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Lonely Child=Easy Target:: How Predators Choose Their Prey:: Human Trafficking

Updated on July 12, 2011

The Lonely Child

When I came up with the idea that the reason I was targeted was because I was a lonely child, I started to talk to others. It seemed a pattern was forming, and the more I talked with people the more apparent it became. I was going to write a book and call it Lonely Child/Easy Target, with the cover being a target with a child as the Bulls Eye.

Thinking better of it, we (as a family) decided that it might be used by would be predators to locate targets, and I sadly scrapped an idea that I was sure would save innocent children from being molested and abused, possibly even stop kidnappings, even rape and murder! At that time I had no idea of the magnitude the child trafficking trade had reached.

Human Slavery is alive and well and in every corner of our planet, from the child who sews by hand in the sweat shops, because their smaller fingers make for finer stitches, to the children who are sold as sex toys to the seedier side of society. Ironically the children who are sold are often trafficked to people who you'd never suspect and are therefore above reproach. 

In one film (a dramatic enactment, not real, but probably more common a belief than you would suppose) the man has justified sleeping with a child in Bangkok by saying "Well, it is how her family survives, and if I refused her she would surely have been beaten, and then given to someone who would not be as gentle as I. I couldn't very well let her be beaten, starved and then raped, could I. It was charity..."

Easy Target

We have all seen them, some of us have been them. The child who walks alone while the others travel in groups of two, three even five together. You see the one who doesn't quite fit in. Her hair is not well groomed like the others, her shoes are not so shiny, or new. The lonely child is picked on for a variety of reasons, she's poor, or her hair is red, or she has freckles. He wears glasses, or he has one foot that he seems constantly to be tripping over, he talks funny.

These, the lonely children, often fantasize that one day they will be great, as Hickory boasted in The Wizard of Oz : "But someday, they're gonna erect a statue to me in this town." 

Dorothy (also seen as a lonely heroine, in the way all the time) fantasized about a place beyond the rainbow, and many children today watch fantasy films, and cartoons that were in fact written out of the imaginings of the Lonely Children of yesteryear. Not all of the lonely children become targets, but a greater number of the targets are the lonely children. See how easily she was deceived by a fortune teller... Imagine if he were in town today, offering her a scholarship to a modeling school. 

As my sister always says "If it seems to good to be true, it probably is" but she also claims "it is just as easy to love a rich man as a poor one, so if you see cash..." 

Trailer for the TV Movie "Human Trafficking"

Rich Child, Poor Child

Whether a child is poor or rich, all children want to be loved and adored. If the child has seen how models and actresses are accepted and adored by the world they may be susceptible to the "Model search" of "Hollywood Director" type of con.

In areas where the families are poor, there may be cons about "giving your child the education he/she deserves" and the parents know they cannot give their children what they want to give them! It is a very simple thing for desperate parents to try and give their child a better life. Often these parents are themselves an easy target, because they were also a lonely child! These "easy targets" never outgrow the hope of the "fairy tale rescuer" the "Dragon slayer" or "Knight in Shining Armor" has finally arrived and will now rescue their child from this abject poverty...

This con works on the needy and also wherever there has been a disaster, such as the Earthquake in Haiti. It was not long before the Earthquake victims became easy targets for human traffickers.

In the our present economy, with more people out of work and possibly losing their homes, the con is alive and well and growing. If a "philanthropist" came up to you and offered you a better life for your daughter, one that may help you as well, because she'd be modeling and able to send home a check each week, would you look into her eager face and say "No honey, we'll be homeless and hungry, but it's safer for you that way..."

Yes, the con is here, and you are an easy target if you are struggling financially.

Where once the easy target was hard to find, now the targets are popping up daily, due to the fact that people are losing their jobs and their homes.

Dramatization of real events for a Documentary

Once caught:

Once in the game the child is told that if they do not participate or that if they run away, their family or friends will suffer. These children are free (they cost their owner little or no money) so if there is a chance they won't cooperate they can be killed. Usually the snuff will be on video, because the film can be sold over and over on the black market for people who have those sorts of tastes.

Children who walk to and from school, and even those who ride buses are also targets. The guerrilla tactic of grabbing children off the street, and throwing them in the van or trunk is still happening daily in this and other countries. Luring children near the vehicle with a friendly question about how to get to the mall, or library, works every time on single children. Children love to display their knowledge, and to have an adult ask them how to get somewhere is a big ego boost.

You see, the stuff of films and your worst nightmares are true, have been true, and will continue to be true, until you find a way to erase the target off of the Lonely Child's back! In order to do that you must make it more difficult on the predators.

Join with your local law enforcement agencies and neighborhood watch groups. Get to know your neighbors, and volunteer at schools or churches, telling them that they need to teach the children to travel in groups. Three or more children in a group is best because it's hard to catch that many, without creating a scene, and leaving a witness.

Become active in politics, or write your local newspapers and your representatives, senators and congressmen. Demand that there be groups and task forces started in your area, to prevent these child trafficking crimes! In doing this there could easily be enough job creation, just on education, and protection services alone, to get our economy back on track.


First, we must stop creating more lonely children. If you are the parent of a child who "has no friends" or "gets picked on" or just seems quieter and sadder than other children, you need to get them help. Take them to the Y or your local community center. Some area police departments and Sheriff departments have teams and leagues for kids. Some have programs to teach parents and children how to be safe from predators.

Even though your child may "be okay" it is important to get them involved in something that will raise their self-esteem. The biggest problem facing our youth today is self-esteem, which is another hub all in itself. Just think that accomplishments, whether they are bowling trophies or blue ribbons, go a long way towards increasing a child's self-esteem. Get your child involved in group activities, such as scouting, sports, 4H, or dance. Find out what makes you child proud of himself/herself, and focus on finding a group, team, league, club, or class.

Getting your child, or your neighborhood children, to value themselves for their acheivements will go a long way to eliminating the target on their backs.

Second, we must teach our children to never become a victim, by teaching them the dangers, and then teaching them self-defense. Once the child has become a victim, it is so much harder to reclaim them and help them. I can tell you that I personally had to retreat from relationships because of my own "emotional baggage" from being victimized. I live with my son, and have learned to be alone. I don't know if I will ever be whole. The point is to do whatever we can to prevent the worst from happening, and that requires education.

The next time you drive near a school, have a look. Don't you see the lonely child, the easy target among the other "happier and safer" looking children? If you see one, that is one too many. Do something. Educate yourself, and then educate your local school board. Demand that your tax dollars go to make our children safer, as well as smarter.

Thank you for your time and consideration in this matter. It's the one closest to my heart.


Submit a Comment

  • Faybe Bay profile image

    Faye Constantino 7 years ago from Florida

    @ LeanMan, thank you for your compliment. You have been such a stanch supporter of my writing, and it is greatly appreciated.

    @ Breakfastpop, I'm so glad that you had the foresight to teach your girls self-defense. It is sad that at least one fourth of the females in this country will be or have been sexually abused by the age of eighteen, 25%! That's just an appalling number.

  • breakfastpop profile image

    breakfastpop 7 years ago

    Excellent piece of writing. When my girls went off to college I gave them a crash course in self defense. Keeping our children safe is a full time job. When I think about all the abused and forgotten children my heart breaks in two. Thumbs up for a job well done.

  • LeanMan profile image

    Tony 7 years ago from At the Gemba

    A very moving and thought provoking hub, thank you..