It’s sad to say, but sometimes we have to assume the worst about people. When it comes to our kids, small doses of paranoia mixed with vigilance can make a difference when fending off predators.
Yeah, predators of the inhumane human kind. Earlier this month, a mom issued a warning through her Facebook page about an incident while traveling. She stopped at a rest stop with her daughter while driving from Ohio to Indiana, and something just felt off.
Sometimes, when strangers speak, we give a quick nod or greeting, but it sounds like these folks were doing way too much and red flags started popping up. Details are in the woman’s post:
“PSA: so we are driving home from Cincinnati and got off at a rest stop for a quick bathroom break. Just my daughter and I went inside (i didn’t have my phone or purse on me). As we were walking in some lady who appeared to be on something, was trying to talk to my daughter, I held her hand the entire way in and walked swiftly ahead. As the lady was trying to talk to us she was also lighting a cigarette which she immediately extinguished upon us entering building. We went to far end handicap stall and went in together. I heard the lady enter and she was talking to another lady about us heard her say “the little girl”, I told my daughter we weren’t washing hands and I was going to carry her out. As we leave I passed both women and the one that I originally saw had changed clothes and started to leave after us leaving her bag on the floor of the stall she was in. The other lady with her was probably 6’. I then made a dead sprint to the car, threw my daughter in and locked doors. Once we were safely in car I noticed 3 men standing in front of a gold minivan with all the doors open…We called 911 and reported it and I have this terrible feeling that had I not been aware of my surroundings my daughter may have been taken from me. It is a terrifying world we are living in I wanted to share to try to remind everyone to be aware of your surroundings, hold on to your children and stay off your phones so you are not distracted!!!
This was at a rest stop around mile marker 151 (Batesville) heading west on I -74”
Scary! This can happen anywhere, as human trafficking affects all US states and is a multi-billion dollar industry worldwide. According to the Polaris Project, children make up a quarter of the victims while 75% are women and girls.
In addition to airports and major cities, truck and highway rest stops also happen to be hubs for trafficking. Coercion and kidnapping are just some of the methods used to force victims into the trade. Had this mom not been paying attention nor listened to her gut, both of them could have been harmed.
Since the original post, it’s been shared over 80,000 times, with people encouraging others to be watchful. No matter where you live or what time of day it is, keep your eyes and ears open!