Amplifying the Silent Cries: A Mother’s Journey and Call to Action on Human Trafficking


By Deondriea Cantrice

As we approach the World Day Against Trafficking in Persons on July 30, 2024, I am compelled to share my story—one that is both deeply personal and universally urgent. My journey as a mother of a human trafficking victim has unveiled the harsh realities of this horrible crime and the pressing need for collective action. Today, I speak not just as a mother but as an advocate, urging our communities to recognize the signs, support the survivors, and fight against the human trafficking.

A Mother’s Nightmare

My story begins with a mother’s worst nightmare. Discovering that my daughter was a victim of human trafficking was a devastating blow—one that shattered our family and left us wrestling with the unthinkable. The trauma was compounded by the fact that my grandchild, fathered by the trafficker, was born with a brain birth defect. Navigating the complexities of the aftermath of trafficking requires massive strength and resilience, both of which were born out of necessity and an unwavering love for my family.

The Silent Epidemic

Human trafficking is a silent epidemic that preys on the vulnerable, often hidden in plain sight. According to the 2022 National Human Trafficking Hotline statistics, African Americans represent approximately 40% of identified human trafficking victims, despite constituting only 13.4% of the U.S. population. This is a stark reminder of the disproportionate impact on our communities. Traffickers exploit systemic inequalities, targeting those who are marginalized and overlooked. This is not just a criminal issue; it is a human rights crisis that demands our immediate attention.

Recognizing the Signs

Awareness is the first step towards prevention. As a community, we must educate ourselves on the signs of trafficking. Victims often exhibit changes in behavior, withdrawal from social circles, unexplained absences, and signs of physical abuse. By staying vigilant and informed, we can identify and intervene before it’s too late. It is our responsibility to protect our children and ensure they are safe from predators who seek to exploit them.

Supporting Survivors

Survivors of human trafficking face a long and arduous road to recovery. They need comprehensive support that addresses their physical, emotional, and psychological needs. This includes access to healthcare, counseling, legal assistance, and economic opportunities. Empowerment through education and job training is crucial in helping survivors rebuild their lives. We must advocate for policies and programs that provide these essential services and support the organizations that tirelessly work on the front lines.

Legislative and Community Action

Legislative action is paramount in the fight against human trafficking. We must push for stronger laws that protect victims, punish perpetrators, and disrupt the networks that facilitate trafficking. Additionally, community-based efforts are vital. Faith-based organizations, local businesses, and community groups must come together to create safe spaces, provide resources, and raise awareness.

A Call to Action

On this World Day Against Trafficking in Persons, I urge each of you to take a stand. Educate yourselves and others about the realities of human trafficking. Support local and national organizations dedicated to eradicating this crime. Advocate for stronger laws and policies. Most importantly, listen to and amplify the voices of survivors. Their stories are powerful testimonies of resilience and courage, and they deserve to be heard.

As a mother, an advocate, and a survivor in my own right, I am committed to this fight. Together, we can create a world where no child, no person, is subjected to the horrors of trafficking. Let us stand united in our resolve to end this atrocity and build a future where every individual can live free from exploitation and fear.

Deondriea Cantrice is a certified confidence coach, transformational speaker, and award-winning author. She is a dedicated advocate for human trafficking survivors and their families.


National Human Trafficking Hotline
888-373-7888, or text 233733
Office of Victims Crime

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Deondriea’s Personal Journey and Mission

Deondriea’s advocacy work is rooted in personal experience and a deep commitment to ending human trafficking. Through her keynotes, workshops, and collaborations with various organizations, she educates, empowers, and mobilizes communities to take action against this pervasive issue. Her efforts are a testament to her unwavering dedication to making a difference.

Deondriea’s journey as an anti-trafficking advocate began when her daughter became a victim of this heinous crime. Determined to transform her family’s pain into purpose, Deondriea has dedicated her life to raising awareness about trafficking, educating communities, and advocating for systemic change. Her message is clear and compelling: “Don’t be afraid, be aware.”

Click HERE to watch as Deondriea shares a glimpse of her journey of human trafficking with