Human trafficking stops with us

A terrified young woman held captive by a man with his hand over her mouth

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A terrified young woman held captive by a man with his hand over her mouth

With the recent development of Clearview, an app that allows strangers to find the name and address of others with just a photo, as well as more reports of attempted, sometimes successful, kidnappings nearby, it’s time to truly realize that sex traffickers are not only here, but they’re get- ting smarter and more capable every day.

Trafficking has developed to the point where there are strategies involved in kidnapping, including methods of distracting their victim, feigning innocence in order to get the victim to trust them, stalking a woman until she is at her most vulnerable.

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While the show “You” might be entertaining and binge-worthy, it’s important to remember that this fantasy is based in reality.

No one in real life would like to experience being a victim of a night stalker.The closest attempt to campus occurred just down the street at Cerritos Mall, when a man placed an item on the windshield of a woman’s car and then rushed her when she attempted to remove it. Luckily, she was able to break away, but not everyone is so lucky.

As dark and scary as this reality might be, Cerritos College needs to realize that it is just that: a reality.

Students, these people are out there waiting for an opportunity, one small opening to attack. Don’t give that to them.

In other words, we can not necessarily get rid of the evil, but we can outsmart it.

Campus officials are already working toward making the campus much safer.

A campus safety update presented in the Jan. 15 board meeting showed that the school is not only listening to our concerns, but is making active efforts to correct them, including fixing the lights around campus and working on a new RAVE Guardian app.

In October 2019, the school identified that about 40-50 lights were out campus wide and there were overgrown trees blocking the poles.

These issues will be addressed in the next month or so.

The new RAVE Guardian app will feature emergency call buttons and even a monitored safe walk.

This feature will allow the student to hold a button on the app during their walk on campus and notify the dispatcher when they’ve made it to their destination safely.

This is a step in the right direction; however, this is only half the battle.

While resources such as these help promote safety, they do not guarantee it.

It is up to the students to utilize these resources, and to be cautious of their surroundings.

The safest thing to do when leaving campus at night would be to keep a lookout for yourself and other students when heading down a dark part of campus or simply heading to one’s car.

Sometimes the school campus cannot always ensure safety, but as students, it would be best to make life easier for everyone here to do something when you notice any suspicious activity.

The parking lot may be the perfect opportunity for any predator to take advantage of one who is unaware of their surroundings and is at their most vulnerable.

Students are by no means expected to live in fear, or to suffer from paranoia, however awareness can mean the difference between life and death.

Foreign places and dark areas can be made significantly safer simply by looking out for eachother.

Traveling with a friend, or even calling campus police for an escort can make all the difference. A simple act of kindness could save someone from a life-changing, mentally-scarring kidnapping attempt.

This issue not only pertains to women on this campus, but to all women everywhere and is a matter that requires attention from everyone, regardless of gender.

While it is ultimately the fault of traffickers who like to prey on women, these recent developments necessitate that the responsibility fall on us to watch out for not only ourselves, but for each other.