FBI fights trafficking

A lot of work goes on behind the scenes as FBI agents (and other law enforcement) investigate crimes. Below are some recent headlines about FBI efforts and a reminder about our guest speaker on 5/16/17, FBI Victim Specialist Shannon Meyer.

  • FBI SPEAKER ON May 16th: This week's Hope4Justice public meeting features Shannon Meyer, FBI Victim Specialist. Join us at 7 pm on Tuesday, 5/16/17at Engedi Counseling Center, 7370 Guide Meridian, Lynden, WA.  (See below for details about the speaker and directions to meeting location.)
  • FBI CASE RESULTS IN 30 YEAR SENTENCE: On May 7th, the FBI announced"The creator and lead administrator of what was believed to be the world’s largest child pornography website—with more than 150,000 users around the world—was sentenced this week to 30 years in prison."   Special Agent Dan Alfin commented on the investigation leading to Stephen Chase's arrest and prosecution, "It's the same with any criminal violation: As they get smarter, we adapt, we find them.  It's a cat-and-mouse game, except it's not a game.  Kids are being abused, and it's our job to stop that."  (Read the full article HERE.)
  • FBI ARRESTS: "Six people were arrested in Western Washington last week after a lengthy investigation into an organized criminal ring that made hundreds of thousands of dollars through the prostitution of Asian sex workers, according to U.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes."
    (Read more HERE)

Cheers for the FBI!  We're thankful for the dedication and hard work of our FBI agents.  Let's pray for their safety and continued success in combating the darkness of this world.
SAH

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


LEARN MORE

Guest Speaker: Shannon Meyer, FBI Victim Specialist
When: 7:00 pm on 5/16/17
Where: Engedi Counseling Center, 7370 Guide Meridian, Lynden, WA 98264 

Shannon will outline the role of the FBI in addressing Human Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation nationally, as well as in this region of the country. She will also discuss the ways in which the FBI can support local organizations in their work, with special attention paid to the role that Victim Specialists can play in these endeavors.


TAKE ACTION

You can help Royal Family Kids Camp efforts!

 If you'd like to contribute supplies to help make this summer's camp a success, check out the list below and bring your item(s) to the May 16th Hope4Justice Public Meeting.

  • Craft supplies
  • Art materials
  • Dress-up clothing
  • Office supplies
  • Photo printing paper
  • Snacks

(Email bellingham.rfkc@gmail.com with questions or for more information.)

JOIN US
Hope4Justice public meetings
are from 7-8:30 pm on the 3rd Tuesday of each month at the Engedi Learning Center, 7370 Guide Meridian, Lynden, WA 98264.  (From Wiser Lake roundabout head North on Guide Meridian; immediately after Simple Box Storage Containers turn right into the driveway and drive to the right and toward the back)

Guest Speaker: Dr. Shannon Meyer, FBI at the May 16, 2017 Hope4Justice public meeting

We are excited to announce that Dr. Shannon Meyer will be our guest speaker at the next Hope4Justice public meeting. Shannon has a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology with specific clinical and empirical expertise in violence and victimization as well as advanced training in trauma and PTSD.
 
She has presented the results of her work at professional conferences, has published in peer review journals, and has served as an expert witness in District, Superior, and Supreme Courts in New York and Washington State.
 
Shannon is currently a Victim Specialist with the FBI, serves as a member of the Seattle FBI’s Crisis Negotiation Team, and teaches at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia. Additionally, she teaches at Seattle University where she is an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Criminal Justice.
 
Shannon is happily married to a retired Law Enforcement Executive and has a daughter who is just finishing her first year of college. She hopes to certify her young German Shepherd as a Crisis Response Canine, with a focus on serving the needs of first responders.
  
At the May 16, 2017 Hope4Justice public meeting, Shannon will outline the role of the FBI in addressing Human Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation nationally, as well as in this region of the country. She will also discuss the ways in which the FBI can support local organizations in their work, with special attention paid to the role that Victim Specialists can play in these endeavors.

Join us to hear what Shannon has to share!
SAH


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


HAPPENINGS IN
WHATCOM COUNTY

Royal Family Kids Camp 18th Annual Drive-By Giving Event in partnership with Cruisin’ Coffee and the Soft Rock KAFE 104.1FM Radio Station is Friday, May 12, 2017. Members of the community come together in this annual event to support the needs of abused and neglected kids in Whatcom and Skagit counties.
Date:  Friday May 12th, 2016
Time:  6:00am – 9:00am
Locations:  All Cruisin Coffee locations in Whatcom and Skagit County
Goal: $35,000 in scholarships for kids to attend Royal Family KIDS Camp
NOTE:  If you'd like to contribute supplies to help make this summer's camp a success, check out the list and bring your item(s) to the May 16th Hope4Justice Public Meeting: Craft supplies,Art materials,Dress-up clothing,Office supplies,Photo printing paper,Snacks

(Email bellingham.rfkc@gmail.com with questions or for more information.)
TAKE ACTION/YOU CAN HELP!  

Since January, IJM advocates across the country have been gathering signatures in their communities on a petition to urge President Trump and Congress to fully fund the End Modern Slavery Initiative (EMSI).   The IJM Freedom Commons website says "The initiative was passed in December and now we must work hard to get it funded".  Friday, May 5th was a "tweet in" day but you can still let Congress know your wishes.

Call or use social media NOW to urge our senators and representatives to fund the End Modern Slavery Initiative (EMSI). Find twitter contact info for your senator and representatives HERE.  Find email or phone contact info HERE.
JOIN US
Hope4Justice public meetings
are from 7-8:30 pm on the 3rd Tuesday of each month at the Engedi Counseling Center, 7370 Guide Meridian, Lynden, WA 98264.  (From Wiser Lake roundabout head North on Guide Meridian; immediately after Simple Box Storage Containers turn right into the driveway and drive to the right and toward the back. The Counseling Center is the second building.)

IJM Progress

International Justice Mission (IJM) does amazing work in the international fight against human trafficking.  Their 4/29/17 prayer partner update included these two items:

"Praise God for the largest IJM Ghana rescue to date, resulting in freedom for 30 children who had been forced to work in the fishing industry on Lake Volta. The IJM Ghana team worked with police to rescue 29 boys, one six-year-old girl and an adult man from the lake, while police arrested 11 suspected traffickers who had been profiting from their forced labor. The rescued children are now safe in aftercare shelters where they will receive trauma care and any needed medical treatment while the aftercare team works to locate their families and ensure they have a safe home to return to. Pray for their healing after the abuse they have suffered, that they would be restored to complete health and able to thrive in school and their communities."


"Praise God for a successful training workshop for church leaders in Cambodia, the first of several that we’ll be holding this year in Cambodia. The goal of these workshops is to equip church leaders with knowledge and tools that they can use to fight human trafficking. We will host them in provinces across the country, inviting leaders from rural provinces so they can take what they learn back to communities that are most vulnerable to labor trafficking. Several government officials spoke at the first training, and a combination of law enforcement, IJM and other NGO staff led the workshop. Praise God for this collaboration and unity in the fight against slavery in Cambodia."


Praise God for success against traffickers and opportunities to train community leaders. Many thanks to IJM for the work they do!
SAH

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

LEARN MORE
-- Save the date --
Shannon Meyer, FBI Victim Specialist  will be our guest at the May 16, 2017  Hope4Justice public meeting.  Plan to be there!

JOIN US
Hope4Justice public meetings
are from 7-8:30 pm on the 3rd Tuesday of each month at the Engedi Learning Center, 7370 Guide Meridian, Lynden, WA 98264.  (From Wiser Lake roundabout head North on Guide Meridian; immediately after Simple Box Storage Containers turn right into the driveway and drive to the right and toward the back)

HAPPENINGS IN
WHATCOM COUNTY


Royal Family Kids Camp 18th Annual Drive-By Giving Event in partnership with Cruisin’ Coffee and the Soft Rock KAFE 104.1FM Radio Station.  Members of the community come together in this annual event to support the needs of abused and neglected kids in Whatcom and Skagit counties.

Date:  Friday May 12th, 2016
Time:  6:00am – 9:00am
Locations:  All Cruisin Coffee locations in Whatcom and Skagit County
Goal: $35,000 in scholarships for kids to attend Royal Family KIDS Camp

Washington State keeps up the fight against trafficking: Bipartisan legislation creates human trafficking criminal no-contact order

An April 17, 2017 press release from the Washington State Attorney General's Office says, "The Washington State Legislature established an important protection for victims of human trafficking today. With overwhelming bipartisan support, the House of Representatives passed an agency request bill from Attorney General Bob Ferguson establishing a specific human trafficking criminal no-contact order, which courts and law enforcement will use to safeguard victims from their traffickers."

Hooray!  Bipartisan support of just about anything these days is something to cheer for and this bill is a great step forward in protecting trafficking victims. One of the bill's supporters explained it like this, “Tragically, the relationship between the perpetrator and the victim, who is generally a teenager, is actually one of a predator taking advantage of an underage youth. This bill creates protections and helps law enforcement assist these young victims,” said Rep. Orwall. “I am relieved that we’re sending this bill to the governor’s desk and I am grateful to all the people who worked hard to make that happen.”

You may or may not know that Washington State has previously earned an "A" from Shared Hope International for its legislative efforts to fight sex trafficking. (Learn more about our state's "report card" here.) This bill keeps the trend going.  
Well done Washington State Legislators! 
SAH


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


LEARN MORE
UPCOMING IN
WHATCOM COUNTY

Royal Family Kids Camp 18th Annual Drive-By Giving Event in partnership with Cruisin’ Coffee and the Soft Rock KAFE 104.1FM Radio Station. This is wonderful event is held each year, as members of the community come together to support the needs of abused and neglected kids in Whatcom and Skagit counties.

Date:  Friday May 13th, 2017
Time:  6:00am – 9:00am
Locations:  All Cruisin Coffee locations in Whatcom and Skagit County
Goal: $35,000 in scholarships for kids to attend Royal Family KIDS Camp


TAKING ACTION
Students at WWU and in local high schools and middle schools have recently contacted Hope4Justice about anti-trafficking projects they are planning.  We love their passion to fight this injustice and will share project updates as they happen!

JOIN US
Hope4Justice public meetings
are from 7-8:30 pm on the 3rd Tuesday of each month at the Engedi Learning Center, 7370 Guide Meridian, Lynden, WA 98264.  (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.)

Human Trafficking of Illegal Immigrants

Most of us are aware of  the controversy in our nation over the issue of illegal immigrants vs federal law and resulting declarations of sanctuary city or state status.  Have you wondered how this topic intersects with the issue of human trafficking?

An  issue brief from FAIR  (Federation for American Immigration Reform), August 2016, says, "The large and persistent influx of illegal aliens contributes to an environment of vulnerability and abuse. Wherever the law fails to hold people accountable, crime will flourish. The federal government’s failure to effectively address the illegal alien dilemma creates and perpetuates an environment in which exploitation runs rampant."

The brief further states, "While anyone can become a victim of trafficking, illegal aliens are highly vulnerable to being trafficked due to a combination of factors, including lack of legal status and protections, limited language skills and employment options, poverty and immigration-related debts, and social isolation."

On April 3, 2017, The Border Legislative Conference, said, "According to the government, more than 20,000 Mexican children are victims of sex trafficking every year, especially in tourist and border areas. Additionally, the desire of cheap labor in the agriculture industry and immigrants' difficulty in entering the country legally have set the stage for people to be trafficked in illegally and exploited.

The Border Legislative Conference notes that there has been progress made by the federal government, citing the "dramatic increase in numbers of human trafficking cases brought in federal courts over the past ten years.  It also explains that federal laws permit the Department of Homeland Security to issue non-immigrant visas to cooperative trafficking victims, and the Department of Health and Human Services to certify them for benefits similar to those available to refugees. Human trafficking has become a top priority of not only the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the federal government as a whole, but also of many state and local governments. In fact, to date, at least 39 U.S. states have passed sex trafficking laws."

Exploitation of anyone is wrong. Period.  Let's pray for ALL victims of trafficking, including legal and illegal immigrants. And let's pray for continued progress in anti-trafficking efforts at both the national and state levels.  
SAH

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

 

HAPPENINGS IN
WHATCOM COUNTY


THURSDAY, APRIL 27, 2017
 

Royal Family KIDS - Camps, Clubs & Mentors Program has worked with abused foster children in Whatcom County for 24 years. Their Golf Tournament fundraiser is Thursday, April 27.  For more information, contact Andrea  Ketchum at: 360 303-0850

 

SATURDAY, JUNE 3, 2017


Engedi Refuge Ministries will be showing the video Nefarious: Merchant of Souls at Hillcrest Chapel, 1400 Larrabee Ave, Bellingham, WA 98225 on Saturday evening, June 3rd. (Note date change)  A question/answer period will follow. 

More details to come.

 

The Next Hope4Justice Public Meeting is THIS WEEK
 

Come to find out exactly how you can help anti-trafficking efforts in the education, government, or business sector of Whatcom County

What: We'll be developing specific plans of action
When: 7-8:30 pm on Tuesday, April 18, 2017
Where: Engedi Counseling Center, 7370 Guide Meridian, Lynden, WA 98264.  (From Wiser Lake roundabout head North on Guide Meridian; immediately after Simple Box Storage Containers turn right into the driveway and drive to the right and toward the back)

Skookum Kids

Last week's email focused on how foster families are part of anti-trafficking efforts.  This week we're highlighting Skookum KIds, another local organization helping to provide critical support for children entering or transitioning into foster care.

What is Skookum Kids and what do they do? The Skookum Kids website says, "We face a modern orphan crisis. Pressed for time, social workers rush to pair traumatized children with over-taxed foster families. The huge burden of foster care is shouldered by a small group of heroic families. It often becomes too heavy, and children are displaced again. The average foster child is moved 3 times. This culture of shortage and instability has a devastating effect. Foster children are two times more likely to suffer from PTSD than veterans returning from a warzone.

With 400,000 foster children now in care, the time has come for a thoughtful, sustainable solution to this complex problem. This is Skookum Kids."

Skookum House is one way Skookum Kids serves children in crisis.  The Skookum Kids website says, "Our first initiative is to create a volunteer-staffed facility to care for children entering or transitioning into foster care. With the children safe in our care during their first week of foster care, we buy critical time for caseworkers to find the right long-term placement. Our hope is that no child from our community would ever be placed in haste."

A second effort of this organization is Skookum Parents. "In our second program, we recruit, train, and conduct home-studies for families hoping to become foster parents with an eye toward alleviating our community's acute shortage of respite care providers," says the Skookum KIds website.

Caring for kids, particularly vulnerable ones, is a basic anti-trafficking strategy. Thank you, Skookum Kids, for showing God's love to these precious children.
SAH

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

LEARN MORE

Upcoming training opportunity for teachers and other adults that work with young people

What: Presented by the Skagit County CSEC Task Force, this free 3-hour training will provide the foundation for the what, who, how, and why of commercial sexual exploitation of children and ways to respond. Participants will leave understanding current relevant state and federal law, will practice and consider approaches to supporting these youth, and will be provided with a list of some community resources.

Option 1
When: 
June 16, 2017 - Noon to 3pm
Where: Skagit Valley Co-Op, 202 South 1st St, Mt Vernon, WA 98273 - Room 309
Sign Up Link: Click HERE

Option 2
When:
 August 18, 2017 - Noon to 3pm
Where: Burlington Public Library, 820 E Washington Ave, Burlington, WA 98233
Sign Up LinkClick HERE

Note: A mid-April training filled shortly after becoming available.  It is recommended that you reserve your seat at the June or August training now!


HOPE4JUSTICE PUBLIC MEETING: 4/18/17
Come to find out exactly how you can help anti-trafficking efforts in the education, government, or law enforcement sector of Whatcom County

What: We'll be developing specific plans of action
When: 7-8:30 pm on Tuesday, April 18, 2017
Where: Engedi Counseling Center, 7370 Guide Meridian, Lynden, WA 98264.  (From Wiser Lake roundabout head North on Guide Meridian; immediately after Simple Box Storage Containers turn right into the driveway and drive to the right and toward the back)
 

HAPPENINGS IN WHATCOM COUNTY                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Engedi Refuge Ministries will be showing the video Nefarious: Merchant of Souls at Hillcrest Chapel, 1400 Larrabee Ave, Bellingham, WA 98225 on Friday evening, May 19th.  A question/answer period will follow (More details to come in future emails.)

The link between foster care and trafficking

In honor of foster care month, Kristian Rose, recently wrote an article about foster care and trafficking for LOVE 146's website.  She states, "When it comes to trafficking of children within the U.S., children and youth in the foster care system are extremely vulnerable."  She says, " As an anti-trafficking advocate, I've known this for years.  As a relatively new foster parent, I'm re-learning it daily. 

Kristian has seen that "Foster care and trafficking are often tragically linked." She explains, "Many of the children taken into care by state welfare agencies come from serious neglect or abuse, which means they already possess heightened vulnerabilities. The pattern of repeated displacement that often follows – being shuffled between various homes, shelters, and institutions – exacerbates those vulnerabilities. Because traffickers’ business subsists on the peddling of vulnerable people, kids in foster care can be incredibly easy targets."

Kristian challenges her readers to fight trafficking by becoming foster parents. She says,  "If you sincerely want to help decrease the prevalence of the trafficking of children in the United States, consider the direct impact you can make in the lives of foster children.  Consider going beyond simply funding a “safe home” for trafficking survivors and actually become a safe home to help children avoid exploitation in the first place."

For those who aren't able to be foster parents, Kristian says, "There are many other opportunities to pursue abolition by supporting the foster community in your area." She goes on to list practical ways to serve and support foster families. (See details here.)

Hope4Justice salutes the efforts of foster families and encourages everyone to take a fresh look at this ministry to vulnerable children.  Could you be a foster parent?  How else might you help? 

Let's prevent trafficking in the lives of foster children.
SAH

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


LEARN MORE

Upcoming training opportunity for teachers and other adults that work with young people

What: Presented by the Skagit County CSEC Task Force, this free 3-hour training will provide the foundation for the what, who, how, and why of commercial sexual exploitation of children and ways to respond. Participants will leave understanding current relevant state and federal law, will practice and consider approaches to supporting these youth, and will be provided with a list of some community resources.

Option 1
When: 
June 16, 2017 - Noon to 3pm
Where: Skagit Valley Co-Op, 202 South 1st St, Mt Vernon, WA 98273 - Room 309
 
Sign Up Link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/responding-to-the-commerical-sexual-exploitation-of-children-and-youth-tickets-32867739293

Option 2
When:
 August 18, 2017 - Noon to 3pm
Where: Burlington Public Library, 820 E Washington Ave, Burlington, WA 98233
 
Sign Up Linkhttps://www.eventbrite.com/e/responding-to-the-commerical-sexual-exploitation-of-children-and-youth-tickets-32867379216

Note: A mid-April training filled shortly after becoming available.  It is recommended that you reserve your seat at the June or August training now!


JOIN US
 

Our next public meeting is Tuesday, April 18, 2017

from 7-8:30 pm at the Engedi Learning Center, 7370 Guide Meridian, Lynden, WA 98264.  (From Wiser Lake roundabout head North on Guide Meridian; immediately after Simple Box Storage Containers turn right into the driveway and drive to the right and toward the back)


IN THE NEWS

Headlines this week:

 

 

 

Fighting trafficking with your wallet

Purchasing products from companies that are working to prevent trafficking in their product line is one way to fight trafficking. The End Slavery Now Slave Free Buying Guide says, "One of the most impactful ways normal, everyday people can get involved in the fight against modern-day slavery and human trafficking is to begin purchasing slavery-free goods. When scaled, these purchases create demand for goods produced with audited, slavery-free labor; simultaneously, this shift also shrinks the market for goods produced with forced or slave labor and/or by trafficked humans."

Here are some examples of ratings from the buying guide:
 
Chocolate:

  • Best: Divine Chocolate Limited, Equal Exchange, Theo Chocolate
  • Better: Lindt & Sprunglii, Mondelez International
  • Good: Nestle S.A., Ferrero, The Hershey Company, Mars Inc.

Home Goods:

  • Best: Ten Thousand Villages, SERRV International
  • Better: West Elm, The Fair Trade Furniture Company, Boll & Branch
  • Good: IKEA

Learn more and download the buying guide HERE.

Happy shopping!
SueAnn


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


LEARN MORE

Upcoming training opportunity for teachers and other adults that work with young people

What: Presented by the Skagit County CSEC Task Force, this free 3-hour training will provide the foundation for the what, who, how, and why of commercial sexual exploitation of children and ways to respond. Participants will leave understanding current relevant state and federal law, will practice and consider approaches to supporting these youth, and will be provided with a list of some community resources.

Option 1
When: 
June 16, 2017 - Noon to 3pm
Where: Skagit Valley Co-Op, 202 South 1st St, Mt Vernon, WA 98273 - Room 309
 
Sign Up Link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/responding-to-the-commerical-sexual-exploitation-of-children-and-youth-tickets-32867739293

Option 2
When:
 August 18, 2017 - Noon to 3pm
Where: Burlington Public Library, 820 E Washington Ave, Burlington, WA 98233
 
Sign Up Linkhttps://www.eventbrite.com/e/responding-to-the-commerical-sexual-exploitation-of-children-and-youth-tickets-32867379216

Note: A mid-April training filled shortly after becoming available.  It is recommended that you reserve your seat at the June or August training now!


TAKE ACTION
 

Monday, March 20th was the first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere.

The anti-trafficking group, Ending Slavery, suggests celebrating the changing of the seasons by changing your cleaning products to fair trade and eco-friendly options.  They say, "Check out the range of products made by Clean and Fair, the first company in the world to offer fair trade and eco-friendly cleaning products. You can find more information about Clean and Fair here." 

 

JOIN US ON APRIL 18, 2017

Hope4Justice public meetings
are from 7-8:30 pm on the 3rd Tuesday of each month at the Engedi Learning Center, 7370 Guide Meridian, Lynden, WA 98264.  (From Wiser Lake roundabout head North on Guide Meridian; immediately after Simple Box Storage Containers turn right into the driveway and drive to the right and toward the back)

Changing the cultural norm: Commerical Sexual Exploitation (CSE) is not consensual sex, it's exploitation.

According to Ending Exploitation Collaborativesex buying is non-consensual sex. Many would say that's not what our culture thinks and not how many other societies view or have viewed prostitution. But rather than prostitution being "the world's oldest profession" is it instead "the world's oldest oppression?"  

Consider this: The Ending Exploitation Collaborative says, "Commercial Sexual Exploitation (CSE) is the use of someone else’s body for sexual purposes in exchange for considerations that are not sexual. In CSE, there are two groups of exploiters:

  • Buyers pay or trade to use the bodies of prostituted people for their own gratification.
  • Traffickers use the bodies of prostituted people for their own profit and self-aggrandizement.

The practice of CSE dehumanizes those who are exploited, turning them into objects whose value is seen in terms of the profit and gratification provided to the exploiters."

Not only is it exploitative in general terms, CSE also targets vulnerable populations.  The Ending Exploitation Collaborative explains, "Social and economic inequalities make people vulnerable to being exploited. Populations that are often targeted are the LGBTQIA+ community, people of color, the homeless, people with disabilities, and children. This subordinate status that funnels members of marginalized groups into the commercial sex industry is both sexualized and commodified through CSE. Gender, race, ethnicity, physical ability, age and sexual orientation all become fetishized consumables for individual buyers that reinforce oppressive stereotypes."

The article concludes with this thought: "Because of these factors, sex buying is non-consensual sex. Consent to sexual activity must be freely given. If there is pressure or coercion to engage in sexual activity, it is non-consensual. Economic coercion precludes the possibility that sexual activity is consensual and mutual. If you have to pay someone, it is not mutual; consent is never freely given in prostitution. (emphasis added)

What do you think?
SAH

Join Hope4Justice at the next public meeting on March 21st!
When: Tuesday, 3/21/17  from 7-8:30 pm
What: The agenda includes a short presentation and debrief/sharing of the March 1st conference then continuation of group discussion for involvement in each of the 7 sectors of our county.  

  • Notes from previous discussion of Education & Law Enforcement sectors will be available.
  • On 3/21/17 we'll be looking at the Business, Community Groups, Government, Social & Health Services and Faith Community sectors of Whatcom County

Where: Engedi Counseling Center, 7370 Guide Meridian, Lynden, WA 98264. (From Wiser Lake Round-About head North on Guide Meridian; immediately after Simple Box Storage Containers turn right into the driveway and drive to the right and toward the back)

In The News

Engedi Gala is a huge success!

Those who attended the "Walk In My Shoes"  Engedi Refuge Gala last night experienced an amazing evening of hope and love for trafficking survivors. Inspiring speakers shared their hearts, displays and handouts engagingly explained the facts, and the Harper & I dance group visually interpreted the song "Unsteady."  Additionally, attendees also enjoyed an excellent dinner!

When the "Raise the Paddle" portion of the program came around, the audience responded and gave $199,000 for the ongoing efforts of Engedi Refuge Ministries.

It was an evening of coming together to support "the least of these."  It was an evening of recognition of Lea and Aaron's efforts to literally BE the love of Jesus to women coming out of trafficking.  It was an evening of recognition that all of us can help in some way -- whether as a volunteer or by pulling out our checkbooks.

It was an evening that strongly made the statement that all of God's children are precious and worthy of grace.
SAH


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

Join Hope4Justice at the next public meeting on March 21st!


When: Tuesday, 3/21/17  from 7-8:30 pm
What: The agenda includes a short speaker presentation followed by the continuation of group discussion for involvement in each of the 7 sectors of our county.  

  • Notes from previous discussion of Education & Law Enforcement sectors will be available.
  • On 3/21/17 we'll be looking at the Business, Community Groups, Government, and Faith Community sectors of Whatcom County

Where: Engedi Counseling Center, 7370 Guide Meridian, Lynden, WA 98264. (From Wiser Lake Round-About head North on Guide Meridian; immediately after Simple Box Storage Containers turn right into the driveway and drive to the right and toward the back)

In the News: Trafficking Education In Schools


Check out trafficking prevention efforts at Grants Pass High School in Oregon as reported by KDVR.com on 2/28/17.

See how tips from students at Shadow Hills High School lead to sex trafficking arrest in Indio, California.

In Florida, a bill would require that middle and high school students learn the dangers of human trafficking.  Read more here.

We learned and were challenged at the 3rd Annual Human Sex Trafficking Conference

Great organization.  Impressive speakers.  Excellent information.

We were pretty much on information overload when the last speaker finished sharing her thoughts at 3 pm. The day was jam-packed full of presentations and the hour-long working lunch wasn’t a time to sit around and chat but instead it was an opportunity to share and network. The day ended with a short breakout session of disciplinary-specific groups to make plans to figure out what comes next. 

 All in all the day was a thought-provoking look at what King County is doing to successfully  fight sex trafficking/exploitation and the challenge of “now that we know, what steps are WE going to take?”

I was encouraged by this conference.  We – as Whatcom County alone or as a 5 county consortium – CAN take steps similar to King County.  We don’t have to start from scratch, as King County has shared a wealth of information with us.  We just need to figure out how to use the people and organizations we already have to create and implement our own version of the Nordic Model. 

Would you pray with us about “next steps for our county and/or our 5 county region?”  Pray  for a plan that combines public, private, and tribal agencies and resources smoothly and effectively.  Pray for bold leaders.  Pray for unity.  Pray for God’s leading.

I have to give a big “high-five” to conference host Skagit Coalition Against Trafficking (SKCAT).  Thank you for bringing us all together to learn and be challenged.  I am excitedly looking  forward to what comes next as we work together on anti-trafficking efforts to impact our corner of Washington.

SAH

March 9 & 10, 2017
Purchase a Coffee Break for your office! Purchase $5 coupons to give to friends, family, and clients!  Visit any Woods Coffee location in Whatcom or Skagit Counties on Friday, March 10th! 

Your purchase helps Rebound of Whatcom County connect, empower, and restore our community's most vulnerable families. Rebound programs build relationships, teach skills, provide resources and offer advocacy to under-resourced families.  Support them by buying a Cup of Hope!

Save the date for the next Hope4Justice public meeting
When: Tuesday, March 21st  from 7-8:30 pm
What: We'll be discussing plans for involvement in each of the 7 sectors of our county.  Stay tuned for details! 
Where: Engedi Counseling Center, 7370 Guide Meridian, Lynden, WA 98264
(From Wiser Lake Round-About head North on Guide Meridian; immediately after Simple Box Storage Containers turn right into the driveway and drive to the right and toward the back)

A modern abolitionist movement

In every country around the world, people are working for little or no pay, controlled by threats, debt, and violence. We call it by many names, but it amounts to the same thing: modern slavery. Slavery is illegal everywhere, but it continues to thrive because so many of us:

Over the past few years Hope4Justice has used WalkFree.org as a resource for several anti-human trafficking programs, articles, and success stories on our weekly newsletter. 

WalkFree has now become Freedom United. Check out their new site at www.freedomunited.org. Modern slavery may go by many names, but that doesn’t change what it is. In the same way, they may be using a different name, but their mission to end modern slavery with a united movement of partners and supporters remains the same. To help stay informed about human-trafficking be sure to check out the new website! https://www.freedomunited.org/

RLG

 

March 9 & 10, 2017
Purchase a Coffee Break for your office!  Purchase $5 coupons to give to friends, family, and clients!  Visit any Woods Coffee location in Whatcom or Skagit Counties on Friday, March 10th!   Get Involved!
Help Rebound of Whatcom Countyconnect, empower, and restore our community's most vulnerable families. Rebound programs build relationships, teach skills, provide resources and offer advocacy to under-resourced families.

You're invited to attend the 3rd Annual Walk in My Shoes Gala, a fundraising event to benefit Engedi Refuge Ministries.  Enjoy a plated dinner, Raise the Paddle fundraiser, a Raffle, and compelling messages from a Sex Trafficking Survivor, Engedi Refuge Co-founder Aaron Newcomb, and local football star, Jake Locker.  The event will be held on March 11, 2017 at the Lakeway Four Points Sheraton.

Purchase your reservations at www.engedirefuge.com or reserve a seat by calling (360)

UN says more children and men falling prey to traffickers amid migration crisis

The recent United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime “Global Report on Trafficking in Persons” finds the global movement of refugees and migrants has left men and boys more vulnerable to Human Trafficking exploitation.    Although women and girls trafficked for marriage or sexual slavery account for more than 70% of human trafficking victims, the UN report stated “The largest increase in the number of refugees and migrants since the aftermath of the Second World War has left children and men more vulnerable to Human Trafficking exploitation”.   The report found that men and boys are typically exploited for indentured labor, soldiers, the sale of human organs, and many other dimensions of modern slavery.”

Help Hope4Justice work together with other anti-human trafficking partners, because “it is impossible for us to close our eyes to evil, to be indifferent to the cry of the needy, the oppressed and exploited.”

When: March 1, 2017, 9 am - 3:30 pm
Where: Swinomish Casino & Lodge, 12885 Casino Drive, Anacortes, WA 98221
What: Highly acclaimed speakers and key players in King County's successful implementation of the Nordic Model will show how King County has become  a national example for decreasing sex trafficking.
Note: There is NO charge for this conference! Continental breakfast & light lunch included.
RSVP: dianegoetz4@comcast.net. Please include: Name, telephone #, County & Organization

Learn concrete steps our county can take against sex trafficking!  

You're invited to attend the 3rd Annual Walk in My Shoes Gala, a fundraising event to benefit Engedi Refuge Ministries.  Enjoy a plated dinner, Raise the Paddle fundraiser, a Raffle, and compelling messages from a Sex Trafficking Survivor, Engedi Refuge Co-founder Aaron Newcomb, and local football star, Jake Locker.  The event will be held on March 11, 2017 at the Lakeway Four Points Sheraton. Purchase your reservations at www.engedirefuge.com or reserve a seat by calling (360) 922-7600.

You're invited to attend the 3rd Annual Walk in My Shoes Gala, a fundraising event to benefit Engedi Refuge Ministries.  Enjoy a plated dinner, Raise the Paddle fundraiser, a Raffle, and compelling messages from a Sex Trafficking Survivor, Engedi Refuge Co-founder Aaron Newcomb, and local football star, Jake Locker.  The event will be held on March 11, 2017 at the Lakeway Four Points Sheraton.

Purchase your reservations at www.engedirefuge.com or reserve a seat by calling (360) 922-7600.

                     March 9-10, 2017 Purchase a Coffee Break for your office!  Purchase $5 coupons to give to friends, family, and clients!  Visit any Woods Coffee location in Whatcom or Skagit Counties on Friday, March 10th!   Get Involved! Help Rebound of Whatcom Countyconnect, empower, and restore our community's most vulnerable families. Rebound programs build relationships, teach skills, provide resources and offer advocacy to under-resourced families.

                     March 9-10, 2017

Purchase a Coffee Break for your office!  Purchase $5 coupons to give to friends, family, and clients!  Visit any Woods Coffee location in Whatcom or Skagit Counties on Friday, March 10th!   Get Involved!
Help Rebound of Whatcom Countyconnect, empower, and restore our community's most vulnerable families. Rebound programs build relationships, teach skills, provide resources and offer advocacy to under-resourced families.

Thanks to all the volunteers who helped out with the Rebound Dinner last Thursday night; including Chris's special cup cakes.

Local Policeman Fights Trafficking Globally

 Bellingham Police Officer Chris Lease also works for IJM

Passionate about fighting human trafficking, Bellingham Police Officer Chris Lease spends his "vacations" working for International Justice Mission.

A BPD Facebook post on 1/31/17 explained, "Chris uses his vacation time to serve with the International Justice Mission. Chris has brought his knowledge back to our department and helped us better understand, and rescue children and adults trapped in the world of human trafficking. Thank you Chris for your commitment!

Officer Lease has traveled across Asia, Latin America and Africa to train international law enforcement authorities, enabling them to increase investigative capacity, leading to effective outcomes.

The article goes on to say, "As a Bellingham Police Officer for almost 25 years, Officer Lease has gained the investigative experience and skills for short term volunteer operations that he hopes will make a dramatic difference in the world. He has infiltrated the world of sex trafficking, bonded slavery, police abuse of power, and other forms of oppression, using the investigative techniques he has learned as a member of the Bellingham Police Department."  (Read the full article here.)

We salute you Officer Lease!  Thank you for making a difference in the world.


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

Next monthly Hope4Justice public meeting is February 21st

What: 

  • Why I'm involved with Hope4Justice" - personal story by Karen M.
  • Video: Nordic Model
  • Wrap up of outreach efforts for the conference on 3/1/17
  • Hope4Justice community sectors model for involvement

When: Tuesday, 2/21/17, 7-8:30 pm

Where: Engedi Counseling Center, 7370 Guide Meridian, Lynden, WA 98264
(From Wiser Lake Round-About head North on Guide Meridian; immediately after Simple Box Storage Containers turn right into the driveway and drive to the right and toward the back)

You can still reserve your seat at 3rd Annual Human Trafficking Conference


When: March 1, 2017, 9 am - 3:30 pm
Where: Swinomish Casino & Lodge, 12885 Casino Drive, Anacortes, WA 98221
What: Highly acclaimed speakers and key players in King County's successful implementation of the Nordic Model will show how King County has become  a national example for decreasing sex trafficking.
Note: There is NO charge for this conference! Continental breakfast & light lunch included.
RSVP: dianegoetz4@comcast.net. Please include: Name, telephone #, County & Organization

Learn concrete steps our county can take against sex trafficking!  

DID YOU KNOW?
 

Hope4justice is now accepting tax deductible donations?  Donate by clicking on the GIVE button on the bottom of any page here on our website or mail your check made payable to Hope4Justice to 600 Front Street, #502,  Lynden, WA 98264.

Thank you for your  support.

Airline attendants trained to spot signs of trafficking

Just in time for the Super Bowl, last week former airline attendant and founder of Airline Ambassadors, Nancy Rivard led a training at Houston's William P. Hobby Airport.  "Rivard and several of her colleagues flew to Houston to meet with approximately 100 flight attendants who volunteered for the Airline Ambassadors training session on how to recognize human trafficking."

As reported by NBC News, February 4, 2017, "Over two days, former victims related their experiences to the flight attendants. In-flight crews were taught to look for passengers who appear frightened, ashamed or nervous; people traveling with someone who doesn't appear to be a parent or relative; and children or adults who appear bruised or battered.

They're also taught to notice if someone insists on speaking for the alleged victim, doesn't let them out of their sight or becomes defensive when questioned. Victims sometimes appear drugged."

The article says, "The time and place of the training were no coincidence. With the Super Bowl just days away, Rivard wants to ensure that flight attendants working routes in and out of Houston are able to spot the signs of a victim who needs help."

Well done, Airline Ambassadors!  

Doing what we can within our sphere of work, play, and influence.  That's how to fight trafficking.
Sue Ann

Get Involved
by helping at the next Rebound Dinner

Would you like to help but rarely have the time?  Here's a chance to serve for just 2-3 hours!

Two or three times per year, Hope4Justice cooks and serves dinner for Rebound families.  If you're able to help, please info@hope4justice.org.

When: Thursday, February 16, 2017from approximately 4:45 - 7:30 pm
Where: CTK Bellingham
What: Food preparation, serving and clean up

Note: Do you have a favorite dessert you'd be willing to make and donate to the Rebound dinner?  Let us know via email at info@hope4justice.org.

Plan to attend the next
Hope4Justice Monthly Meeting

What: Hope4Justice public meeting
When: Tuesday, February 21, 2017, 7-8:30 pm (the third Tuesday of the month)
Where: Engedi Counseling Center, 7370 Guide Meridian, Lynden, WA 98264.  (From Wiser Lake Roundabout head North on Guide Meridian; immediately after Simple Box Storage Containers turn right into the driveway and drive to the right and toward the back)

3rd Annual Human Sex Trafficking Conference
is less than a month away. . .

When: March 1, 2017, 9 am - 3:30 pm
Where: Swinomish Casino & Lodge, 12885 Casino Drive, Anacortes, WA 98221
What: Highly acclaimed speakers and key players in King County's successful implementation of the Nordic Model will show how King County has become  a national example for decreasing sex trafficking.
Note: There is NO charge to attend. Continental breakfast & light lunch included.
RSVP: dianegoetz4@comcast.net. Please include: Name, telephone #, County & Organization
 
Do you know  influential people in influential people in the education, law enforcement, health care, political, business, non-profit, and religious/fraternal sectors. that you believe should attend the conference? Would you be willing to tell them about it and give them a flyer with conference details?  Contact info@hope4justice.org for flyers and a short sample script about the conference.

Moving From Concern to Action In Whatcom Skagit, Snohomish, Island and San Juan Counties

People are concerned about human trafficking but often don't know what to do about it. On March 1, 2017, we have an amazing opportunity to take action by gathering together at the 3rd Annual Human Sex Trafficking Conference at Swinomish Casino & Lodge in Anacortes to learn about successful anti-trafficking efforts in King County and how we might implement them here.

We need you and influential people of Whatcom County to be there.

At the Hope4Justice public meeting on 1/17/17, guest speaker, Carol Clayton from SKCAT (Skagit Coalition Against Trafficking) explained the need for community wide efforts against trafficking in this way: "This is a community problem that needs a community solution.  Law enforcement is an important player, but they cannot fix it alone.  This is complex problem, but it is doable together.  We do not need any new laws.  Lets work together to make this county, this town a safer place for our families and the families yet to come."

We're thankful to SKCAT for hosting the 3rd Annual Human Sex Trafficking Conference. They have secured an amazing list of highly acclaimed speakers and key players in King County's successful implementation of the Nordic Model  who will show how King County has become  a national example for decreasing sex trafficking.

In an effort to "get the word out" about the 3rd Annual Human Sex Trafficking Conference on March 1, 2017, Hope4Justice asked attendees to make contact with people in key sectors of our county. Volunteers signed up to email or otherwise contact influential people in the education, law enforcement, health care, political, business, non-profit, and religious/fraternal sectors.

Do you know someone in one of the sectors that you believe should attend the conference?  Would you be willing to tell them about it and give them a flyer with conference details? We particularly need people to contact mayors and city council members of the small towns throughout Whatcom County. (Note: Contacts for Bellingham and Whatcom County Council and Executive are already assigned.)

If you are willing to contact one or more people and share information about the conference, please contact us at info@hope4justice.org.  We'll supply you with a short script of what to say as well as an electronic or paper version of the conference flyer.

Lastly, conference hosts ask that you and anyone you invite register for the conference as soon as possible by emailing dianegoetz4@comcast.net, including name, telephone #, county & organization. The conference is free to attend but they need to know numbers for food and seating.

Together we can fight trafficking,
Sue Ann

Helpers are needed at the next Rebound Dinner   Two or three times per year, Hope4Justice cooks and serves dinner for Rebound families.  If you're able to help for a few hours, please email us at info@hope4justice.org. When: Thursday, February 16, 2017from approximately 4:45 - 7:30 pm Where: CTK Bellingham What: Food preparation, serving and clean up Note: Do you have a favorite dessert you'd be willing to make and donate to the Rebound dinner?  Let us know via email at info@hope4justice.org. It would be greatly appreciated!

Helpers are needed at the next Rebound Dinner
 

Two or three times per year, Hope4Justice cooks and serves dinner for Rebound families.  If you're able to help for a few hours, please email us at info@hope4justice.org.

When: Thursday, February 16, 2017from approximately 4:45 - 7:30 pm
Where: CTK Bellingham
What: Food preparation, serving and clean up

Note: Do you have a favorite dessert you'd be willing to make and donate to the Rebound dinner?  Let us know via email at info@hope4justice.org. It would be greatly appreciated!

Can you translate English into Spanish?   We need STEP brochures translated! Email info@hope4justice.org for details.

Can you translate English into Spanish?  


We need STEP brochures translated! Email info@hope4justice.org for details.

Many Thanks

 

To CTK, Wendy, Audrey, Kathy and more!

Sometimes it's time to say thank you.  Though we often think about the awesome people and organizations God has put us in contact with, we don't always say it as often as we should.  Tonight we want to recognize and show appreciation to:

  • CTK Bellingham - For wonderful support over the past 5 years. CTK's generosity of time, assistance and resources allowed us to learn, grow, and develop a firm foundation before we stepped out as our own non-profit.
  • Wendy has poured time and love into Hope4Justice.  She's challenged us, led us, and cared for us.  She's taken care of details we didn't even know had to be attended to. She's one amazing lady.  We're so thankful she was able to be part of Hope4Justice for several years.
  • Audrey has recently re-joined Hope4Justice, taking on the task of Facebook posting.  We're so glad she's willing to handle this vital portion of our social media presence.  She finds excellent articles to share!
  • Amy has recently volunteered to tweet for us!  We don't really know much about Twitter and are thankful she's lending her skills to connect H4J with a wider audience.
  • Jessica re-did our website last summer, entirely on volunteer time.  We love it! Many, many thanks for a great job.
  • Brian recently helped us update and learn how to maintain the website.  We have appreciated his help, time, (and patience when tech-speak didn't make sense)! 
  • Kathy is a persistent STEP advocate. She has tirelessly contacted students and promoted the STEP scholarship program.

Many, many thanks to those listed above.  You have been or currently are a valued and valuable part of Hope4Justice's anti-trafficking efforts in Whatcom County.

With appreciation,
Sue Ann

Helpers are needed at the next Rebound Dinner Two or three times per year, Hope4Justice cooks and serves dinner for Rebound families.  If you're able to help for a few hours, please email us at info@hope4justice.org. When: Thursday, February 16, 2017from approximately 4:45 - 7:30 pm Where: CTK Bellingham What: Food preparation, serving and clean up Note: Do you have a favorite dessert you'd be willing to make and donate to the Rebound dinner?  Let us know via email at info@hope4justice.org. It would be greatly appreciated!

Helpers are needed at the next Rebound Dinner


Two or three times per year, Hope4Justice cooks and serves dinner for Rebound families.  If you're able to help for a few hours, please email us at info@hope4justice.org.

When: Thursday, February 16, 2017from approximately 4:45 - 7:30 pm
Where: CTK Bellingham
What: Food preparation, serving and clean up

Note: Do you have a favorite dessert you'd be willing to make and donate to the Rebound dinner?  Let us know via email at info@hope4justice.org. It would be greatly appreciated!

Can you translate English into Spanish?   We need STEP brochures translated!  Email info@hope4justice.org for details.

Can you translate English into Spanish?  

We need STEP brochures translated!  Email info@hope4justice.org for details.

Plan now to attend the FREE 3rd Annual Human Trafficking Conference put on by Skagit Coalition Against Trafficking. When: March 1, 2017, 9 am - 3:30 pm Where: Swinomish Casino & Lodge, 12885 Casino Drive, Anacortes, WA 98221 What: Highly acclaimed speakers and key players in King County's successful implementation of the Nordic Model will show how King County has become  a national example for decreasing sex trafficking. Note: Continental breakfast & light lunch included. RSVP: dianegoetz4@comcast.net. Please include: Name, telephone #, County & Organization Learn concrete steps our county can take against sex trafficking!  

Plan now to attend the FREE 3rd Annual Human Trafficking Conference put on by Skagit Coalition Against Trafficking.

When: March 1, 2017, 9 am - 3:30 pm
Where: Swinomish Casino & Lodge, 12885 Casino Drive, Anacortes, WA 98221
What: Highly acclaimed speakers and key players in King County's successful implementation of the Nordic Model will show how King County has become  a national example for decreasing sex trafficking.
Note: Continental breakfast & light lunch included.
RSVP: dianegoetz4@comcast.net. Please include: Name, telephone #, County & Organization

Learn concrete steps our county can take against sex trafficking!  

The Nordic Model

Implementation in Whatcom County

 

Hope4Justice needs your help with inviting and encouraging key people from Whatcom County to attend the 3rd Annual Trafficking Conference being held in Anacortes on March 1, 2017. Hope4Justice will be having a public meeting this coming Tuesday, January 17th at 7 pm to learn about the conference and organize the outreach. (See below for more meeting information.)

The conference, featuring speakers from King County who have implemented The Nordic Model to combat sex trafficking, is being hosted by the Skagit Coalition Against Trafficking.

Carol Clayton from Skagit Coalition Against Trafficking says, "Human Trafficking is the fastest growing organized crime in America.  While Human Sex trafficking is rapidly increasing in every major city in the United States, there is one county…only one county, that has been decreasing for the past two years. That is King County, Seattle.  Good for them…bad for us.  The pimps are now avoiding King county, taking the kids north and south along the I-5 corridor.  
 
The King County team, who is responsible for this success, has agreed to share how to implement the tools and skills necessary to protect the kids and vulnerable adults in the 5 counties north of King County to the Canadian border.   Those counties are Skagit, Whatcom, Island, San Juan and Snohomish.


Hope4Justice invites you to attend this week's public meeting from 7-8:30 pm on Tuesday, 1/17 (details below) to learn more and help us plan outreach to social workers, law enforcement, educators, health workers and others in who are in positions of influence to develop policy in Whatcom County. It's time for Whatcom County to coordinate efforts to develop and implement programs to stop sex trafficking. 

For a little background information on the Nordic Model, I read an April 2016 article on CNN.com discussing France's adoption of the Nordic Model. It says,  "France's new law codifies what is known as the Nordic Model for combating sexual exploitation. It recognizes prostitution as a form of violence, makes the purchase of sex acts illegal, regards prostituted persons as victims rather than criminals, and provides victims with help to get out of the business."

The article goes on to say, "In Sweden, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Northern Ireland, this approach has been effective in reducing the demand for paid sexual services. And this in turn threatens the profits of those who traffic in human beings for personal gain.

In contrast, a competing European approach clearly does not work, and may even have made things worse. The legalizing or decriminalizing of prostitution in The Netherlands and Spain has backfired, proving a disaster for exploited persons and creating new victims. Sex tourists have flocked to The Netherlands, turning brothels there into a powerful industry that faces minimal regulation."


Policies and procedures that work.  People willing to share their experiences and expertise with us. Sounds like a path forward toward fighting sex trafficking right here in Whatcom County. But first we need to publicize the conference and get key people to attend.  Would you help us? See meeting details below.

See you Tuesday!
Sue Ann

Hope4Justice Public Meeting When: 7-8:30 pm Tuesday, January 17, 2017 Where: Engedi Counseling Center, 7370 Guide Meridian, Lynden, WA 98264 Special Guest: Carol Clayton from Skagit Coalition Against Trafficking will join us.  The main portion of the meeting will involve discussion & planning  of how we can help Whatcom County follow King County's successes against sex trafficking through implementation of the Nordic Model.  Come and bring a friend! This is a Text Block. Use this to provide text...

Hope4Justice Public Meeting
When: 7-8:30 pm Tuesday, January 17, 2017
Where: Engedi Counseling Center, 7370 Guide Meridian, Lynden, WA 98264
Special Guest: Carol Clayton from Skagit Coalition Against Trafficking will join us.  The main portion of the meeting will involve discussion & planning  of how we can help Whatcom County follow King County's successes against sex trafficking through implementation of the Nordic Model.  Come and bring a friend!

This is a Text Block. Use this to provide text...

SAVE THE DATE! Plan now to attend the FREE 3rd Annual Human Trafficking Conference put on by Skagit Coalition Against Trafficking. When: March 1, 2017, 9 am - 3:30 pm Where: Swinomish Casino & Lodge, 12885 Casino Drive, Anacortes, WA 98221 What: Highly acclaimed speakers and key players in King County's successful implementation of the Nordic Model will show how King County has become  a national example for decreasing sex trafficking. Note: Continental breakfast & light lunch included. RSVP: dianegoetz4@comcast.net. Please include: Name, telephone #, County & Organization Let's take concrete steps against sex trafficking!   Skagit Coalition Against Trafficking is working hard to pull together people from the 5 county region of Whatcom, Skagit, Snohomish, Island, and San Juan Counties to begin our own plans for the Nordic Model.

SAVE THE DATE!
Plan now to attend the FREE 3rd Annual Human Trafficking Conference put on by Skagit Coalition Against Trafficking.

When: March 1, 2017, 9 am - 3:30 pm
Where: Swinomish Casino & Lodge, 12885 Casino Drive, Anacortes, WA 98221
What: Highly acclaimed speakers and key players in King County's successful implementation of the Nordic Model will show how King County has become  a national example for decreasing sex trafficking.
Note: Continental breakfast & light lunch included.
RSVP: dianegoetz4@comcast.net. Please include: Name, telephone #, County & Organization

Let's take concrete steps against sex trafficking!   Skagit Coalition Against Trafficking is working hard to pull together people from the 5 county region of Whatcom, Skagit, Snohomish, Island, and San Juan Counties to begin our own plans for the Nordic Model.

National Human Trafficking day is Wednesday January 11, 2017

Beginning in 2010, by Presidential Proclamation, each January has been designated National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month.

In 2013, President Obama said “As we work to dismantle trafficking networks and help survivors rebuild their lives, we must also address the underlying forces that push so many into bondage. We must develop economies that create legitimate jobs, build a global sense of justice that says no child should ever be exploited, and empower our daughters and sons with the same chances to pursue their dreams. This month, I call on every nation, every community, and every individual to fight human trafficking wherever it exists. Let us declare as one that slavery has no place in our world, and let us finally restore to all people the most basic rights of freedom, dignity, and justice.”

What actions can you take on January 11th?  Here are a few suggestions:

  • Use #HumanTraffickingAwarenessDay to post on social media.
  • Check out a library book by Gary Haugen (IJM), David Batstone (Not for Sale), or other author to learn more about human trafficking in our world.
  • Wear your Hope4Justice t-shirt!  (Be prepared for questions from curious people!) 
  • Plan to attend the Hope4Justice public meeting on Tuesday, January 17th (details below)
  • Purchase fairly traded items.  They're more likely to be slave free.
  • Write a quick email to one of your favorite companies to ask about their policies to prevent trafficking in their product lines.

It's easy!  Take a step and be part of combating trafficking.
Sue Ann

Hope4Justice is relaunching as a non-profit!

When: 7-8:30 pm Tuesday, January 17, 2017
Where: Engedi Counseling Center, 7370 Guide Meridian, Lynden, WA 98264
Special Guest: Carol Clayton from Skagit Coalition Against Trafficking will join us.  We'll be discussing how we can help Whatcom County follow King County's successes against sex trafficking through implementation of the Nordic Model.  Come and bring a friend!

SAVE THE DATE!

Plan now to attend the FREE 3rd Annual Human Trafficking Conference put on by Skagit Coalition Against Trafficking.
When: March 1, 2017, 9 am - 3:30 pm
Where: Swinomish Casino & Lodge, 12885 Casino Drive, Anacortes, WA 98221
What: Highly acclaimed speakers and key players in King County's successful implementation of the Nordic Model will show how King County has become  a national example for decreasing sex trafficking.

Note: Continental breakfast & light lunch included.
RSVP: dianegoetz4@comcast.net. Please include: Name, telephone #, County & Organization

Let's take concrete steps against sex trafficking!   Skagit Coalition Against Trafficking is working hard to pull together people from the 5 county region of Whatcom, Skagit, Snohomish, Island, and San Juan Counties to begin our own plans for the Nordic Model.

Children Exploited for Cybersex

Sex trafficking is horrendous.  Child sex trafficking is beyond horrific.

International Justice Mission (IJM) has spotlighted the issue of cybersex trafficking of children.  On it's website, IJM says, "In this horrific form of slavery, pedophiles and predators are able to search online and pay to sexually abuse children as young as two years old from anywhere in the world."

IJM tells of one girl's story of cybersex trafficking:  "Cassie is a brave girl living in the Philippines. But for nearly five years, she was repeatedly abused and raped for an online audience.  From all appearances, Cassie’s trafficker took good care of her. She was enrolled in a great school, she wore new clothes, and had a notebook and backpack for the first time in her life. Behind the walls of her house, though, she was trapped, alone and being abused."  

We'd like to think Cassie's story is a rare one but reality is that it happens all too frequently.  IJM's website says, "Cassie is just one of an untold number of children being abused online around the world. In the Philippines alone, authorities receive thousands of cybersex trafficking referrals a month."

So what does this have to do with us in America?  

Who do you think are the customers?  High numbers of Americans are consumers of child porn and  child cybersex. And actual cybersex trafficking of children happens here as well as overseas.  

The headline of a November 5, 2016 article on WTOC.com in Georgia was,  "30 arrested in effort targeting sexual exploitation of kids."   Dubbed "Operation Southern Impact,"  the article said law enforcement efforts "focused on people who possess and distribute child pornography, as well as those who use the internet to exploit children in other ways. Authorities examined 162 digital devices." 

What can we do?  

  • Report anything that seems suspicious.
  • Pray.  
  • Join Hope4Justice's efforts to educate youth about sex trafficking via the STEP (Student Trafficking Education Project) scholarships.
  • Come to the next Hope4Justice meeting on 1/17/17 to find out about the Nordic Model successfully used by King County.


We CAN fight back.  We CAN make a difference. Let's work together to end this scourge against children.
Sue Ann

Hope4Justice is relaunching as a non-profit!
When: 7-8:30 pm Tuesday, January 17, 2017
Where: Engedi Counseling Center, 7370 Guide Meridian, Lynden, WA 98264
Special Guest: Carol Clayton from Skagit Coalition Against Trafficking will join us.  We'll be discussing how we can help Whatcom County follow King County's successes against sex trafficking through implementation of the Nordic Model.  Come and bring a friend!

SAVE THE DATE!
Plan now to attend the 3rd Annual Human Trafficking put on by Skagit Coalition Against Trafficking.

When: March 1, 2017, 9 am - 3:30 pm
Where: Swinomish Casino & Lodge, 12885 Casino Drive, Anacortes, WA 98221
What: Highly acclaimed speakers and key players in King County's successful implementation of the Nordic Model will show how King County has become  a national example for decreasing sex trafficking.
RSVP: dianegoetz4@comcast.net. Please include: Name, telephone #, County & Organization

Let's take concrete steps against sex trafficking!   Skagit Coalition Against Trafficking is working hard to pull together people from the 5 county region of Whatcom, Skagit, Snohomish, Island, and San Juan Counties to begin our own plans for the Nordic Model.