My Turn, Renee Bradshaw: Learn signs of human trafficking

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 2, 2021

By Renee Bradshaw

Family Crisis Council of Rowan, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that has been funded partly by United Way since 1979.

That is very important because this month Rowan County United Way volunteers are trying to campaign for next year’s funds to assist the many agencies in Salisbury who provide services to those in need of assistance with substance abuse, mental health, healthy lifestyle behaviors and basic needs. The campaign’s slogan this year is “Let it come. Let it go. Let it flow.” So, please remember to give so, others can provide the needs of this community.

This also is my ninth year of writing a submission to the Post about domestic violence but, my first year about writing about human trafficking. Most individuals that read this article are thinking, “What do these two have in common and why is Renee still writing about these topics?”

I am trying to help Rowan County to be aware of domestic violence and human trafficking. After my last article, I received my first call from a gentleman from China Grove. The conversation when something like, “Mrs. Bradshaw I cannot believe we have these terrible problems with abuse and I have never heard anything about it, it is horrible to know. I hope you will continue to write and talk about this so more people will know. Thank you for what you do and please keep telling everyone so, they will know what is going on and do something about it.” 

If you want to help with domestic violence, know what to look for. Most abusive relationships, the abusive partner tries to establish or gain power and control through many different methods, including keeping you from your family and friends, telling you that you never do anything right, insulting you, demeaning you and shaming you in front of others. The partner controls all finances, pressures you into drugs or alcohol, threatens you with harm, intimidates you with guns, knives, bats or just beats you, even to death.

If you want to help with human trafficking, know what to look for: bruises or other signs of physical trauma, social isolation, withdrawn or acting out of character, hunger or clothing not suited to the place or the weather, tattoos or burns, branding displaying the name of the trafficker and references to sex that are inappropriate for the age or scene.

Remember: No one deserves to experience abuse of any kind — for any reason. Call Family Crisis Council’s Crisis Line, 24/7 at 704-636-4718 and press No. 1. We can assist you with the help you or someone you know needs.

Renee Bradshaw is executive director of Family Crisis Council of Rowan, Inc. Information for this article comes from NCCADV, the National Domestic Violence Hotline.