On Saturday, January 29 from 1-5 pm EST, AVL City Center is hosting a meeting dedicated to raising awareness about child trafficking and providing education on what our community can do to combat this criminal enterprise.
Register today - space is limited!
This event will be broadcast live by Red State Talk Radio.
Speakers will include Craig “Sawman” Sawyer and Jason Sisneros.
Refreshments will be served.
Don't Miss this Event. Register NOW!
When: Saturday, January 29, 2022
Where: Asheville City Center 3867 Sweeten Creek Road Arden, NC 28704
Time: 1-5 PM EST
Your contribution will help fund:
You are here because you are awakening, opening your eyes, and ready to take action.
We look forward to sharing this unforgettable experience with you!
We commend Oro Valley Church for boldly speaking out against child harm and encouraging their members to take action ‼️👍
Join us in person, or LIVE on Facebook:
𝗪𝐡𝐞𝐧: Tuesday, Jan 25 at 6pm MT
𝗪𝐡𝐞𝐫𝐞: 500 W Calle Concordia, Oro Valley, Arizona 85704
We challenge other church leaders to follow this pastor’s lead.
Will you and yours?
Is your church brave enough to host a CONTRALANDmovie.com watch party?
If not ... would you please ask them why? 🤔🤷♂️
They may not be what you think.
Knowing what to look for can help you safeguard children.
1. Predators are weak people who crave empowerment.
2. Predators will put themselves in positions of trust to gain unsupervised access to the child.
They often seem ordinary, friendly, helpful, and even professional. Since they don’t fit the perceived stereotype, it’s easy for people to ignore red flags.
This could be a relative, family friend, neighbor, teacher, coach, or religious leader.
“Nearly all child sexual abuse is committed by people known to children and families, including: family members such as parents, stepparents, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins; and people in a family’s circle of trust such as friends, neighbors, teachers, or coaches.
More than 90% of juvenile sexual abuse victims know their perpetrator in some way.”
- Vermont Department for Children and Families
4. Predators will convince the child it’s a game, all in fun, or their special secret.
Children usually don’t know they’re being abused.
If you haven’t taught them what to watch out for, they likely don’t know what abuse is.
Pedophiles use a process called “grooming” to ease the child into submission. This may involve gifts or treats, acts of kindness, or special treatment that the child may enjoy.
5. Predators will use coercion tactics.
They can also use shame to make the child feel at fault, naughty, dirty, or worthless.
6. The average child sexual predator is religious.
90% of predators described themselves as “religious” in The Abel Harlow Child Molestation Prevention Study. Predators often target religious communities because they find them to be more vulnerable and trusting.
“There are studies that demonstrate that the faith community is even more vulnerable to abuse than secular environments… Other studies have found that sexual abusers within faith communities have more victims and younger victims. This disturbing truth is perhaps best illustrated by the words of a convicted child molester who told Dr. Salter, ‘I considered church people easy to fool…they have a trust that comes from being Christians. They tend to be better folks all around and seem to want to believe in the good that exists in people.'”
- Former child abuse chief prosecutor Boz Tchividjian
7. Child predators abuse an average of 70 victims.
HOW CAN PREDATORS GAIN ACCESS TO CHILDREN?
- Offers to babysit desperate parents who need to work. They are always there with no questions asked. They are great with kids – all kids love them.
- They become a foster parent or target single parents (mainly mothers) and gain their friendship and trust.
- Follows the single parent in the store with their children. Shows up at playgrounds, malls, parks and places where children frequent.
- The parents or family members are the ones selling their children.
- Social media. No social media platform or app is safeguarded from predators. There are many loopholes. It is important to monitor your children's devices. It can go from online harassment and stalking to your child being physically taken away from you and sold into the child sex slave industry. Read these internet safety tips and tools.
Be wary of those who put themselves in trusted positions of power with direct access to your children.
Be wary of those who are always there for you in times of vulnerability and difficulty.
Predators are con-artists. They are always “perfect.” They are so good at what they do, it is hard to tell them apart from those that are genuine and good.
They are someone you think you can trust. A confidant.
They are always there for you when you are in a bind. Someone that helps financially.
Read: What is GROOMING?
Manipulation tactics predators use to gain the victim’s trust in order to exploit and abuse them while reducing their risk of being caught.
A child predator’s goal is to persuade the child that sexual acts are harmless fun. Because of the staged and confusing progression, the victims are unaware of the manipulation and abuse. They may even crave the attention or sense of thrill.
It's important to note:
Victims can be groomed, and so can their family and friends.
Forms of Sexual Grooming:
This can include:
- Providing for the child and/or their family
- Offering the child and/or their family employment, special opportunities, or other assistance
- Offering to rescue and/or transport the family and/or child, who end up falling into the hands of traffickers
- Offering the child modeling, acting, music industry, or other fame-seeking opportunities that ends up exploiting them
- Giving the child and/or their parents drugs, alcohol, or other substances that cause dependance
- Using religion to manipulate and brainwash the child and/or their parents into submission
- Teaching or training the child in a high-level skill in order to make the child feel indebted
- Causing the family and/or children to accumulate debt and accepting sexual favors as repayment
2. Giving the victim attention or emotional support in exchange for sexual abuse
- Giving compliments and showing attraction to vulnerable kids who aren’t used to receiving that attention
- Offering counseling or other forms of therapy
- Giving special attention and asking the victim to keep it a secret
- Giving the child a special appointment or status in a religious organization, company, or group that requires the victim to do whatever it takes to “earn their place”
- Offering protection that requires the victim to hide or disappear with the perpetrator
- Mixing compliments with subtle insults in order to demoralize the victim and make them subservient
- Sexual humiliation: coerced sexual behavior followed by humiliation or threats, resulting in greater dependency, blackmail, or ownership
3. Asserting power or authority
- Abusing their position as a teacher, religious leader, coach, counselor, influencer, or intellectual leader
- Physical intimidation: threats, physical abuse and intimidation tactics
4. Gaslighting (aka Brainwashing)
- Performing abuse, then manipulating the victim into denying it happened so that they mistrust their memories and don’t report the abuse.
Warning Signs of Grooming
- The person is overly generous, available, and attentive
- Relationship is moving too fast and feels rushed
- You’re being isolated from friends and family, and/or your partner is telling you negative things about your loved ones in order to keep you separated
- Your partner insists on driving you places and waiting for you
- You partner is “taking care of you” but gets enraged when you assert independence, like seeing friends, working late, or traveling alone
- They question and/or monitor your social media or internet use and/or phone calls
- They constantly threaten you and make you feel you need to walk on eggshells, worrying that you might set them off
- Your relationship is a vicious cycle of them breaking you, then filling your needs
Safety Tip: Evaluate the patterns in your relationship with this person. What is a recurring theme or issue? Is it good for you? Does it make you feel safe, strong, independent, and secure? How does it make you feel?
What Are the Harmful Effects of Grooming?
Many victims will have difficulty discerning unhealthy relationship dynamics throughout their life because it doesn’t compare to the level or type of abuse they experienced before.
What to Do if You’re Being Groomed:
- Get support from a trusted friend or family member.
- Do not use shared devices, networks, or phone plans with the perpetrator.
- Contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline for free, confidential 24/7 support: (800) 799-SAFE (7233) or text "START" to 88788
- Get out of that relationship as soon as you can. Cut all ties.
Parents, it’s your responsibility to protect your children!
- Talk to your children.
- Observe their behavior. Has it changed recently? Why?
- Monitor their internet usage, apps, messaging, and the photos and videos they send and receive.
- Get to know their friends, classmates, teachers, coaches, and their friend’s parents and households.
- Explain these complicated concepts in an age-appropriate way.
- Teach them how to protect themselves.
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Child trafficking is prevalent in every country around the world, including the USA. It’s estimated to be a $150 BILLION dollar a year industry. It’s the fastest-growing and 2nd largest criminal enterprise on the planet.
Child Trafficking is Modern Day Slavery
The USA is one of the main destinations and sources of child trafficking. It has been reported in every state and major city. Every year hundreds of thousands of children are recruited from and transported to and through the USA for trafficking.
Child trafficking can happen to any child, regardless of race, gender, education, citizenship, and socio-economic status.
How Does Child Trafficking Happen?
Child predators use a process called “grooming” to coerce the child into submission. This can happen gradually with promises of a better life, financial gain, protection, fame, or other attractive offers.
The predator will assume a position of power and authority in order to gain trust and unsupervised access to the child. This may be a stranger, but most often it’s someone the child knows, such as a teacher, counselor, coach, religious leader, boy scout leader, family member, or friend.
Predators will target vulnerable children from abusive households or broken families who are often unsupervised and easily manipulated. Once the predator gains the child’s trust, they will use psychological, emotional, and physical abuse to ensure the child is submissive.
Whether it’s for financial gain, survival, threats, persuasion, or false promises, some parents willingly give or sell their child. As unthinkable as it sounds, some parents believe the traffickers will give the child a better life, opportunities, or protection. Some parents are so abusive that they allow others to abuse their child for the parent’s financial gain.
In many cases the parents are negligent and oblivious to what’s happening with their child, whether or not the parents are the instigator or have knowledge of the abuse.
In some cases, parents get wrapped up in a religious organization or cult that requires them to give up their child and/or allow them to be abused.
Family Members & Friends
Most reported trafficking cases were instigated by the child’s family member(s) or family friend(s).
“More than 90% of juvenile sexual abuse victims know their perpetrator in some way.”
- Vermont Department for Children and Families
Children who are forcibly taken from their homes or parents, live on the streets, or who become “lost” in the foster care or CPS systems are prime victims for trafficking.
How Many Children Are Trafficked Every Year?
In 2020, NCMEC responded to more than 17,000 reports regarding possible child sex trafficking.
Unfortunately, since many children are never reported missing, there is no reliable way to determine the total number of children who are actually missing in the U.S.
When a child is reported missing to law enforcement, federal law requires that child be entered into the FBI’s National Crime Information Center, also known as NCIC. According to the FBI, in 2020 there were 365,348 NCIC entries for missing children*. In 2019, the total number of missing children entries into NCIC was 421,394.
244,000 – Number of American children and youth estimated to be at risk of child sexual exploitation, including commercial sexual exploitation, in 2000. Sunrise for Children
Why Do Some Think Child Trafficking is a Conspiracy Theory?
Some reasons include:
- High level customers in elite positions of power actively work to enable this industry and keep their criminal behaviors a secret.
- As the 2nd most profitable criminal enterprise in the world, there is big money protecting the secrecy of it.
- Victims are threatened, coerced, slandered, or shamed into silence. Child abuse is difficult to prove, and even more difficult to prosecute. Many antagonists will call the victim a liar and cause for unwanted attention, negative press, and gaslighting tactics that the survivor does not want to experience.
- Many child abusers and traffickers are not convicted. Despite solid evidence, many abusers go unpunished, or only serve light sentences.
- Some political and religious groups mixed some truth with some un-factual stories or exaggerations that resulted in misinformation. This has unfortunately caused some to categorize child trafficking as a conspiracy theory or a political opinion.
- There is a massive lack of public awareness and education on this matter. Most people don’t know what to look for or how to help, and therefore many victims and situations are overlooked.
- The reality of this evil is simply too harsh for people to face. If they accept its existence, they’re left with 2 choices: do something, or do nothing. Unfortunately, many people choose to pretend it doesn’t exist so they do not feel responsible to take action.
What Can We Do to End Child Trafficking?
2. Get Involved in Your Community
- Attend local events, school board meetings, elections, and get to know who is running your town.
- Write your elected officials and demand harsher punishments for predators, laws to protect children, and support for victims and survivors.
- Volunteer at shelters, after school programs, and community events.
How Does Veterans For Child Rescue Fight Child Trafficking?
1. Raise awareness
· Watch: Contraland - a shocking documentary exposing child trafficking & predators in the USA.
· Interviews & media features
· Training Law Enforcement & NGOs
· Join the #V4CR movement on social media
2. Plan and perform joint sting operations with local law enforcement agencies and NGOs
· To date, V4CR has made 23 arrests with a 100% conviction rate as a result of joint sting operations with law enforcement & NGOs.
· LEO Request Form
3. Rescue and rehabilitate victims
· Programs and therapy that help survivors heal and redesign their lives.
HOW TO REPORT CHILD ABUSE & TRAFFICKING:
Be able to provide as many details as possible, including what you saw, the individuals involved, make/model of vehicle(s), license plate number, business name and/or location, date, time, and why it is suspicious.
You can also submit a tip to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at: 800-843-5678, or by reporting an incident on their Cyber Tip Line.
Children are growing up in an inescapably cybertronic world. Rather than hoping they’ll avoid the internet, take a proactive approach in guiding them through safe, responsible use.
Before allowing kids to use a mobile phone or electronic device, take the time to explain the responsibilities and rules of engagement.
1. Communicate & Educate
- Teach them how to navigate their device and features.
- Teach them the dangers and responsibilities of internet use for kids. Have age-appropriate discussions about online threats, predators, grooming, and trafficking.
- Teach them to avoid bullying, violence, and inappropriate content.
- Teach them to treat others how they want to be treated, and to block and report a bully.
2. Agree on Ground Rules
- Screen Time limits (if you use an apple device, go to Settings > Screen Time to set limits).
- Show them which apps and websites they’re allowed to use.
- Know their passwords and access to devices, apps, and websites.
- No talking to strangers. People are often not who they say they are online. Organize play dates or activities with the people your kid socializes with so you can vet and get to know them.
- Teach them to get your permission before sharing any personal information, filling out contact forms, sharing their location, clicking on unfamiliar links, or downloading anything.
- Take their phone and devices away at night and put them on airplane mode to charge in your room. This reduces the likelihood of late night predators.
3. Teach Them How to Protect Themselves
- Make them aware that there are bad guys trying to steal people’s information - or worse, harm children.
- Teach them what to do if they encounter something scary, uncomfortable, or inappropriate.
- Teach them that anything posted on the internet - whether or not it’s posted publicly or is time-deleted - is never completely deleted. There is always a way to save, record, and share any information. Teach them to never share anything on the internet that they wouldn’t want shared publicly with everyone for the rest of their life. Anything they do or say can be used against them.
- Teach them to tell you right away when something is wrong or doesn’t feel right.
- Use antivirus software programs to help you avoid spyware and viruses.
4. Explain Why You Will Monitor Them
- Be upfront about your responsibility to protect them and monitor their online activity and browsing history.
- Have an open book policy; everything they do online is your business.
- When it comes to your children, safety always comes before privacy.
- Use these monitoring and parental control apps that send you notifications if your child has attempted to visit a blocked or unsafe site. Some apps also allow you to schedule Screen Time and set a daily or weekly time limit.
- Restrict the content that can be accessed on their computer. Internet Explorer has a helpful Content Advisor feature.
- Move their computer to a common family room if possible. Make the internet a shared family experience.
- If you’re working in another room, using audiovisual equipment such as a baby monitor can allow you to occasionally glance at their screen.
- Teach them how to earn your trust, report to you, and be honest about what they’re doing.
5. Encourage Open, Honest Communication
- Appreciate and reward them for being honest. Even if it’s about something that upsets you.
- Listen to their concerns and questions, and provide them with thoughtful responses.
- Involve them in the decision making process of setting boundaries and rules.
- Make sure they know you will always be there for them, advocate for them, and take appropriate action when they need help.
6. Emphasize the Positive
- Guide them to positive, age-appropriate, educational, fun activities and online experiences.
- Enroll them in online courses and programs that can enhance their life experiences, skills, and education.
- Be an example of using the internet for good, helpful, meaningful purposes.
Knowledge is power! Giving your kids the education and tools they need to protect themselves online will go a long way in ensuring safety and enjoyable online experiences.
READ MORE TOP TECH FOR PARENTS WISHING TO MONITOR THEIR CHILDREN’S INTERNET USE
Raising awareness reduces predator's ability to operate.
44% of Trafficked Children Are Trafficked By Their Own Parent, Guardian, or Family Member.
- Minors traveling with adult(s) that does not appear to be in a familial relationship and seems controlling. They will usually avoid questions or give brief, scripted replies.
- Numerous inconsistencies in their stories.
- Child who is always escorted or accompanied, especially by different adults.
- Minors traveling alone and without appropriate supervision.
- Fake IDs or lying about age.
- Minors dressed in provocative clothing, or wearing excessive clothes, accessories, or makeup to disguise. Inappropriately dressed for the climate (i.e. covering themselves up despite warm weather).
- Carrying extra clothes in backpack or large handbag.
- Excessive amounts of cash, jewelry, or expensive materials.
- Children in places or situations they don't belong (bars, alleys, clubs, establishments, at adult events, after hours, etc).
- Kids on the street late at night, during school hours, or at odd times.
- Signs of physical abuse include lack of or limited nutrition/food/water, limited medical/dental care, sleep deprivation, bruises, cuts, burns, and physical injuries.
- Children who avoid eye contact, appear scared, anxious, nervous, and uncomfortable. Not wanting to be noticed. Rarely smiles. Appears submissive. Twitching, fidgeting, nail biting, picking at skin and pulling of hair are some typical traits.
- Quickly leaving or being rushed away when seen, approached, or talked to.
- Children who seem dazed, confused, sedated, or otherwise unusually unaware of their surroundings and/or who they’re with.
- Children who aren’t allowed to speak for themselves, or seem to have rehearsed or scripted lines.
- Significant behavioral changes. Anxiety, depression, aggression, loss of zest for life, significant changes in appetite, or other negative changes in their demeanor or personality.
- Disconnected from community, family, friends.
- Stops going to school or starts missing classes or doing poorly in studies.
- Self harm, cutting, or excessive piercing.
- Tattoos, branding, or burns.
- Unstable living arrangements.
- No personal belongings.
- Guests with no luggage in hotels, and/or who frequently visit the same hotel without a reservation and has multiple hotel room keys.
- Loitering in hallways, exits, malls, parking lots, or lobbies - especially in hotels.
- Someone standing outside of an apartment, hotel room, building, or house, while others are in and out of that establishment.
- Bars on the windows, padlocks on doors, shades or curtains always drawn, or other features that make the house or building resemble a prison.
If you suspect child sex trafficking or online predation, please follow the necessary steps to report suspicious activity:
- Contact your local law enforcement agency and/or your local FBI office. Submit a tip to the FBI at 1-800- 225-5324.
- Submit a tip to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center at 1-888-373-7888 or by texting BeFree to 233733.
- Submit a tip to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at Report.CyberTip.org or call 1-800-843-5678.
Be able to describe in detail:
- Who you saw (description of child/trafficker),
- What you saw (description of vehicle, license plate, make/model of car, social media account),
- When you saw it (day/time),
- Where did it occur,
- Why it’s suspicious
- Download the FBI Child ID App. A free app that allows parents to store updated photos and a physical description of their child and transmit that information to authorities if their child goes missing.
- Regularly check the local and federal sex offender registries and alert your children, family and friends of predators nearby. National Sex Offender Public Website: www.nsopw.gov
- Frequently check your children's phones, tablets and computers. This should be a priority.
- Download monitoring/parental control apps such as Bark, Net Nanny, Qustodio, Symantec Norton Family Premier, OpenDNS and Circle Home Plus to monitor your child's activities, apps and communications on their phones.
- Be open and honest with your children on the dangers of internet use, social media, apps and online video games. Encourage transparent communication; listen to them, and answer their questions thoughtfully. Monitoring your children is not an invasion of their privacy; it’s a non-negotiable safety precaution. It can go from online harassment to your child being harmed or physically taken from you.
More Educational Resources
- Internet Safety Tips & Parental Control
- Contraland: a shocking documentary about child trafficking & predators in the USA
Veterans For Child Rescue is dedicated to raising awareness and educating the public about child trafficking in the USA. Use these educational resources and tools to safeguard and empower children.
Watch Contraland - a shocking documentary exposing child trafficking & predators in the USA.