Familial Trafficking

Action step against trafficking:


Excerpted from The Exodus Road, April 5, 2019

Micah Hartmann, in an April 5, 2019 article in Exodus Road says, "Human trafficking has been identified in all 50 U.S. states. The majority of the time, this crime isn’t being carried out by wanted criminals or strangers passing through town with dubious agendas. It’s happening at the hands of people in our communities that we know, live next to, or interact with.

He further explains, "According to Kelly Dore—survivor of familial trafficking, Director of the National Human Trafficking Survivor Coalition, and Legislative Liaison for United Against Slavery—familial trafficking is the abuse or exploitation of a victim at the hands of someone they know.  Familial sex trafficking, specifically, involves traffickers (who sell victims for profit) giving offenders sexual access to victims or pornography in exchange for drugs, money, or something else of value.  Kids are the prime targets of this heinous crime, and their perpetrators are often right in front of us, hiding in plain sight."

Hartmann goes on to say, "More than 200,000 children are victims of sex trafficking in the U.S. every year, and their families or family friends are the most likely to exploit them. For 90% of victims, child trafficking starts in the home. The average age of a victim of familial trafficking in the U.S. is only five years old, and some children are victimized as early as infancy."

As Kelly Dore says, "They are American children. They’re in your schools. They go to your churches. If you’re a medical doctor, they come to your clinics."   

Who are the perpetrators?  The article gives these details: "In a Journal of Family Violence study sample, in which all traffickers involved were family members, nearly 65% of the traffickers were the mother of the victim, and 32% were the victim’s father.  Traffickers who victimize their family members or those close to them take advantage of existing power dynamics. They seek extensive control over their victims’ lives. They know their victims well and understand exactly what makes them vulnerable. This position allows them to manipulate and groom their victims to do exactly as they’re told."

How can you or I help a child being trafficked?  This article says, "One thing every one of us can do is trust our gut. If something feels off or wrong or if a child shows any signs of sex trafficking, take a closer look. Teachers and school personnel are the most likely group to come into regular contact with victims of familial trafficking—but are by no means the only one. If you suspect a child you know is being trafficked by a family member or anyone else, file a report with local law enforcement or contact the Human Trafficking Hotline. Do NOT contact the family, and never attempt to confront a suspected trafficker or rescue a victim yourself; you could make a situation much worse for the child and put yourself in serious danger."  

I hadn't heard these stats before but I do know that familial trafficking is real and it really does happen right here.  I have been told of children being trafficked by family members in Whatcom County. 

It's heartbreaking.

Please pray for trafficking situations to be revealed and victims to begin healing from the trauma they've experienced.  And if you ever suspect a child is being trafficked, make the call.

Want to learn more about the face of modern-day slavery? Visit http://www.hope4justice.org/the-facts/


Mirror Ministries in the Tri-Cities area of Eastern Washington recently shared "Harmony's" story of being trafficked by her mother on their facebook page. Read the full account here.


Sunday, September 22, 2019: Freedom Sunday at North County Christ the King, 1835 Liberty St., Lynden, WA. All three services: 9 & 11:00 am and 6:30 pm.

Sunday, October 20, 2019:Stand Against Slavery at Northlake Community Church, 1471 E McLeod Rd. Bellingham, WA. 6-8 pm

The "Friendly Skies" fight trafficking

Airlines combat trafficking

American Airlines identifies telltale signs:

It was three years ago (2016) that airlines began training flight attendants to identify signs that a person might be a victim of human trafficking.  Business Insider.com recently interviewed American Airlines employees about these signs.  The list includes:

  • A young passenger and an adult are traveling together but don't look alike and don't have the same last name.

  • A young passenger is traveling without luggage.

  • An adult traveling companion does not allow a young passenger to place a drink order or talk to the flight attendant about where he or she is traveling.

  • A young passenger is constantly being watched by an adult companion.

  • When asked about his or her trip, a young passenger's answers frequently change.

  • A young passenger's hand stays very close to an adult's hand, possibly concealing a handcuff.

  • A young passenger won't acknowledge or make eye contact with the flight attendant.

  • A young passenger can't go to the bathroom without being accompanied by an adult.

Brady Byrnes, managing director of flight-service recruitment, training, and administration for American Airlines further explained, "If they suspect a passenger may be a victim of human trafficking, American Airlines flight attendants are trained to report their concerns to the flight's captain, who can contact the airline's system-operations-control employees to find out more about the backgrounds of the potential victim and his or her companion, like if they have one-way tickets."

We're glad to know that the "friendly skies" are watching out for potential trafficking victims. Well done!

Delta Air Lines donates more than 100 flights, $2.5 million to help human trafficking survivors

According to an August 12, 2019 USA Today article"Delta Air Lines has given more than 100 flights to help fly human trafficking survivors through mileage donation program SkyWish and has now committed an additional $1.5 million to Polaris, the operator of the National Human Trafficking Hotline.

The funding will help Polaris with human trafficking data analysis aimed at curbing human trafficking in the U.S. and will help ensure the hotline has staff working to answer the 200 to 300 contacts made every day. 

Delta has worked on a number of initiatives to help bring awareness to human trafficking, including an in-flight video, giving survivors mentorship and career development opportunities and training employees on how to spot and report human trafficking. Delta had previously donated $1 million to Polaris in 2017. There has been a 36% increase in survivor contacts since then."

"The problem of human trafficking has to be aggressively combatted from every angle, and for Delta that means getting our nearly 200 million customers and 80,000 employees onboard in the fight," said Allison Ausband, senior vice president of in-flight service at Delta and leader of the company's executive steering committee against human trafficking. "We all have a role to play and can make a difference."

Kudos to Delta Air Lines!

Want to learn more about the face of modern-day slavery? Visit www.hope4justice.org/learnmore/


Recent rescues

"Operation Independence Day: FBI Rescue More Than 100 Child Sex Trafficking Victims Across US."   

LIghtworkers.com recently reported that during July 2019, "The FBI identified or recovered 103 juveniles in total and arrested 67 traffickers, according to a press release issued this week by the federal agency. The crackdown, titled “Operation Independence Day,” relied on the work of more than 400 agencies partnering with the FBI Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Forces in each of the bureau’s 56 field offices."

"Christopher Wray, director of the FBI, said the agency is “fiercely focused on recovering child victims and arresting sex traffickers who exploit them.” He added, “Through operations like this, the FBI helps child victims escape the abusive life of sex trafficking.”

In the Pacific Northwest, the KOMO News headline for Operation Independance Day was  "Six teens rescued during FBI sex trafficking sweep in Seattle."  

The article said, "The six teen victims rescued in Seattle was the fourth-highest number of all U.S. cities.  Las Vegas had the highest number of teen victims, with 14, the Associated Press reported. Dallas was next in the number of juveniles recovered and identified, with 13. Detroit had 9. Seattle and Atlanta each had 6.

To make the arrests and rescue the victims, undercover officers scanned social media and escort sites looking for what appeared to be juveniles advertising for commercial sex. They then set up fake dates, met at pre-arranged locations, and then brought individuals - and their pimps in some cases - in for interviews to determine if they were underage or trafficked."

Let's cheer for the efforts of the FBI and let's pray that each rescued victim can get the needed help so he/she can live a free, peaceful, and fruitful life.  

Behind the scenes

Three cheers for Hope4Justice volunteers quietly and steadily working behind the scenes on Hope4Justice communications.  Many thanks to Jasmine, Travis, and Anne-Marie for their work on website updates, facebook posts, and emails to the Engedi prayer group.

Your faithful efforts are greatly appreciated! 

Want to learn more about the face of modern-day slavery? Visit  www.hope4justice.org/learnmore/ 

Bet you don't know all of these facts about trafficking!

Facts about human trafficking in the US
From businessinsider.com


Ready to find out what you know (and don't know) about human trafficking?  Check your knowledge against this list of facts about human trafficking in the United States:  

Human trafficking wasn't illegal until 2000, when the Trafficking Victims Protection Act was passed, which made it a federal crime.

The United States, along with Mexico and the Philippines, was ranked one of the world's worst places for human trafficking in 2018. In the US, there is no official number of human trafficking victims, but estimates place it in the hundreds of thousands.

Since 2007, more than 49,000 cases of human trafficking in the US have been reported to the National Human Trafficking Hotline, which receives an average of 150 calls per day.

The most human trafficking cases have been reported in California, Texas, and Florida, according to the hotline. Las Vegas is also a hot spot due to the city's culture and high rates of homelessness. But every state in the US has reports of human trafficking.

New York, and Queens in particular, is a documented destination for trafficking, because of its location on the eastern corridor, as well as being close to rural areas like Vermont. As Homeland Security assistant special agent Akil Baldwin told AM New York, "New York is the epicenter of everything, legitimate and illegitimate."

It is estimated that between 18,000 and 20,000 victims are trafficked into the United States every year.

Children are more vulnerable than adults. They're easier to control, cheaper, and less likely to demand working conditions, researchers explained. More than 300,000 young people in the US are considered "at risk" of sexual exploitation.

In 2011, California passed a law to help with trafficking in the manufacturing industry. The law required major manufacturing and retail firms to disclose what they were doing to stop human trafficking in their supply chains. By 2015, however, less than a fifth of businesses had complied.

A 2014 study by the Urban Institute, a Washington think tank, found 71% of labor trafficking victims entered the US legally.

Children raised in foster care have a greater chance of becoming victims. In 2013, 60% of child victims the FBI recovered were from foster care. In 2017, 14% of children reported missing were likely victims of sex trafficking, and 88% of those had been in child welfare, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children reported.

The Mexican state of Tlaxcala has been identified as the biggest source of sex slaves to the US. In 2015, five out of 10 of Homeland Security's "most wanted" sex traffickers were from Tenancingo, in Tlaxcala. There were estimates that one in 10 people from Tenancingo were involved in trafficking.

Native American women are at particular risk. In 2016, a reported 506 Native American women disappeared or were killed in American cities. In Phoenix, another of the top trafficking jurisdictions in the US, it was estimated that 40% of sex trafficking victims in 2015 were Native American.

In 2016, after US Immigration and Customs arrested 2,000 human traffickers and identified 400 victims, airlines started training staff to spot signs of human traffickers. Some of the signs that someone is a victim are not being in control of their own boarding pass or money and if they seem "disoriented and lost."

Other than the sex trade, trafficking victims often work in private residences, on farms, in the hospitality industry, and in the health and beauty service industry.

Migrant farm workers can become trafficking victims because their legal status in the US is often tied to employment. According to a 2017 report, the most commonly worked crop for victims was tobacco, followed by cattle and dairy, oranges, tomatoes, and strawberries.

There's no accurate estimate on how much money trafficking makes in the US, since victims are often guarded by captors, lack proper documentation, and work behind the scenes.

Now that you know, what can you do? Share this info with another person and if you or someone you know is a victim of human trafficking, call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888.

Want to learn more about the face of modern-day slavery? Visit  www.hope4justice.org/learnmore/ 

Engedi Refuge Updates:   

  • Good News! A house manager has been hired for the Engedi House. PTL!

  • A house monitor is still needed for one of the transitional houses. Please pray for the right person to come forward soon.