Keeping our kids safe: This week's passage of SESTA is a step toward online safety

ACTION STEP AGAINST TRAFFICKING: Volunteer to help with a video we're making on 4/14/18.  See below for details.

According to Caryl Stern, in an article for CNN on 2/6/18"Every half second, or in the time it takes to click a mouse, a new child goes online for the first time. We know that Internet access provides incredible opportunities, empowering young people to connect with their peers, express themselves, learn about world around them and find solutions to the issues affecting their lives. However, the online world also leaves children vulnerable to risks -- including a new marketplace for human trafficking. Fast to adapt to the latest technologies, traffickers employ various strategies online to exploit, abuse and cause harm to children, challenging the ability of law enforcement to keep up."

In a bipartisan effort, congress looked into the concerns of human trafficking online.  Sarah Mucha's CNN 3/21/18 update says, "In an 18-month investigation conducted by the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, part of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, subcommittee Chairman Rob Portman, an Ohio Republican, and the committee's top Democrat, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, reported finding that was knowingly selling people online.  "They didn't remove the post because they didn't want to lose the revenue," Portman said on the Senate floor. "And you can imagine, this is a very lucrative business."  

The problem was that, "Under current federal law, websites cannot be held responsible for content published by third parties on their sites."

Congress tackled the problem, creating the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act (SESTA).  This legislation "Would create an exception to Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act to allow victims of sex trafficking to sue websites that enabled their abuse. The House version passed with an overwhelming majority from both parties by 388-25 and later received an endorsement from the White House.

This week the Senate also passed SESTA!  Now it goes to President Trump for signing.  This legislation is an important step in the fight against trafficking.  And it's heartening to see that both parties in congress can work together to protect the vulnerable.  

Two thumbs up!
Sue Ann  

Want to learn more about the face of modern-day slavery? Visit

 4-11-18: "STOP HUMAN TRAFFICKING: Join Forces for Prevention" Conference
(No cost to attend)

When: Wednesday, April 11, 2018.  Registration at 7:30 am.  Conference ends at noon.
Where: Swinomish Casino, Anacortes

Guest Speakers:

  • Suamhirs Piraino-Guzman, Sr. Program Coordinator, WA Advisory Committee on Trafficking (WARM)
  • Catherine Crisham, Assistant U.S. Attorney, Human Trafficking

Breakout Groups: Law Enforcement/Social Worker, Education, Medical, General Public

Conference sponsored by Skagit Coalition Against Trafficking

RSVP to Diane Goetz at
5-5-18: (Note corrected date)
Men of Dignity "A Men's Rally for Holiness"

When: May 5, 2018; 6:30-8:30 pm
Where: Hillcrest Chapel, Bellingham, WA
Details at


The next Hope4Justice quarterly public meeting will be from 7-8:30 pm on May 15, 2018.  Put it on your calendar now!

Directions to Engedi Counseling Center: From Wiser Lake roundabout head North on Guide Meridian; immediately after Simple Box Storage Containers turn right into the driveway and drive to the second building on the left

TAKE ACTIONWhat can YOU do, right here and right now?

Volunteer to help with the Hope4Justice video!  

  • Prior to videotaping: One volunteer is needed to write lines of script on posterboards (between now and April 3, 2018)
  • Day of taping - April 14, 2018:3-4 volunteers are needed to serve as building guides & "go-fors" to show actors where to go in building and help with miscellaneous tasks.
  • Contact to sign up.

Help distribute posters for the "STOP HUMAN TRAFFICKING" conference to law enforcement & medical personnel/offices, educators, social workers and/or post them in public locations.  (Conference details at left.)

Email info@hope4justice to make arrangements to pick up posters.Become part of the "Prayer Wall for Engedi Refuge Ministries" by signing up to pray for 30 minutes, once per week.  You'll receive prayer requests and updates via email. 

Email with "Prayer for Engedi" in the subject line.  Include your name & preferred day and time to pray.