How to steer clear of human trafficking

Emily Mullins, Managing Editor

2020 has had lots of ups and downs, with COVID-19, the presidential debate, and so much more, but human trafficking is something that is still around after all these years and society is too busy with everything else in the world. Having no one thinking about it is what the traffickers want, making it much easier for them to strike on their victims.

Michigan is the tenth state for the highest trafficking cases, with Nevada having the highest for every 100,000 cases (7.61 for every 100k according to Whether it is a random person following someone in a store, or the tactics of honey on the car, it is a daily thing that happens, and many do not know what to do in those types of situations. If you do not have anything to protect yourself with, here are some things to note if you think you are being followed.

If there is anything on the car:

  1. Ignore it- It may sound crazy but getting in the car right away should be the focus, because having the victim distracted is what they want.
  2. Do not waste time- Get in the car, lock the doors, and go. Do not look around after getting in, do not go on your phone, do not do any of that, get to a safe location.

If you are in a store:

  1. Make random turns- Turn left, turn right, turn down random aisles to see if the person is looming over.
  2. Never leave the store- The person who is being followed should never leave the store as this could make it easier on the trafficker.
  3. Ask someone for help- Asking a worker or fellow customer could pay off in the long run, most of the time the store will offer to have another worker walk the person being followed to their car.
  4. Call a friend/family member- If you are too scared to ask a worker, call a close friend, parent, aunt/uncle, or even a cousin, it may be better if the one called is a male because the trafficker tends to back off knowing there is another male involved now.

“I feel it’s a big concern in today’s society and I find it sad we can’t even walk to our cars alone without the thought crossing our mind,” senior Meadow Bugamelli said, “Anything is possible and it needs to change.”