Running To End Trafficking

Running can help end slavery? Yes, here at Love True we like raising awareness and funds in a variety of ways, and our running team is a part of that. Chloe is the director of the running team. We talked with her recently about how fighting human trafficking and running in races can be connected. 

Can you describe what the running team is in a few short words?
Chloe: In short, our running team is an opportunity to take on a challenge and use that as a platform for raising awareness and funds. You commit to doing something hard and ask others to support a good cause in honor of your efforts. It's a win-win as one can achieve their physical goals while simultaneously raising funds and awareness to fight sex trafficking in New Jersey.

Why a running team, and who can participate?
Chloe: What I love about running is how much it mirrors life and faith. By offering the opportunity to run for Love True, we are giving you the opportunity to fight both physically and philanthropically for something you believe in. And our team is open to all! With committing to fundraising comes personalized coaching from our nationally certified running coach (alternatively known as me). 

Our running team is an opportunity to take on a challenge and use that as a platform for raising awareness and funds.

What is it like to cross a finish line not just for yourself but for an organization like Love True as well?
Chloe: It gives you the knowledge that the hours of training and the pain of racing are so much bigger than yourself. Knowing that by crossing the finish line, there is a young girl out there that much closer to receiving the care and healing she needs from a life of hell makes the struggle so very worth it. 


How can someone join the running team? 
Chloe: They can start by emailing me at chloe@love-true.org with their interest. I then send out a form to fill out so I can evaluate their goals and needs, and then if necessary, begin personalizing a training plan for them. I also work with them to get their fundraising page up and running, and equip them with tools for spreading the word about their efforts. hey can also fill out the form here.

By offering the opportunity to run for Love True, we are giving you the opportunity to fight both physically and philanthropically for something you believe in.

The running team just had a big race, can you tell us a little about it?
Chloe: e did! Team Love True came into the Baker's Dozen Half Marathon on March 25th as one of the biggest charity teams there! We have 6 participants, and to put this in perspective, each team was capped at 8 members. Collectively, our team raised $2,131 through their training, all of which will go to our restoration home fund.

Are there races coming up?
Chloe: Someone wanting to run for Team Love True can run in any race of their choosing, at any time. That said, we do from time to time as team have team races, and in late September there will be our 5th Annual Trek Against Trafficking race. Those who commit to any distance and raise a certain minimum amount will be entitled to free registration! More information will be coming up soon. I also have a dream of recruiting a team to run the a relay through the entirety of New Jersey, but that idea is still in dream-only status. 

Knowing that by crossing the finish line, there is a young girl out there that much closer to receiving the care and healing she needs from a life of hell makes the struggle so very worth it. 

What excites you about the future of this team?
Chloe: I firmly believe that with enough momentum and excitement, Team Love True can fully fund New Jersey's first restoration home for teenage victims of domestic sex trafficking. And that alone is exciting enough to join the movement, literally and figuratively.

We’re excited about the growth and work the running team has been doing. As Chloe said, if you would like to get involved in the running team you can go to the running page or contact Chloe at chloe@love-true.org. And as Chloe also mentioned we have our annual Trek Against Trafficking on September 30th, sign up here to join the fun!
 

Fact: Child Pornography is Sex Trafficking

To the average person on the street, child sexual abuse and human sex trafficking likely don't come to mind when the topic of porn comes up. They probably think of the "sex-craving goddesses" that are marketed on popular porn sites and the infinite fantasy world of sex that can be found online.

To many, these may seem like completely separate issues, separate industries. After all, it’s a felony to even view child pornography in the United States, and human sex trafficking is a global issue that only happens in places like Thailand and Russia, right?

Wrong.

The fact is, child porn and sex trafficking are both inseparably linked to the porn industry, and they all coexist to fuel the demand for sexual exploitation.

Think about this—one of the most-searched terms year after year on the world’s largest porn site is “teen.” And while the performers are generally not actually underaged, the content focuses specifically on sexualizing the abuse and manipulation of adolescents. The common scenario within this popular "teen" porn genre is a teenage girl getting taken advantage of by an older male. However, in countless cases, this is the actual scenario, not a scripted fantasy. Many high school teenage girls are tricked into doing porn, sex trafficked by pimps, or are otherwise sexually abused. Fantasizing this reality through porn is contributing to the issue.

The fact is, child porn and sex trafficking are both inseparably linked to the porn industry, and they all coexist to fuel the demand for sexual exploitation.


Another issue is that for those who view porn frequently, the leap between child and adult content gets smaller and smaller. For example, in one real life example, a man in Buffalo, New York who was initially viewing adult websites accidentally came across material depicting actual child sexual abuse. Shocked and curious, he found himself pursuing more child pornography.

Child pornography has become more prevalent than we ever could have imagined; the people who actually get caught for possessing it are just the tip of the iceberg. The exploitation of minors for commercial purposes is a business that has been virally expanding on the web for years, and the material is getting worse and more hardcore every year. In 2008, Internet Watch Foundation found 1,536 individual child abuse domains. According to the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, every week, there are over 20,000 images of child pornography posted on the web. Furthermore, U.S Customs Services estimates that illegal child pornography is offered by approximately 100,000 websites. According to a 2009 United Nations Human Rights Council Report, the production and distribution of child pornography has an estimated value of between $3 billion and $20 billion. It’s a booming business, and its effects are spreading quickly.

Just recently in Toronto, Canada, nearly 400 children were rescued and 348 adults arrested following a massive international child pornography investigation that took down a $4 million child porn production empire that distributed its illegal content to over 50 countries worldwide. Police seized over 45 terabytes of child porn in the bust. What was most alarming about this case? Many of the arrests were of people who worked with or closely interacted with children. Among those arrested were 40 school teachers, nine doctors and nurses, six law enforcement personnel, nine pastors and priests, and three foster parents.

Related: Child Cybersex Trafficking - Heart Wrenching Viral Video Shines Light on Global Issue

The National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) compiled a qualitative review of over one hundred scientific studies, court cases and personal accounts detailing the effects of adult pornography on the sexual exploitation of children. Covering a wide range of factors, from the escalating nature of pornography addiction, to pornography’s role in pedophilia and child abuse, the review provides a chilling glimpse into the world of child pornography and its users.
 

Every week, there are over 20,000 images of child pornography posted on the web.

The review cited court cases that reveal the pattern of escalation that these individuals undergo. For many, what initially began as a fascination with adult pornography, progressed to an involvement with child pornography. The following accounts are excerpts from two separate court cases. They demonstrate how an involvement with adult pornography can escalate into darker behaviors:

“From a young age I had access to pornography. My parents had a suitcase locked away with pornography in it. My brother and I found the key and I would frequently get it unbeknownst to my parents. This coupled with my curiosity about girls was the impetus for my porn addiction. In college I continued to purchase porn but it wasn’t until the Internet that I really developed an insatiable appetite for it. It was so easy to get…I found others who loved porn and would steer me towards various sites. I would look up any type of porn I could think of. I found myself wanting more original/amateur and unique pics…It wasn’t till someone sent me a child pornography picture that I gained a curiosity for it. It spiraled out of hand as I found it so easy to obtain. I tried numerous times to delete all porn and not look but I always went back. I spent hours upon hours looking and talking online and had even skipped classes or gone in late to work because of it.” [1]

“One of the men arrested, [Defendant], who…allegedly abused his 18-month-old daughter — said he started watching child pornography after getting “burned out” by regular porn. He needed something more titillating. Something a little sicker. That’s not that unusual for people addicted to Internet porn. Researchers have been finding that Internet porn addicts can build up a tolerance to it and need more and more stimulation. ‘There is something physiologically addicting about it, the flickering images’ compared with looking at photos or porn magazines’, says California psychologist Dr. Barry Gordon.” [2]

In each case, the defendant’s issues began with an exposure and attraction to pornography. Over time, the thrill of regular adult pornography wore off—it wasn’t enough anymore. To quote one defendant, he became “burned out.” So, they pushed the limits, and pursued heavier and heavier material to satisfy their growing struggle and growing need for more illicit material.

In both of these cases, and the millions that go unexposed every year, there is a real child behind them. Coerced, abused, and neglected, these children are the victims of heinous crimes that are then seen and shared by child porn users around the world. And each click, download, and share just increases the demand for more.

If we are going to put an end to human sex trafficking, there's no better place to start than with our society's obsession with porn. By decreasing the demand through education on its harms, we can make a difference and help create a world without exploitation.

 

Written by Fight the New Drug

To find out more about Fight the New Drug visit their site

Citations

[1]  United States v. Honnold, 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 7025 (N.D. Ohio).

[2] J. Hunter, “Pedophiles haunt Internet porn sites,” Chicago Sun Times, 22 March 2006.

MYTH: Individuals can’t do anything to help end human trafficking

"Modern day slavery." It sounds like a contradiction. But it is a grim, little known fact that there is more slavery in the world today than at any time in history, including the Civil War and the height of the African slave trade.  

"After drug trafficking, trafficking in humans ties with the illegal arms industry as the second largest criminal industry in the world today and the fastest growing." - U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2011

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We often think, that is if we stop to think about it, that human trafficking is something that occurs overseas in remote, dark corners of the world. And that is true. It does occur there. But we are mistaken if we think that it doesn't occur here in the U.S., in our cities and suburbs, our neighborhoods, our local schools, shopping malls and farms.

The problem is so big, but often hidden in plain sight. It may seem overwhelming, so we ignore it. But there are things, both large and small, that we can do to help stop human trafficking.

I once saw a photo of a cardboard sign that read,

i am somebody.jpg

“I ALWAYS WONDERED WHY SOMEBODY DIDN’T DO SOMETHING ABOUT THAT.

THEN I REALIZED. I AM SOMEBODY.”

 

 

I am somebody who can make a difference. And so are you!  

Edmund Burke said, “Nobody makes a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could only do a little.” If we all committed to at least doing a little about human trafficking, a lot would be accomplished.

My organization, Justice Network, exists to educate, equip and empower our friends and neighbors to become abolitionists. We are passionate about finding practical ways to raise awareness and to bring an end to human trafficking.

Here are some ways you personally can make a difference and stem the tide of this heinous evil:

BE A PRAYER WARRIOR:

Commit to pray about this issue.  Pray for:

  • Victims

  • Survivors

  • Workers providing restoration services

  • Workers seeking prevention

  • Frontline activists and law enforcement

  • Legislators

  • Accurate and effective news reporting

  • Even for the traffickers, pimps, buyers, and johns, after all, they are broken people too.

BE A PROVIDER:

  • Donate money, goods, and services

  • Fundraise

  • Do a donation drive of items for shelters and safe homes

  • Purchase fair-trade or ethically produced goods made by survivors or those at risk (for a comprehensive list, visit the resources menu at www.justice-network.org)

  • Volunteer your time

BE A PUBLIC ADVOCATE:

  • Be informed BEFORE you speak out!

  • Speak up for those who can't speak for themselves

  • Tell your family and friends

  • Use your social media to spread the word and raise awareness (This week visit: www.htchallenge.net to participate in a social media campaign before & during the Super Bowl)

  • Write letters - to local or county papers, to your Congressman, to companies to find out if their products were created slave-free (question their supply sources)

  • Organize or attend awareness events

  • "If you see something, say something." The national hotline to report suspicious activity is 888-373-7888.

Human trafficking is a big problem, but it is one that can be eliminated. If you believe that it is wrong to buy or sell people, then share this message. We CAN change the culture:

  • 150 years ago, President Lincoln delivered the Emancipation Proclamation. Today the idea of purchasing a Negro slave on the auction block is unheard of.

  • 100 years ago, women rallied for the right to vote. Today the idea of an American woman denied access to the polling place is unheard of.

  • 50 years ago, Rosa Parks refused to sit in the back of the bus. Today the idea of separate but equal schools, bus seats, or water fountains is unheard of.

 I have the audacity to believe that 50 years from now, the idea of buying a girl for the Super Bowl will be unheard of.

Dr. BJ Palmer said, "We never know how far-reaching something we may think, say, or do today will affect the lives of millions tomorrow." I wholeheartedly believe that because you and I will do something today, we will affect the lives of millions tomorrow.  

 

Written by Susan Panzica, Executive Director and co-founder of Justice Network, which exists to educate, equip, and empower friends and neighbors to become abolitionists providing education about the facts and ways to fight the issue and directing support to those organizations rescuing victims. She serves on the Steering Committee of the NJ Coalition Against Human Trafficking and is co-creator of the global #HTchallenge. More about her journey as an abolitionist can be found in the story Somebody’s Daughter, published in Chicken Soup for The Soul.Susan is author of Mary Had a Little Lamb and writer of the blog Eternity Cafe.

 

For more specific ideas on what you can do:

https://justice-network.org/2013/10/01/5-things-you-can-do/

http://16days.thepixelproject.net/16-ways-to-take-action-against-human-trafficking/

http://greatnonprofits.org/nonprofitnews/18-things-you-can-do-to-stop-human-trafficking/

http://www.dts.edu/read/human-trafficking-20-things-you-can-do-today-to-stop-it-tomczak-linda/

https://www.cru.org/train-and-grow/spiritual-growth/5-ways-you-can-help-stop-human-trafficking.html

 

 

 

FACT: An individual doesn’t need to be moved across state lines to be a victim of sex trafficking

It is a common misconception that for a person to be trafficked they must be removed from their state and brought to a new one in which to be trafficked. Here is a chart showing the difference between victims of trafficking and smuggling. The chart demonstrates that a person can be trafficked without being moved across state lines. If you would like more information please follow the link to the full article on the U.S. Department of State’s website. 

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MYTH: Only undocumented individuals are victims of sex trafficking in the US

Local news sources frequently report domestic sex trafficking raids at locations such as massage salons and nail salons. These kinds of cases have a reputation for underpaying workers for their professional work during the day and recruiting the same workers for sex trafficking at night. Such scenarios often involve undocumented, foreign-born persons from Asia or Latin America who were brought into the country through the deceptive promise of work. For this reason, these are the examples that come to our minds when we think of domestic sex trafficking. (http://bibliobase.sermais.pt:8008/BiblioNET/upload/PDF3/01913_sex_traff_us.pdf )

While it is crucial to understand the reality of this form of sex trafficking, it is also important to recognize that this is not the only scenario. In fact, certain regions produce trafficking of U.S. citizens more often than trafficking of undocumented foreign-born citizens. Take a look at this article from nj.com about trafficking in New Jersey. Bill Williger, a special agent of Homeland Security investigations in the Tampa Bay region, states that most of the trafficking cases he handles involve U.S. citizens. (http://www.wedu.org/humantrafficking/ )

Statements like these beckon the question: How do U.S. citizens become involved in sex trafficking?

Apart from the method of recruitment mentioned above that targets citizens of  foreign countries, popular forms of recruitment of sex trafficking victims in the U.S. are boyfriending, peer pressure, and online recruitment. Boyfriending involves forming a romantic relationship with the victim and using the his/her trust as a means of gradual manipulation into trafficking. Peer pressure involves using the influence of a peer to convince the victim to become involved. Online recruitment involves using an online platform to recruit.

Boyfriending involves forming a romantic relationship with the victim and using the his/her trust as a means of gradual manipulation into trafficking.

Although there are so many stories that capture these different ways of trafficking U.S. citizens, I chose the story of a survivor named Bianca because she was recruited through social media, a familiar platform to all participants in this campaign. Bianca’s trafficker recruited her using a combination of online recruitment and boyfriending. At the age of 15, Bianca followed a man nicknamed Shy on Instagram because she liked his tattoo posts. Their relationship started with liking and commenting on each others pictures. They eventually began messaging one another on Instagram and exchanged numbers. Shy was a source of support to Bianca through a rocky year. She confided in him about relationship issues with her boyfriend, and Shy offered her an appealing alternative. He encouraged her to go on a trip with him to Vegas for his birthday to get away from her problems. He spoke of being in love with her and wanting to be with her as leverage for convincing her to stay with him. He also promised her that he could help her make a lot of money.

Shy was a source of support to Bianca through a rocky year.

She met up with him in San Jose, but they never made it to Vegas. He took her to a motel where he instructed her to sleep with other guys. When she tried calling friends to help her escape, he threatened to kill anyone who came to retrieve her. As time went on, he expected her and his other victims to sleep with over twenty-five guys a day. They had to make a thousand dollars for him each day in order to earn their sleep time. She was held for two years by Shy, filled with physical and emotional abuse. He was able to manipulate her into coming back to him even after her attempts to leave “the life”. At the age of eighteen, she finally escaped for good. He was arrested shortly after on Feb 7th of 2016.

Bianca is one of the many U.S. citizens who was successfully recruited into sex trafficking. Although she does not fit into the typical news story on domestic sex trafficking, her experience represents that of many. Understanding all forms of sex trafficking in the United States is a key way to equip ourselves to be better advocates for people like Bianca.

If you or someone you know is being forced to do things against their will or is a victim of domestic sex trafficking, please call the Human Trafficking Hotline Number (888) 373-7888 or call the New Jersey Human Trafficking Hotline number 855.END.NJ.HT (855-363-6548)

Written by Mariah Springer, Love True, It Could Be Me Campaign Manager

 

 

 

 

Sources:
http://bibliobase.sermais.pt:8008/BiblioNET/upload/PDF3/01913_sex_traff_us.pdf
O (Hughes, Donna, Janice Raymond, and Carol Gomez. "Sex Trafficking of Women in the United States." Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (2001).)

http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2016/10/29_pimps_prostitutes_in_nj_arrested_in_fbi_human_t.html

http://www.wedu.org/humantrafficking/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZxmkLtVxsNg