At age 19, Indira Karimova became a victim of human trafficking after she was married off to her second cousin and brought to the United States. After their arranged marriage in Kyrgyzstan, Karimova and her husband moved to America before settling in Tyler, Texas, where she alleges she was subjected to years of abuse. Living in America and unable to speak English, Karimova said she was in hell with no lifeline to escape. NBC News does not typically identify victims of sexual abuse, but Karimova agreed to share her story in the hopes it will help other victims come forward.
Unfortunately, for millions of women and girls across the globe who are trafficked, this sense of freedom and hope is not possible. In addition to being the first month of , January is also National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month—a national awareness building initiative to shine a light on the dark, often covert world of human trafficking. Of those abused, 55 percent are women and girls, and 26 percent are children. Human trafficking is modern-day slavery. It involves people being bought, sold, and forced into slave labor or sexual exploitation. Many of the factors that make women vulnerable to gender-based violence—including gender discrimination, poverty, poor education and health infrastructures—are similar to those that give rise to human trafficking.
Department of Education. What Is Human Trafficking? Human trafficking is a serious federal crime with penalties of up to imprisonment for life.
Jump to navigation. Human trafficking occurs in cities all across the United States. Domestic traffickers often target international victims using preexisting personal connections abroad.