Heather Poole, a Los Angeles based flight attendant living in Redondo Beach (a city I used to call home) writing about identifying and reporting human trafficking.
A few years ago, my airline started training us on spotting telltale signs of human trafficking on the plane. Can the passenger speak for themselves, or is someone with them controlling what they say? Does the passenger avoid eye contact? Do they appear fearful, anxious, tense, depressed, nervous, submissive? Are they dressed inappropriately, or do they have few possessions even on a long flight? Can the passenger move independently, or are they accompanied by someone seemingly controlling their every movement?
I live in Redondo Beach…when I met a woman at my sons swimming lesson…
…She belonged to a local nonprofit group involved in helping victims of human trafficking, and it was during this chance encounter while our sons swam laps that she told me about a massage parlor a block away that her group was watching. A block from the pool and about five blocks from my house. A year later the police busted the place for prostitution and they closed shop, only to be replaced by a few new places down the street.