When you think of sex trafficking, chances are you don't think about it happening in your own state or your city. You might think human trafficking is only something you see in movies or something that doesn't happen often, but it's happening here and now.
One woman from Kenosha, Wisconsin experienced what she believes to be a sex trafficking attempt while she was tanning at her local lake.
Haley Oscar was enjoying a day at the beach when she was approached by a man in his late 40's. The man was acting strange, and after walking behind her for some time he started to talk to her. He asked some very weird questions, and Oscar knew she was in serious danger.
In her Facebook post Oscar said, "No matter how many times I asked he would not leave me alone." The man asked her bizarre questions like, "Do you have any friends?" and "Do you have a lot of people who care about you?" He also asked about her credit score, where she lived and what high school she went to.
Oscar didn't answer any of the questions, and after 40 minutes of trying to get him to leave her alone she sent a text to a few of her friends, hoping they could come to her rescue. She didn't want to stand up for fear of being grabbed, and she didn't want to get in her car because she didn't want the man to know what kind of car she drove.
When Mandi, Oscar's best friend, called to say she was on her way, the man "practically ran away."
Oscar shared, "The second [Mandi] called he practically ran away. He claimed he was from Waukegan and was here by himself … He spoke broken English and I'm almost 99 [percent] sure he was a sex trafficker based on the questions he was asking me."
This is an absolute nightmare for anyone, and Oscar shared a warning for women everywhere. She said, "Please be careful ladies. If you go to the lake alone make sure someone knows where you are and bring protection! I don't think a man has EVER made me that uncomfortable and scared for my safety."
The scariest part is that Oscar isn't the only one this has happened to recently in her area. One woman who wishes to remain unidentified was walking in downtown Kenosha when a white pickup truck started following her. According to Fox 6 Now, she said, "They started asking me more personal questions when they noticed I was in a rush — where I was going, why I am walking."
The man in the passenger seat started to get impatient, and said to the woman, "I could get you whatever you want. Anything you need. You're a beautiful girl."
Fox 6 Now reports that after the men realized she wasn't going to give them any more information, one of the men actually got out of the car and started yelling at her. She ran into a store and was safe from the scary situation. But then, "another woman, who was in Kenosha at a busy intersection, reached out to her on social media saying it happened to her too — two hours later" Fox 6 News stated.
If you're ever in a situation like this, it's important to know what to do. Teen Vogue lists ways to help protect yourself in a potentially terrifying situation:
Be aware of your surroundings. Don't look at your phone or listen to loud music — know what's going on around you.
Go straight to the cops. Don't call your friends; call 911 and leave the call on speaker.
Know basic self-defense moves. Find a class you can take at a local community center or at least read through self defense tips online.
Another victim from the area has a warning for everyone to go along with Oscar's plea. She says, "It's not a joke. It's nothing to play around with."
Please be careful when you go out and share this story to spread awareness of this terrifying situation. You could end up saving a life.