(Study Abroad Trip to Berlin, Germany; 2013)
"Folks want to travel for the GRAM, but sex-slavers are watching."
Please read with caution. This post's purpose is to bring awareness about an issue that is not talked about within the black community. We are instantly exposed to different people and cultures via social media on a consistent basis. African Americans, specifically between the ages 25-40 are traveling more due to social media and cheap flights. There are legit traveling groups for people of color willing to travel. Please read this article (www.thedailybeast.com).
I had a friend reach out to me about this issue. The issue is "traveling while black". We both believe she was targeted while visiting Italy. I do not want to go too deep about the unfortunate situation she had to experience. But... She was nearly abducted while visiting a tourist location in Turin, which is the capital city of Piedmont in northern Italy. It is known for its refined architecture and cuisine. She survived the incident because she was aware of her surroundings and made a quick decision to run for help.
As we all know, and are aware of the issues at home (America).
The issues we consistently talk about are the "black on black" violence, education, mass incarceration, police brutality, and employment. We neglect the issues we face while traveling to foreign lands, such as human trafficking.
Did you know?
"Of confirmed sex trafficking victims whose race was known, 26 percent were white and 40 percent were black." (http://victimsofcrime.org)
"The key lessons are; have a weapon, plot out an exit strategy, make noise, and be forceful. They're charming at first and then aggressive."
As soon as the plane lands, and we have reached our foreign destination and excitement takes over. Enjoy your trip... LIVE... TRAVEL... But be aware. Now-a-days, my timeline is filled with my bothers and sisters traveling all over the world. I am beyond proud and excited for y'all. This earth was created for us to roam!
I asked my friend, "How did you survive the attack?" She answered, "The key lessons are have a weapon, plot an exit strategy, make noise and be forceful. They're charming at first and then aggressive." As she was engaging and focused on the conversation she was having with a hot guy, she noticed the vibe was becoming awkward.
Please know, this is not only "white people" problems. It happens to us too. So... The next time you travel to a foreign country. Or another city, period... Here are some tips to abide by:
Be AWARE of your surroundings (the environment and people)
Avoid Public Intoxication
Find SAFE Accommodations
Stay Connected (Make sure to notify someone back home about your plans at all times)
Carry Improvised Weapons (A set of Car Keys) https://lowtechcombat.com/blog/2012/01/5-best-improvised-weapons-in-world
Travel in a groups (If possible)
*If you are traveling alone, please abide by this tip to the HUNDREDTH power!
If you have any advice or would like to share your experience, please comment below. I would love to hear your thoughts regarding this topic.