Human Trafficking (SOS)
This ministry deals with minors up to 17 years of age that have been lured into sex trafficking. To give you an overview of our mission for this ministry, we are committed to helping these girls and boys get rescued and working with other agencies to put their traffickers behind bars. We have documentaries and videos, articles, statements from Pop Francis and the Bishops, how the Governor, State Attorney, Senators and various representative are working to combat this crime. The Police, Homeland Security, Dept. of Families and Children, State and Country groups involved, Medical people, elementary through high schools, news on the latest bills that have been passed, plus a number of special groups working to rehabilitate these rescued victims.
It does take a community to help right this wrong. We ask that you will be part of the solution. God’s calling out to take care of the least of our brothers. Let these vulnerable children know that they do matter. Please take time to view any of the documentaries and videos on this website to educate yourself and others. God Bless you!
Here are some RED Flags (signs that a child may be a victim of commercial sexual exploitation):
- Presence of an overly controlling and abusive “boyfriend”
- Inability or fear to make eye contact
- Injuries/signs of physical abuse or torture
- Restricted/scripted communication
- Demeanor-fear/anxiety, depression, submissive, tense, nervous
- Claims of being an adult although appearance suggests adolescent features
- Excess amount of cash
- Hotel room keys
- Chronic runaway/homeless youth
- Signs of branding (tattoo, jewelry)
- Lying about age/false identification
- Inconsistencies in story
- Lack of knowledge of a given community or whereabouts
- Access to material things the youth cannot afford
If you should become aware of one or many of these situations with someone you see, a neighbor, a friend’s daughter, your son or daughter’s friend, relative, etc., please DO NOT say anything to the person. OBSERVE! If the person is being trafficked, the trafficker will be very close by or with the person. It can be dangerous for the person .
To report what you suspect could be Commercial Sexual Exploitation, call 1-800-96-ABUSE or the National Trafficking Information and Referral Hotline: 1-888-373-7888. We are the eyes and ears for these victims. EVERY LIFE IS PRECIOUS.
Abolish Human Trafficking in Tampa Bay, one of the top destinations in the United States.
- Young children out with peers
- Dating a person parents don’t know about
- Meeting a person’s at an unknown place
- Sporting a new cell phone, jewerly, etc
- Excess amount of cash
ACTION – Have designated parents there. Notify Security you are on premises. Eyes on Food Court. Watch exit doors.
- “Virtual Street Corner” for prostitution
- “Facebook” “Twitter” “Instagram”
- Person is not who they say they are
- Wants to lure child to some place without parent’s knowledge
- Lies about their age
- Sending inappropriate pictures, calls attention
ACTION – Parents go on Netsmartz Workshop Internet Safety for safer online experience.
Get help from www.take25.org. Review and talk with your child/children.
- Unsupervised without an Adult near
- Lured away by someone the child knows
- Promised something the child likes
- Individuals that pray on children will find them anywhere
- Are there any sex offenders in your area?
ACTION – Have an ID kit with child’s current picture, weight, height, and finger print. Keep in your wallet on on your phone app. Good information on www.take25.org for help.
- Know the parents and place
- Adult supervision
- Inconsistencies in their story
- Picked up by friend might go somewhere else
- Drinking and Drugs – TARGETS!!
ACTION – Communication with parents. Do a “check” call during the party. Have a cell phone for your child to reach you in an emergency.
What fuels the demand for sex trafficking and where is the demand coming from?
A study done by the Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation shows that the majority of johns (men who buy girls) are college educated, have wives or girlfriends, and earn more than $40,000 a year.
Women and children are being sold to the people sitting next to us in our work cubicles, standing in line behind us at the grocery store, and sitting next to us in church. When we can understand who is demanding sex for sale and profit, we gain a better understanding of its LINK to PORNOGRAPHY and how to combat the issue of child sex trafficking.
The millions of teens, young adults, single men and women, husbands and wives who view pornography, specifically child pornography, are creating the demand. Because of their buying and viewing habits traffickers are quick to respond; there is now a vicious cycle of demand for child sex trafficking in our country and throughout the world. Pornography has created a societal attitude towards sexuality and women that is negative – and the effects are long lasting. The young children and teens growing up with easy access to porn, will continue to have access to it. UNLESS viewers are able to quit and find help for their porn and sexual addictions, we will be seeing increasing numbers of violence, aggressive acts , and children who are being sexually victimized. MANY OF THOSE ADDICTED TO SEX AND PORN CONTINUE TO SEEK OUT HEIGHTENED EXPERIENCES THROUGH REAL ENCOUNTERS.
There is plenty of evidence that pornography has long lasting, detrimental effects both physically and emotionally for everyone involved . It is our responsibility now to understand how dangerous pornography is and to create an open environment where people feel safe talking about sexual addictions. There are resources for everyone to gain a better understanding of the issue, and to get help, if addicted.
CALL TO ACTION:
Pornography is harmful. It will cause damage. Help put an end to the prevalence of pornography, for ourselves, our families, for the thousands of sexually victimized children, and those who are enslaved in sex trade. You can make a difference by:
1. Informing yourself and the young people around you of the dangers and harms of being involved in pornography.
2. Parents: check your children’s computer history if you suspect they might be viewing pornography. Open communication for them to come forward and find the help and support they need.
3. Urge governments, businesses, organizations, and faith communities, to focus on reducing the demand for prostitution and sex trafficking. All the components of demand need to be penalized: the men who purchase sex acts, the traffickers, the pimps, and others who profit, states that fund deceptive messages and act as pimp, and the culture that lies about the nature of prostitution.
Beware of Gangs
There are 4 primary crimes considered profitable to gangs. They are narcotics, firearms, extortion and human trafficking. Human trafficking is considered low-risk, high-profit. Gang sex trafficking is on the rise!
A nationwide trend shows an alarming increase of gang involvement in human trafficking. In 2013, Portland State University released a much anticipated study on the scope of child sex trafficking in Portland, OR that revealed 49.1 % of youth in the study had been exploited by gang members, are affiliated gang members or indicated that gang influence plays a large part in their lives.
In January, 2014, 24 alleged gang members and associates were charged as members of a racketeering conspiracy that included cross-country sex trafficking of underage girls and women which occurred in 46 cities across 23 states. These gang members took on different responsibilities within the criminal enterprise. Some managed prostitutes and transported them ALL OVER THE COUNTRY, some forcefully coerced these women into prostitution and maintained their obedience and loyalty through acts of violence, some handled the money, some placed advertisements to generate business or booked motel rooms in which acts of prostitution took place, and others distributed drugs.
Unlike drugs or weapons, PEOPLE CAN BE SOLD REPEATEDLY. Gangs use promises of protection, status, easy money, loyalty and material possessions to lure girls into the gang. Once initiated into the gang, she is often sexual ly exploited within the gang by gang members and is sold to others to increase revenue for the gang. In a majority of gang hierarchical structures, females are the lowest ranking members with no power or control. If a girl decides she wants out of the gang, members use force, violence, threats and intimidation to secure her loyalty and prevent her from escaping.
The gangs here in the United States are NOT allowing new female members. So, any time that females are hanging out with gangs, the reality is that they’re probably using them for something…..some sort of exploitation or they’re using them to carry drugs or steal things….whatever the gang needs them to do.
In response to this emerging trend, Shared Hope International released a new training video on gang trafficking, called Gang TRAP. The video uses interviews with law enforcement agents, service providers and victims to explain how gangs recruit victims, why gang trafficking is becoming increasingly common, and how law enforcement agents and service providers can identify and respond to this new threat.
Please talk to your children about gangs. Awareness will help save these precious lives! If they know of girls that are dating or hanging around with boys who could be associated with gangs, let a family member know or contact their teacher/s.
There are a number of movies and books that you might want to read. Stories of real victims. A few titles are: Disposable People by Kevin Bales, Trade, Taken, Lives for Sale, A crime so Monstrous by E. Benjamin Skinner and The Slave next Door. Do lots of internet searches, watch news stories on TV, articles in the newspaper, attend a class on the subject. Keep your eyes open—look beneath the surface. Report suspicious activity to the authorities. Pray for the victims and the traffickers.
There is a national hotline number to call, 1-888-373-7888 if you suspect this.