Human trafficking is closer than you think. It happens without parents knowing.

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Human trafficking may seem like a distant problem, but it’s far closer in Iowa than you think. Iowa Secretary of State, Paul Pate explains trafficking today happens to kids still living at home, with parents having absolutely no idea. Trafficking can start on social media, and target children in safe suburbs.

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Sound of Freedom has been quite the popular film with a powerful message, but not only is it happening right under our noses here in Iowa, but most of us feel powerless to help. What are the signs? How do we detect it? What can be done? What groups are impacted and where does it happen? Secretary Pate explains how we can turn the trafficking tables by seeing the signs, and reporting scenarios quickly.

Secretary of State, Paul Pate, with Justin Brady at the Brady Dental Care Studio

First of all, it’s important to understand what human trafficking looks like. Most people picture a dark boarded up warehouse, with a makeshift prison holding younger women against their will. Or perhaps an isolated compound in the middle of nowhere. But that’s an incorrect view. It can happen right next door in what some would consider a safe suburban neighborhood. It can happen to children, that appear to be living peacefully at home. It can happen under a well-intentioned parent’s nose.

Some traffickers may be a trusted family member, cousin or uncle. Others may build relationships with months of relationship building, all starting out on TikTok or Facebook. Traffickers may not hold people against their will physically, but use emotional tactics or blackmail. They may have a compromising photo of their victim, threatening to release it if they don’t comply.

Paul Pate, Iowa Secretary of State

It sounds overwhelming, but Paul Pate, Iowa Secretary of State, explains why Iowans must band together and how we can make human traffickers extinct.

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