Sex-Trafficking: A Parent’s Guide to Protecting Your Child

Action step against trafficking:  Encourage a WWU, WCC, or Whatcom County high school student to apply for the Hope4Justice STEP -- Student Trafficking Education Project -- scholarship.  (Details below.)

Sex-Trafficking: A Parent’s Guide to Protecting Your Child

From Focus on the Family

America's children are lured, tricked, abducted, and coerced into sex trafficking.  With the hope of helping parents protect their children from this evil, Focus on the Family has a developed a series of articles about trafficking.  The first one explains, "There are dozens of various ways that men and women abduct young boys and girls into the sex-trafficking industry in the United States every day. Many of these methods are very high-tech, rely on advanced psychological manipulation. Some sex trafficking occurs right under parents’ noses as they are unaware of what their children are doing when they are inside or outside the home.

The numbers of sex-trafficked victims in the U.S. is increasing every year, despite growing efforts by groups to fight this crime. Many Americans remain unaware of the severity of the problem and the fact that, despite Lincoln’s 1863 Emancipation Proclamation, the slave trade is alive and thriving in this country."

The series of articles includes: 

Focus on the Family says, "When confronted with the reality — and enormity — of sex trafficking, it is easy to become overwhelmed and be tempted to ignore the topic. That impulse, according to author Nita Belles, is exactly what the traffickers want all parents, grandparents, and concerned adults to do: Don’t think about it, don’t talk about it, and don’t act to prevent it."
 Instead, let's do the opposite: Let's think about it, talk about it and take action to prevent it.  Our children are worth it!
SAHWant to learn more about the face of modern-day slavery? Visit http://www.hope4justice.org/the-facts/


LEARN MORE

Restoring Hope Gala
Saturday, April 13, 2019

 Engedi Refuge says, "You can help bring safety, comfort, and hope to victims of sex trafficking by joining us at our 2019 Restoring Hope fundraising gala. This event is an amazing opportunity for community partners like you to share this mission with your friends and associates by inviting them to a night of celebration, inspiration, fun, and meaningful charity. You make all the difference in ensuring the message of hope continues to be carried to survivors of trafficking!!"

When: Saturday, April 13, 2019. Registration opens at 5:30, dinner served at 6:30
Where: Four Points by Sheraton, 714 Lakeway Drive, Bellingham WA 98229
Cost: Single ticket; $65; Table Sponsorship of 8 is $500.

Click HERE to register for the Gala

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TAKE ACTION

Student Trafficking EducationProject
"STEP" scholarship
 

There is still time for students to complete trafficking awareness activities and apply for the 2019 Hope4Justice STEP scholarship

Three $1000 scholarships are available - one each to a WCC student, a WWU student, and a Whatcom County high school student. 

DEADLINE for submission is April 15, 2019 

Students must satisfactorally complete at least 20 hours of trafficking awareness activity.  Click on the items below for details about the STEP scholarship.

Exploited & Trying to Survive

Action step against trafficking:  Decide who you should invite to Engedi Refuge's "Restoring Hope" Gala -- and ask them this week!

Vulnerable children

Exploited and trying to suvive

KIMAtv.com in Yakima, Washington tells the story of a local trafficking survivor and explains why teens end up as victims.  Dave Hanson at Sunrise Outreach in Yakima, says it's an industry that mainly targets people who have nowhere to go, or people to turn to. Hanson says teens who end up in the human trafficking world often enter into it, because many can't yet fend for themselves and will do just about anything to have food and a roof over their head.

"They're in this situation where they're being exploited because they are trying to survive," said Hanson.

"Jane's" story of exploitation and survival came at the hands of her own mother.  "When I was about 14 and a half she (her mom) told me you go out to the highway, and you either come home with drugs or money or you don't come home at all," said Jane.

Jane says she spent many days on Pacific Highway, an area in Seattle where lots of sexual exchanges take place.   It was many years before she was able to get out of what she termed, "that dark place." 

When she started to go to school at age 25, she met the first good role models in her life.  That's when she realized things might have been different if there had been a trusted adult to turn to.  The article explains,  "Jane says all it takes for you to enter that child's life is to be the person they can go to for help."

That means that teachers, coaches, caring neighbors, mentors, youth group leaders and volunteers, and everyone else who works with children can help prevent trafficking just by being a safe person a child can turn to for help.  

That child on the street isn't a vixen trying to seduce johns.  She/he is only trying to survive and who knows what his/her life circumstances are?  

If you're in a position to "be there" for kids, I salute you and encourage you to keep caring and listening.  Young people need you -- some more than others. 
SAH

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

 

HAPPENINGS IN
 WHATCOM COUNTY


Restoring Hope Gala
Saturday, April 13, 2019 Engedi Refuge says, "You can help bring safety, comfort, and hope to victims of sex trafficking by joining us at our 2019 Restoring Hope fundraising gala. This event is an amazing opportunity for community partners like you to share this mission with your friends and associates by inviting them to a night of celebration, inspiration, fun, and meaningful charity. You make all the difference in ensuring the message of hope continues to be carried to survivors of trafficking!!"

When: Saturday, April 13, 2019. Registration opens at 5:30, dinner served at 6:30
Where: Four Points by Sheraton, 714 Lakeway Drive, Bellingham WA 98229
Cost: Single ticket; $65; Table Sponsorship of 8 is $500.

Click HERE to register for the Gala

 


 

LEARN MORE


--Trafficking in the suburbs of Seattle.  Read Jessika's storyhere.
 

--News from San Diego:  Roy Maas Youth Alternative opened La Puerta, an emergency shelter for sex trafficked children.

What's Happening

Wall Across Canadian Border?

Canada is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor. While the Southern border with Mexico, about 2,000 miles, attracts much more attention, the 5,500-mile Northern border with Canada is the largest between two countries in the world and makes the region more vulnerable in many ways to exploitation by criminal human trafficking enterprises.  But the authorities acknowledge that they cannot say with certainty how much criminal activity occurs as a result of Northern border crossings because their means of detection are so limited. 

Each year, Border Patrol agents catch hundreds of drug smugglers and human traffickers who use the sparsely populated Canada border to bypass the agents, cameras, sensors and other electronic devices that the Department of Homeland Security has installed to make up for the lack of personnel.   Both the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and U.S. State department agree that foreign women & children, primarily from Asia, Latin America and Africa who enter Canada illegally or legally via temporary passports are subjected to sex trafficking, potentially ending up in brothels, massage parlors, or even truck stops along the Interstate 5 Corridor (Vancouver Canada, U.S. West Coast, to Tajuana Mexico). The I-5 route makes up the majority of what is referred to as the “West Coast track” for trafficking, and it is estimated that each victim traveling along the track can make their trafficker around $200,000 a year, contributing to the $150 billion global human trafficking industry. The British Columbia border, international ports, and farm work make Washington State an ideal hot spot for slavery and human trafficking.
 

The Canadian border may never attract the attention of the U.S. Government or Media to the extent of the Southwest border.  To help Health care providers, law enforcement officers, social workers, advocates, members of the faith community, and others who work with trafficking victims in our community, Hoe4Justice encourages you to visit our Web/Facebook page to help develop a better understanding of and effective responses to human trafficking.

HAPPENINGS IN
WHATCOM COUNTY


 -- Save the date --
 

The Restoring Hope Fundraising Gala for Engedi Refuge Ministries will be on Saturday, April 13, 2019 at the   Four Points by Sheraton, 714 Lakeway Drive, Bellingham WA 98229.  Click here for details.

 

Trafficking & the Superbowl

Action step against trafficking: Help Hope4Justice serve dinner to Rebound families this coming Thursday, Feb.7th.  See details below.

SuperBowl LIII & trafficking

Many say that trafficking increases when large sporting events occur.  Others say research doesn't back up those claims.  Regardless, it's accurate to say that Atlanta, Georgia has a reputation for sex trafficking and whether or not today's SuperBowl causes an increase, it's good to spotlight what's going on in Atlanta and work to decrease trafficking.

According to Wikipedia "Atlanta is now a major transportation hub when it comes to trafficking young girls from Mexico and is one of the fourteen U.S. cities with the highest levels of sex trafficking of children."

Why Atlanta?  Wikipedia explains, "The same ready access to commercial air and ground routes that draws businesses and travelers to Atlanta also entices criminals engaged in human trafficking" and "There are numerous events and conventions in Atlanta that bring many people to the city which also exemplifies the issue."

For SuperBowl LIII there have been several efforts to combat trafficking.  On January 17, 2019 WSB-TV2 in Atlanta reported that 70 Uber drivers were recently trained to spot sex trafficking.  Deborah Richardson, executive director of the International Human Trafficking Institute said,  "Big events like the Super Bowl only make matters worse for victims.  Whenever you have lots of people coming in with disposable income, you are going to have human trafficking,” 

It's also been reported that a sting operation resulted in multiple arrests in metro Atlanta.  According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, "On Jan. 23 and 24, Homeland Security assisted in a joint operation in Douglas County using undercover officers, social media sites and local hotel rooms, the Douglasville Police Department said Wednesday. Sixteen people were arrested, according to police, and the youngest person involved was 17. The timing of the crackdown was related to the Super Bowl, police said." 

Additionally,  CNN.com reports that the city of Atlanta is using the SuperBowl attention to spotlight the year-round issue of trafficking.  "The Super Bowl is an opportunity for us to talk about it, but it's something we have to be vigilant about 12 months out of the year," Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms told CNN. "It's about making sure that the thousands of men and women who work in our hotels understand what the signs are. It's about making sure our police officers understand what the signs are. It's about making sure the public is informed."

CNN goes on to say, "The extra dose of messaging is all over the city. Posters in the airport, convenience stores and gas stations list the warning signs of trafficking and a hotline number. Delta Air Lines' inflight videos carry the message, too. In churches in Atlanta throughout January, groups held public information sessions on how to spot trafficking in communities. Volunteers went into hotels to share the signs with employees."

With all of these efforts, let's pray that the real increase in numbers at this SuperBowl is of rescued victims and arrests of johns and pimps. 
Let's pray that the messages of help plant the seed of hope in a trafficked victim's mind.  

And let's pray that SuperBowl LIII becomes known as an event that turned the tide on sex trafficking in Atlanta.
SAH

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


HAPPENINGS IN
WHATCOM COUNTY


 -- Save the date --
 

The Restoring Hope Fundraising Gala for Engedi Refuge Ministries will be on Saturday, April 13, 2019 at the   Four Points by Sheraton, 714 Lakeway Drive, Bellingham WA 98229.  Click here for details.

TAKE ACTION

Volunteers needed!

Hope4Justice will be serving dinner to Rebound families on Thursday, Feb.7, 2019 from 5-7 pm at CTK Bellingham.  More help is needed!  RSVP tobob@hope4justice.org or just show up at 5pm.