Posts Tagged ‘motels’

A human trafficking awareness event was held earlier this year and the kind folks at Calvary Refuge have allowed us to link the video to our website. The video covers all the basic information you will need to educate yourself about the dangers of human trafficking. Please watch and share with family and friends.

We can overcome, but we must first learn.

 

 

Made in the U.S.A.: The Sex Trafficking of America’s Children
By: Alisa Jordheim

 

How are America’s children falling victim to human traffickers? Made in the U.S.A.: the Sex Trafficking of America’s Children by Alisa Jordheim provides a sneak peek into the minds of five children trafficked on American soil.

 

This book is heavily recommended for all U.S. parents. We need to educate ourselves as parents, caregivers, and as a community about the causes and vulnerabilities that make our children susceptible to trafficking.

 

If we don’t understand our children, a trafficker will.

 

What Is Sex Trafficking?

 

The book delves into the world of sex trafficking in the U.S. Do you know how sex trafficking ties into human trafficking?

 

“Sex trafficking is a form of human trafficking,” according to Polaris Project.

“Sex traffickers use…

  • Violence
  • Threats
  • Lies
  • Debt bondage
  • Other forms of coercion to compel adults and children to engage in commercial sex acts against their will.

 

Under U.S. federal law, any minor under the age of eighteen years induced into commercial sex is a victim of human trafficking—regardless of whether the trafficker used force, fraud, or coercion.”

 

“While any child can become a victim, there are several prevailing factors that make a child particularly vulnerable to commercial sexual exploitation,” according to Made in the U.S.A.: the Sex Trafficking of America’s Children.

Those factors are…

  • Runaway tendencies
  • Homelessness
  • Poverty
  • Limited education
  • History of sexual abuse
  • A parent or family member involved in prostitution
  • Gender bias
  • Sexual orientation discrimination
  • Mental disabilities

 

 

Sex Trafficking Through the Eyes of Five Children

 

Tiana’s Story

 

When her grandmother passed away, Tiana became homeless. Her mother was unable to care for Tiana, so Tiana sought the help of her high-school friend Alexis.

Alexis, who was living with a man in a Motel 6, took Tiana in for a couple of weeks. Alexis then decided to introduce Tiana to Chris a cocaine drug user, saying they could stay with him and his friends for a bit. On her first day there, Tiana felt pressured by her friend to try cocaine for the first time.

The next day, Tiana, wanting to leave Chris’ place but was afraid of Chris and his friends and had no place else to go, summoned up the courage to try to leave but Chris and his friends grabbed her bag trying to prevent her. She tossed the bag at them and took off running down the street. She made it all the way to a gas station two blocks away before she slowed down and realized everything she owned was in that bag.

In Made in the U.S.A.: the Sex Trafficking of America’s Children, you’ll get the details about how Tiana felt she was out of options and took a job recommended by her friend Alexis, to “dance” in Atlanta and became one of Marcus’ girls.

 

Kate’s Story

 

Seven-year-old Kate was excited to be spending the summer with her grandma, aunt, cousin, and her aunt’s new husband, George. Everyone liked George. He was fun, nice, and hardworking, and he never yelled.

After falling asleep on the living room floor watching movies, Kate was awoken by someone caressing her. It was Uncle George.

Frightened, Kate said she had to use the bathroom. Uncle George followed her into the bathroom and locked the door. That was the first time he molested her.

In Made in the U.S.A.: the Sex Trafficking of America’s Children, you’ll learn how Kate was trafficked by her own family.

 

Rich’s Story

 

Five-year-old Rich didn’t understand why his father was so verbally and physically abusive toward him.

When Rich’s mom was admitted to the hospital again due to a tumor on her back, Rich’s dad sent him to live with an aunt and uncle who both began molesting him shortly after he arrived.

In Made in the U.S.A.: the Sex Trafficking of America’s Children, read more of Rich’s story of drugs, depression, and survival sex.

 

Samantha’s Story

 

Samantha and her friend Karen, both in junior high, were excited to be tagging along with Karen’s older brothers to a local party full of high-school students. They all knew drugs would be there…all kinds of drugs.

After a little mingling among the party-goers, Samantha and Karen cozied up to a college-aged guy with bloodshot eyes and slurred speech. He offered them pot and both gladly accepted.

That’s the last thing Samantha remembered about the party.

In Made in the U.S.A.: the Sex Trafficking of America’s Children, learn about how traffickers emotionally control their victims, so much so that Samantha returned to the “life”– after being rescued.

 

Deidra’s Story

 

Deidra and Aaron knew each other from a special-ed class at school. Aaron was interested in community service and was from a devout Mormon family. He even had dinner with Deidra and her family once. So why would her parents need to be concerned when, after spending a couple hours playing video games at Deidra’s house, Aaron suggested they “go to Target and get a Coke”?

During their trip to Target, Aaron spent an unusual amount of time texting and checking his phone, which made Deidra uncomfortable since he seemed to be ignoring her.

After making their purchases, they waited for more than ten minutes in Aaron’s parked car, silently.

Suddenly, a Jeep and a Hummer drove up. Several teens piled out of the vehicles. Deidra recognized a few of them. They invited Aaron and Deidra to a party. Deidra decided she wanted to go, but Aaron decided he did not.

The kids whisked Deidra into the Hummer.

In Made in the U.S.A.: the Sex Trafficking of America’s Children, follow Deidra as she is kidnapped and forced to prostitute herself and Deidra’s family as they never stop searching for her

 

* * *

Made in the U.S.A.: the Sex Trafficking of America’s Children is a valuable resource and an educational tool with which to arm yourself and protect your children.

 

Author Alisa Jordheim includes several resources in her book for parents, who after reading these children’s stories are compelled to get involved to protect America’s children.

The topic of pimps and their popularity ignited an interesting debate between my husband and me. We wondered: Why is the sex industry thriving like it is?

  • Is greed driving the pimp to push young women to sell their bodies day after day for his profit?
  • Is there is not enough law enforcement to keep up with the overwhelming number of traffickers?
  • Is the sex industry’s growth due to the johns’ buying sex in the first place? (If there was no demand, there would be no need to supply.)
  • Or is poverty the real root behind all this?

We concluded that there is no one group or person to blame. We are all called to help stop prostitution, pornography, and sexual exploitation.

The Victim

Most women* prostituted by traffickers feel they have no choice. They continue to sell their bodies out of fear of punishment from their pimp or necessity, as they have no other way to earn a living. Poverty, lack of education, and homelessness all play a factor in the force that drives a woman to be manipulated into prostitution and pornography.

Though drugs and guns can only be purchased once, human beings can be sold over and over. People are also easier to hide from law enforcement because fear can cause victims to lie about their situation or they may not even realize they are a victim.

The Buyer

Johns who purchase sex may not know the women are being forced and are not willing participants. Men addicted to pornography may feel the need to take it to the next level and “purchase the real thing.”

They feel a sense of anonymity, hiding behind their computer monitor, cell phone or laptop while they “shop” for women or meeting under cover of darkness at random motels. Many johns believe pornography and prostitution are victimless crimes.

The Pimp

Pimps─whether they are independent operators or members of a gang/mafia─pimp for money. As of 2015, human trafficking is second only to drugs in profitable crime. That ranking may soon change as human trafficking is the fastest growing crime worldwide.

Many pimps come from a background of abuse and lack the empathy needed to be aware of the damage they are inflicting on their victims. They don’t see the victims as anything but property.

Law Enforcement

With 2200 children reported missing every day, more than 400 ads a month on backpage.com advertising potentially underage sex, and countless sting operations occurring across the country, law enforcement is kept busy arresting criminals involved in human trafficking.

If every officer worked on a trafficking task force 24 hours a day 7 days a week, they still wouldn’t make a dent in the problem.

Traffickers are constantly using resources to stay ahead of law enforcement. They will change names, phone numbers, web addresses, and the location of their victim to elude the police.

So What Do We Do?

“Prostitution is decreasing on the street, but thriving online.

Advertisements on social media and sites like Craigslist.com and Backpage.com entice potential workers and customers. Those determined to be in the business, but who find their local resources drying up, often go online to solicit business or take advantage of opportunities in other cities,” states Polaris.

“There are two primary factors driving the spread of human trafficking: high profits and low risk. Like drug and arms trafficking, human trafficking is a market-driven criminal industry that is based on the principles of supply and demand. Every year, traffickers generate billions of dollars in profits by victimizing millions of people around the world, including here in the United States.” –Polaris

The root of prostitution is a tangled web of cause and effect. There is no real culprit to blame for this blight on humanity. All we can do is chip away at each instigator until the problem is eradicated.

  • Notify Craigslist and Backpage that you refuse to use their sites until they stop selling people for sex.
  • Say “No!” to pornography by supporting hotel chains that refuse to provide on-demand pornography such as Hilton and Hyatt. Pornography is not only damaging to the victims exploited in the videos but also those watching the videos. Pornography is NOT a victimless crime! Learn more at www.fightthenewdrug.org
  • Refuse to purchase sex. That’s pretty self-explanatory.
  • Do not glorify or emulate pimps. For example, be aware of not using the words “porn” or “pimp” in casual conversation. They get overused as in “foodporn” for a hashtag when people snap a picture of food in social media or as in “pimping out” a car or outfit. They are criminals and sexual deviants, and should be treated as such.

*Editors note: While I use the term “women” to describe the victims of forced prostitution, young men and boys are also victimized. In a report published by the Juvenile Justice Information Exchange, 50% of the 100,000 children trafficked for sex is boys. There have also been sexual exploitation cases involving young children, toddlers, and infants.

 

Video:

Greg’s Story

The life of a porn star is not all it’s cracked up to be.

video courtesy of Fight the New Drug

This summer while resting and relaxing on your vacation, keep an eye out for potential trafficking victims. You may just save someone’s life.

Criminals traffic victims from one location to another to avoid detection from authorities, keep their “merchandise fresh,” and keep their victims disoriented.

Human traffickers use the same modes of transportation and stops law-abiding individuals use while on vacation: planes, trains, busses, roadside rest stops, car rental agencies, restaurants, and bars.

As you travel, be on the lookout for the following signs of a potential victim.

At the airport/train station/bus terminal 

Someone who:

  • Is not in control of his/her travel documents
  • Appears disoriented, drunk, or drugged
  • Has few or no possessions carried in small or plastic bags
  • Does not make eye contact
  • Is not allowed to speak
  • Seems unsure of his/her final destination

Also be aware of:

  • Children who do not look comfortable with the person they are with
  • Young women traveling alone
  • Young girls dressed inappropriately for their age

At the hotel/motel

Behaviors that are suspicious are:

  • Rooms paid for with cash, customer not forthcoming with personal information
  • Individuals checking in that have no ID
  • Individuals begging from staff and patrons
  • Several men coming and going from one room throughout the day/night
  • Housekeeping/landscaping workers working excessively long hours, odd hours, or having no breaks

At roadside rest areas

Be aware of people who are…

  • Begging
  • Individuals hanging around the bathroom area

At amusement parks

Keep in mind that amusement parts are often the site for child abductions or a hand-off to a buyer.

Always Be Aware of These Signs

As always, if you see someone with bruises in different stages of healing; who looks malnourished, sick  or has bad hygiene; or who appears frightened and confused, please notify authorities.

The worse that can happen is a little delay, the best that can happen is that you rescue a victim from a trafficker’s grasp.

Program this hotline number into your cell phone before your vacation and be prepared to report suspicious behavior.

The National Human Trafficking Hotline 1-888-3737-888.