times, signaling for your camera to automatically store any further recordings to your history. Your contacts will be able to see exactly where you are through tracking and also hear the audio around you. You will also be able to personally contact a 911 dispatcher through the app that can then also hear your audio around you and also allow you to respond to them with concerns. Hopefully, this idea can be further innovated where local police stations could access the camera lens in order to create a much easier display of what’s going on in a person’s surroundings. I also believe this idea can be further developed by adding thermal activators to the camera to be used at night and also have it set up that the camera beeps when someone comes within a 5-foot radius at night. 

In our communities and personal lives, we can spread awareness for the rise of missing persons through presentations at schools and universities, as well as using ads to promote the severity of the problem on social media, and lastly, we could have local news stations spread awareness to the cause so adults can become for familiar with the topic. I believe we can help fellow citizens by pointing out things that make them vulnerable to potential stalkers and kidnappers, inform them on products/items they can use to protect themselves, and also show visual representations of common ways human traffickers try to lure in people through deceptive actions. With the creation of this app, we better help protect generations of people in this world and help many people from being potentially put through a lifetime of hard, extensive, and sexually abusive labor. 

 

I would love to hear back from you with any positive feedback that could better help innovate my idea and solve the problem of potential kidnappings and human trafficking activities! I am very interested in hearing a mixture of voices and ideas!

Citations: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1YK-7Jt32yC4wJ19XRSYS-3umnotOoJgebwEOo2tTz78/edit

2 Comments

2 comments

  1. Hey Bryce! I really enjoyed viewing your page. I think your app would be very helpful, especially in people’s most vulnerable moments. I myself have experienced being followed to my car on multiple occasions. An app like this would have made me feel much less powerless. Great project!

  2. Hey Bryce! I found your solution very interesting since every little piece of data in important in a possible kidnapping situation. An important area for you app could also be easy access to a help line since many of those who are trafficked are not kidnapped and have grown into or been gaslighted into not fully understanding what is going on or how to get help.

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