By: Kristine Alarcon
Sex trafficking is a serious issue in the United States. There have been 3,598 domestic sex trafficking reports to an advocacy group called The Polaris Project. Vigilante Truth, founded by Bo Quickel, hopes to help correct this problem in the truck driving population, as there is often a high demand for sex trafficking victims for truck drivers.
Vigilante Truth is a faith-based nonprofit that educates truck drivers about sex trafficking. It teaches truck drivers about how the illegal process works and helps the drivers realize that the escort they hired for the night could be a sex trafficking victim. Quickel also hopes to teach the truck drivers that the pimps that force the victims into the industry are the ones that get paid, not the escorts. It is mental manipulation, mental coercion, and physical abuse.
To help get the word out, Quickel uses Vigilante Truth to display an informational message on eight of his trucks. The trucks promote messages to stop sex trafficking by saying “stand as ONE” and provide a help hotline for the victims. Quickel believes that by seeing these messages at rest stops, entrance ramps, and exits on the highways, sex trafficking will be discouraged from stopping at the truck stops.
Another way that Quickel is spreading his message is with Vigilante Trucker, a smartphone app to allows truck drivers to spread the word and awareness. With the app, users can report sex trafficking incidents by taking a picture of an event they witnessed and then sending it to a national database that can rescue the victims and convict the pimps.
Quickel believes that the best way to prevent sex trafficking is to change the mindsets of men and helping them realize what is really happening.
Kristine Alarcon is a senior at the University of San Francisco working towards a Bachelors of Science in Biology. She is a Social Media Assistant at Cancer InCytes Magazine.
Couch, Robbie. “Truck Drivers Can Help Fight Sex Trafficking. Here’s How.” The Huffington Post. Retrieved on May 9, 2015. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/05/01/sex-trafficking-truckers_n_7191436.html?cps=gravity_2659_4732233262526956100
Photo Credit: (Vigilante Truckers) http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/05/01/sex-trafficking-truckers_n_7191436.html?cps=gravity_2659_4732233262526956100