Connecticut anti-sex trafficking agency launches campaign aimed at ‘johns’

Photo purchased from iStock at Getty Images

Photo purchased from iStock at Getty Images

The TIP Council has initiated a Connecticut Campaign Against Demand that officially launches in 2017. The sex trafficking of Connecticut’s women, men, and children is driven by demand for the commercial sex acts they perform. Put simply, without "buyers”
to purchase sex there would be no sex-for-pay industry. Who are these “buyers"? What do we know about the individuals in Connecticut who pay to sexually abuse children and exploited adults?

To read more: http://www.nhregister.com/general-news/20170111/connecticut-anti-sex-trafficking-agency-launches-campaign-aimed-at-johns?platform=hootsuite

How Texas can end human trafficking, one hero at a time

Photo purchased from iStock at Getty Images

Photo purchased from iStock at Getty Images

One teacher recognizing the signs and choosing to report them was all it took to save her student from sexual exploitation. One neighbor taking action was all it took to free a young woman who had been sold into slavery right next door. One bystander choosing not to look away was all it took to rescue a 13 year old who was tied to a bed, drugged, and sold for sex.
One person, one moment, one act that saved a life. That is the power of one.
The Texas Office of the Attorney General seeks to equip each and every Texan with the tools he or she needs to unleash the "power of one" in the fight against human trafficking. We ask you to take up the call.

To read more: http://www.dallasnews.com/opinion/commentary/2017/01/10/texas-can-end-human-trafficking-one-hero-time

Get Involved!

Here are some practical ways to prevent and combat human trafficking: 
Tutor or mentor at-risk students
Donate to your local food pantry to help lessen food insecurity
Get to know the youth in your neighborhood
Support an organization that is effectively providing direct services to victims
Share your job skills, resume building skills, etc. at a domestic violence shelter, homeless shelter, home for trafficking survivors
Donate to an organization creatively tackling the problem of human trafficking
Talk to your kids often about sex, wise choices, and internet safety
Spend time with your kids one on one getting to know them as the unique individuals they are
Choose a book on human trafficking and read together with your book club, church group, or family

Check out CATCH Court!

CATCH Court rocks!
“Caught in Columbus” is a short documentary examining the issue of human trafficking in Columbus, and the rise of CATCH Court, a pioneering, specialized legal docket aimed at restoring the lives of the women who have become trafficking victims.

Presented by Columbus Voices, a project of Available Light Theatre.
Written and Directed by Matt Hermes

https://vimeo.com/197952424

TAT in Mississippi!

What a week we had in Mississippi! We were invited by the Mississippi Department of Transportation law enforcement division to come and train their officers all around the state from January 10-14. Kylla Lanier, TAT deputy director, and Beth Jacobs, TAT field trainer and survivor leader conducted 6 three hour trainings throughout the state. The response to the information and Beth's story were amazingly positive, and we look forward to deepening our partnership with MDOT and MS law enforcement. A special thanks to Chief Willie Huff, Captain Powell and our awesome guide and coordinator Captain Arthur for bringing this important training to their officers!

Book highlights Saugus resident Marino's recovery from sex trafficking, drug addiction

Jasmine Grace Marino is living proof that human sex trafficking can happen to anyone.

Having overcome selling her body, drug addiction and domestic abuse, she has authored a book outlining her personal experiences in unflinching detail that carries a message of perseverance and faith in hopes of dissuading others from making the same mistakes she did and changing mindsets in how sex trafficking is perceived.

In "The Diary of Jasmine Grace," Marino posts the unedited journal entries she recorded from 2000 through 2007 as she descended from a college student who hoped to become a writer to the victim of human sex trafficking.

After each diary entry, Marino shares reflections on what her thoughts were at the time and how she has changed for the better since escaping the hold of her trafficker and getting clean.

To read more: http://saugus.wickedlocal.com/news/20170105/book-highlights-saugus-resident-marinos-recovery-from-sex-trafficking-drug-addiction

The high price of human trafficking

Photo purchased by iStock at Getty Images

Photo purchased by iStock at Getty Images

On January 1, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation. While it did not entirely end the practice of slavery in the United States, it stood as a symbol to many as the end to the atrocious idea that one human being can own another. Lincoln declared that the American government would recognize and maintain the freedom of all people in the seceded states, and that the government would uphold “no act or acts to repress such persons, or any of them, in any efforts they may make for their actual freedom.”

In the minds and hearts of many, both in the United States and elsewhere, this was the end of slavery. If only that were so. Slavery, now more commonly known as human trafficking, has not ended. In fact, this human scandal is more extensive than ever.

To read more: http://acton.org/pub/commentary/2015/01/14/high-price-human-trafficking#.WG7vTceVd1g.twitter

Emotional Senate Hearing Finds Backpage.com Complicit in Underage Sex Trafficking as Victim’s Families Testify

“Those children were sold, and they simply tried to sanitize it. That, ladies and gentlemen, is the definition of evil”, said Sen. Claire McCaskill, glaring at the five company executives sitting in front of her.

Jan. 10 was a day of reckoning on Capitol Hill for the controversial classified site Backpage com, as the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations released a new report saying that Backpage had knowingly facilitated underage trafficking on its site by actively editing ads posted in the “adult services” section. The website’s top executives were subpoenaed to attend a hearing where the Subcommittee, led by Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and McCaskill, D-Missouri, laid out their findings, which were based on over a million pages of internal company documents.

For parents Tom and Nacole, this was a day they dreamed would come. Their daughter, who ABC News is calling "Natalie," was repeatedly sold for sex on Backpage.com when she was only 15 years old.

http://abcnews.go.com/US/emotional-senate-hearing-finds-backpage-complicit-underage-sex/story?id=44762342

Human traffickers preying more on children, men, laborers: global study

Photo purchased from iStock at Getty Images

Photo purchased from iStock at Getty Images

UNITED NATIONS (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - The face of human trafficking is changing with more children and men falling prey and more victims trapped in forced labor than a decade ago, the United Nations reported on Wednesday.

International trafficking that exploits vulnerable refugees and migrants is reaching "appalling dimensions" and more trafficking is occurring within countries, said Yury Fedotov, executive director of the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

The UNODC found trafficking in 106 countries and territories, Fedotov told the U.N. Security Council, with trafficking for sexual exploitation, forced labor, and begging most common and children making up a third of all victims.

"Human trafficking is pervasive," Fedotov said in prepared remarks ahead of the release of the 2016 Global Report on Trafficking in Persons.

"It is transnational, and its victims are everywhere."

To read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-un-trafficking-victims-idUSKBN14A1IP

A place to heal, transition

Photo purchased from iStock at Getty Images

Photo purchased from iStock at Getty Images

Safe housing is one of the biggest barriers to girls and women who want to escape being trafficked for sex. At its best, such safe housing would come with services tailored to meet the needs of people who have been exploited.

A woman who is at the forefront of helping people who've been exploited for sex hopes to create just such a place in the St. Cloud area. She helped run a housing program at Heartland Girls' Ranch in Benson that worked with girls who'd been exploited or abused.

Now Cynthia "CeCe" Turlouw has a dream of providing adults with the same kind of care, creating a safe haven where women can get temporary and long-term housing and programming. It would be one of the few facilities of its kind in the state for sex-trafficked adults.

To read more: http://www.sctimes.com/story/news/local/2016/12/29/place-heal-transition/95467430/

TAT at KY Capitol with KY AG Beshear!

On National Human Trafficking Awareness Day, TAT and the Freedom Drivers Project were front and center at the Kentucky State Capitol alongside Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear, in order to raise awareness about this heinous crime and celebrate the excellent work his office is doing in conjunction with the Kentucky State Police, the Kentucky Trucking Association, the statewide task force, the hospitality industry and local anti-trafficking NGOs. Kendis Paris, TAT executive director, not only encouraged lawmakers to sponsor and pass the draft legislation that would mandate TAT training for all entry-level CDL holders in the state, she also announced our partnership with UPS Freight... who will be TAT training all of the drivers in their fleet. Our thanks to UPS Freight for not only attending the event, but also for hauling the FDP to KY and back. And thank you to the hardworking Kentucky Attorney General's Office for allowing us to take part in this momentous day, and for your strategic partnership.

Kalamazoo, Michigan, Man Convicted of Sex Trafficking and Interstate Transportation for Prostitution

Photo purchased from iStock at Getty Images

Photo purchased from iStock at Getty Images

According to evidence and testimony presented at trial, Givhan prostituted three women for his profit at various times between October 2014 and April 2015 and transported them from Michigan to Kentucky and other states for the purpose of prostitution. He used force, fraud and coercion to compel one of the women to prostitute for him between October 2014 and March 2015. He initially recruited the woman – a single mother of three – using false promises of steady income and a better life. However, once she began earning money, he kept it all. Givhan required her to earn $1,000 a day and beat other women who did not meet their quota in front of her. Givhan also required her to tattoo his alias, “Premier,” on her neck and threatened to hurt or kill her or her family if she refused to continue prostituting for him. When she objected to his demand that she perform particular acts for customers, he sexually assaulted her. At one point, the woman tried to leave Givhan, but he found her, placed her in a chokehold and told her it was time to return to work. On a trip to Florida, he compelled her to continue prostituting for his profit, even after she sought medical attention for severe pain and bleeding. Shortly thereafter, she managed to escape by enlisting the help of a hotel clerk and her mother.

To read more: https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/kalamazoo-michigan-man-convicted-sex-trafficking-and-interstate-transportation-prostitution

Pornography's Role in Sex Trafficking

How is pornography linked to sex trafficking? In short, 80% of sex trafficking victims reported that their captors made them view pornography to illustrate the kinds of sexual acts that they would need to perform for their “buyers.” In addition to viewing pornography to groom and essentially train victims as to the captors' expectations, victims are forced to participate in pornography, which is intended to be shared with men and women across the world, much of it occurring "live" with paying customers. Even though adult males can be victims of sex trafficking, victims are more likely to be women and children. The traffickers use the victim’s participation in pornographic films as a means of psychologically controlling, blackmailing, and desensitizing victims in knowing that those images will likely remain in cyberspace indefinitely.

To read more: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/pornographys-role-sex-trafficking-michael-pittaro-phd

'I Remember the Smells, the Sights, and the Taste of Slavery': Jessa Dillow Crisp Shares Her Story

As the silky touch of my wedding dress moved over my body, I saw a glimpse of myself in the mirror. Blinking several times, I almost didn’t recognize the women looking back at me, she was completely radiant. The dichotomy of my fairytale wedding and the things I had experienced in my past was great, but at that moment all I could do was fixate my eyes on my soon-to-be husband and walk toward him with abandoned joy. 
Five years before I was in Vancouver as the noise and lights from the 2010 Winter Olympics festivities filtered into my room. Men raped me as my body tried to disappear from the deep burning pain, but there was nowhere to go. I wished desperately that this were a nightmare, but without knowing the real names of my pimps, I understood the gravity of my situation. I was a slave once again. The individuals who held me against my will were defining what was happening and although I was the one experiencing the pain, they owned my body. In response, I found myself completely numb toward my pimps: the people who had lied to me, coerced me, and forced me into selling my body for sexual favors so that they could profit from my shameful pain. I quickly turned this anger and hate onto myself.

To read more: https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/content/jessa-dillow-crisp-i-remember-the-smells-the-sight/

State Troopers part of effort to stop human trafficking in Valley

TRUMBULL COUNTY, Ohio -
Authorities call human trafficking one of the most destructive and lucrative crimes there is. In Ohio, the State Highway Patrol is enlisting the help of the trucking industry to raise awareness and combat the problem.

The highway patrol is making human trafficking a priority because statistics show that it's a real and growing problem in which criminals control and exploit others, including children, for huge profits.

"It has gone from $32-billion a year in 2010, to 2015 it has grown to $150-billion a year," said Sergeant Alan Ogden of the State Patrol in Trumbull county.

The most recent report shows nearly 600 potential human trafficking cases reported in Ohio, making it the fifth highest among all states.

Now, the patrol is taking steps to make truckers aware of what signs to look for to help rescue potential victims. "Sex trafficking rings have been broken up as a result of just truck drivers themselves recognizing the signs," Sergeant Ogden said.

To read more: http://www.wfmj.com/story/34174679/truck-drivers-help-ohio-highway-patrol-combat-human-trafficking