God, Hope & Helping Others
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Organizations of Interest Mission Statements
The mission of this organizations involves a multi-phase plan to deploy hundreds of teams throughout the world with a bold, new approach. One that addresses demand by targeting child predators for prosecutions and conviction.
The key is in identifying predators to arrest, charge, prosecute and convict. To do this, they must investigate and gather sufficient evidence..then sentencing must be commensurate with the crime after the conviction.
This organizations has chosen to fund a bold, new approach, one that addresses the demand side of child sex trafficking by targeting buyers/predators for prosecution and conviction. while over 260 organizations are currently focused on rescuing children, until the demand side is addressed, the supply will always exist. few people know that virtually no convictions have occurred in the U.S. in the last 10 years, thus this heinous crime grows.
A national campaign has been launched to raise money for retired elite military operatives targeting the demand side of trafficking. These Special Operative teams gather information on child predators both in the U.S. and abroad, information that will be used to convict child sex buyers.
These operatives use the skills developed in the War on Terror in this war to bring down predators. Professional law enforcement have vetted this strategy and are eager to work with with these operative teams.
Universities will have the privilege of being a part of a school to address in their criminal justice department curriculum aimed to better educate individuals in law enforcement in the field of child trafficking and pedophilia.
They arrived in the United States from West Africa, young girls held against their will and forced to work for hours on end. But this time, it didn't happen hundreds of years ago. Nicole's journey started in 2002, when she was barely 12, in her small village in western Ghana. She and about 20 other girls were held in plain sight, but always under the watchful eyes of their captors. "It was like being trapped, like being in a cage," said "Nicole," now 19. We agreed not to use her real name. "I always have to behave, behave, behave, behave. No freedom at all."
Western men who visit red-light districts in poor countries often find themselves surrounded by coquettish teenage girls laughingly tugging them toward the brothels. The men assume that the girls are there voluntarily, and in some cases they are right.
But anyone inclined to take the girls’ smiles at face value should talk to Sina Vann, who was once one of those smiling girls.
Sina is Vietnamese but was kidnapped at the age of 13 and taken to Cambodia, where she was drugged. She said she woke up naked and bloody on a bed with a white man — she doesn’t know his nationality — who had purchased her virginity.
After that, she was locked on the upper floors of a nice hotel and offered to Western men and wealthy Cambodians. She said she was beaten ferociously to force her to smile and act seductive.
“My first phrase in Khmer,” the Cambodian language, “was, ‘I want to sleep with you,’ ” she said. “My first phrase in English was” — well, it’s unprintable.
Sina mostly followed instructions and smiled alluringly at men because she would have been beaten if men didn’t choose her. But sometimes she was in such pain that she resisted, and then she said she would be dragged down to a torture chamber in the basement.
“Many of the brothels have these torture chambers,” she said. “They are underground because then the girls’ screams are muffled.”
As in many brothels, the torture of choice was electric shocks. Sina would be tied down, doused in water and then prodded with wires running from the 220-volt wall outlet. The jolt causes intense pain, sometimes evacuation of the bladder and bowel — and even unconsciousness.
Shocks fit well into the brothel business model because they cause agonizing pain and terrify the girls without damaging their looks or undermining their market value.
After the beatings and shocks, Sina said she would be locked naked in a wooden coffin full of biting ants. The coffin was dark, suffocating and so tight that she could not move her hands up to her face to brush off the ants. Her tears washed the ants out of her eyes.
She was locked in the coffin for a day or two at a time, and she said this happened many, many times.
Finally, Sina was freed in a police raid, and found herself blinded by the first daylight she had seen in years. The raid was organized by Somaly Mam, a Cambodian woman who herself had been sold into the brothels but managed to escape, educate herself and now heads a foundation fighting forced prostitution.
After being freed, Sina began studying and eventually became one of Somaly’s trusted lieutenants. They now work together, in defiance of death threats from brothel owners, to free other girls. To get at Somaly, the brothel owners kidnapped and brutalized her 14-year-old daughter. And six months ago, the daughter of another anti-trafficking activist (my interpreter when I interviewed Sina) went missing.
I had heard about torture chambers under the brothels but had never seen one, so a few days ago Sina took me to the red-light district here where she once was imprisoned. A brothel had been torn down, revealing a warren of dungeons underneath.
“I was in a room just like those,” she said, pointing. “There must be many girls who died in those rooms.” She grew distressed and added: “I’m cold and afraid. Tonight I won’t sleep.”
“Photograph quickly,” she added, and pointed to brothels lining the street. “It’s not safe to stay here long.”
Sina and Somaly sustain themselves with a wicked sense of humor. They tease each other mercilessly, with Sina, who is single, mock-scolding Somaly: “At least I had plenty of men until you had to come along and rescue me!”
Sex trafficking is truly the 21st century’s version of slavery. One of the differences from 19th-century slavery is that many of these modern slaves will die of AIDS by their late 20s.
Thank you for taking the time to read my story.
I am one of many girls who have been exploited and sold for sex online. When I was 16, I was sold for sex against my will on a website called Backpage.com, the biggest website for child sex trafficking ads in America. Tell Village Voice Media, owners of Backpage, to shut down their sex ads now. Backpage.com, makes $22 million a year from ads for prostitution.
You should know that my name is not Alissa. I’m afraid that if I use my real name, the pimps who used to sell me for sex will hunt me down and kill me. I am also afraid that Village Voice Media (which owns Backpage) will ruin my life and come after me as they have others who have stood up for girls who have been sold on Backpage.
But I’m even more afraid that if I don’t tell my story, no one will rise up to stop the people who buy and sell girls like me I was 16 when I met my first pimp -- he told me I was pretty, that he wanted me to be his girlfriend. I was just a kid, and I believed him. But soon he was selling me for sex every day:
I was raped 365 days a year. I was sold to other pimps, back and forth between them like an animal. One pimp gouged my cheek with a potato peeler as a warning not to run away, but after two years I worked up the courage and ran anyway. He tracked me down and beat me and stomped on me, breaking my ribs and jaw.That’s when I went to the police.
It’s still hard for me to believe that this web page exists, that it’s so easy for pimps to sell terrified, unwilling girls like me. Can you go buy a child at Wal-Mart? Of course not, but you can buy me on Backpage.
There is some hope, though: Craigslist used to host ads for girls like me, but after people started speaking out, Craigslist shut down their adult section. A new study says that prostitution ads as a whole have gone down by 50% since Craigslist got out of the business. 50%! If men can’t use sites like Backpage.com to buy and sell girls, maybe fewer girls will be bought and sold.
Now, I’m in college, and work at nonprofit, FAIR Girls, where I help other girls like me -- I even got to tell my story to Nick Kristof at The New York Times. I got out, which makes me one of the lucky ones. But Backpage is still making millions a year off the ones who aren’t so lucky. I see these teenage girls, some as young as 15, every day now in my work, and it breaks my heart. homeless, and desperate for food, shelter and stability. He was the first of dozens of men who would buy her thin cashew-colored body from a human trafficker who exploited her vulnerabilities and made her a prisoner for years.
"If we didn't call him daddy, he would slap us, beat us, choke us," said Graves, 24, of the man who organized the deals. "It's about love and thinking you're part of a family and a team. I couldn't leave because I thought he would kill me."
By day, she was a school girl who saw her family occasionally. At night, she became a slave to men who said they loved her and convinced her to trade her beauty for quick cash that they pocketed. Sold from Boston to Miami and back, Graves was one of thousands of young girls sexually exploited across the United States, often in plain sight.
A plague more commonly associated with other countries has been taking young victims in the United States, one by one. Though the scope of the problem remains uncertain -- no national statistics for the number of U.S. victims exist -- the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children says at least 100,000 children across the country are trafficked each year.
On Tuesday, President Obama announced several new initiatives aimed at ending trafficking nationwide, including the first-ever assessment of the problem in this country and a $6 million grant to build solutions.
"When a little girl is sold by her impoverished family, or girls my daughters' ages run away from home and are lured -- that's slavery," Obama said in an address to the Clinton Global Initiative. "It's barbaric, it's evil, and it has no place in a civilized world."
Schools in at least six states and the District of Columbia have turned their focus to human trafficking, launching all-day workshops for staff members, classroom lessons for students and outreach campaigns to speak with parents about the dangers American children face.
The efforts by high school and middle-school officials in Washington, D.C., Virginia, Connecticut, Oregon, Wisconsin, California and Florida come as experts say criminals have turned to classrooms and social media sites to recruit students into forced domestic sex and labor rings.
"They are as horrific and brutal and vile as any criminal cases we see," said Neil MacBride, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. "If it can happen in affluent Fairfax County, it can happen anywhere."
Across the nation, the stories arrive with varying imprints of the callousness and depravity of the sex traffickers. One girl was sold during a sleepover, handed over by her classmate's father. Another slept with clients during her school lunch breaks. A third was choked by her "boyfriend," then forced to have sex with 14 men in one night.
Young people at the fringes of school, runaways looking for someone to care and previously abused victims fall into the traps of traffickers who often pretend to love them.
The perpetrators -- increasingly younger -- can be other students or gang members who manipulate victims' weaknesses during recess or after school, law enforcement officials say. They often bait victims by telling them they will be beautiful strippers or escorts but later ply them with drugs -- ecstasy pills, cocaine, marijuana and the like -- and force them into sex schemes.
'Too pretty to stay outside'
For Graves, who grew up in inner city Boston, her troubles began early in life. Her mother was addicted to drugs, and a dealer molested Graves as a little girl. She bounced between living with an aunt, grandparents, an alcoholic father and a sometimes-recovering mother.
At 16, Graves was homeless and had been wearing the same clothes for months when a group of girls who had dropped out of school took her in and cleaned her up. "They said they were escorts and that they made $2,000 a night," she recalled. "I figured if I go out one night, I'll never have to do it again."
She followed the girls to the "track," a term used for streets where prostitutes gather. When a terrified Graves only brought back $40 from begging, the girls abandoned her. The next night, she says she was alone on a corner in Boston during a snowstorm when her first trafficker picked her up.
"He said I was too pretty to stay outside, so I ended up going home with him because he offered me a place to sleep and clothes to put on," she said.
The man said he wanted to take care of her but that she would have to earn her keep. "He showed me the ropes," she said. "How much to charge for sex" and other sex acts.
Then came the violence. Her attempts to leave were met with brute force. "He punched me," she said. "He stripped me down naked and beat me."
In one incident, her captor took a potato peeler to her face then raped her as she bled. Years later, the light scar remains just below her left eye. Other violent episodes left her with eight broken teeth, two broken ankles and a V-shaped stab wound just below her belly button.
She stayed, however, and found comfort in other girls -- called "wife in-laws" -- who went to area schools, got their hair and nails done together and then worked the streets for the same man. "You think what you're doing is right when you're in that lifestyle," Graves said. "You drink alcohol to ease the stress. Red Bulls kept you awake, and cigarettes kept you from being hungry."
For two years, she was sold from tormentor to tormentor, forced to sleep with men in cities like New York, Atlanta; Philadelphia; Atlantic City; Miami. She posed for Craigslist and Backpage.com ads and set up "dates" six days a week for up to $2,500 a night.
A captive Graves did what experts say others have done: she recruited others. "We'd go to malls, schools, group homes, bus stations and look for girls who were by themselves or looked very vulnerable," she said.
For some of the time, Graves herself remained in high school, attending classes sporadically in boy shorts, small tank tops and worn heels.
"In the schools, they thought I just dressed provocatively," Graves said of the teachers and staff who missed chances to help her. "Now, people are actually understanding that these girls are victims."
My friend Sara Kruzan was a victim of human trafficking when she was 13 years old, and was trapped for three years in a cycle of sexual, physical, and mental abuse. Night after night, Sara was sexually exploited for her abuser’s gain. Then, after years of torture and exploitation, she shot and killed her trafficker and was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole. She was just sixteen years old.indychristianmedia.com/video/
Sara has been in prison for nearly two decades now. When I learned about her story and that she was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole after living a life of horrific violence and abuse, I was devastated but inspired to fight for her. And now Sara is on the verge of being free.
On Jan 18, 2013 Sara’s sentence was reduced to second degree murder and since she had already served 18 years, Sara was fast-tracked to parole. Now, California Governor Jerry Brown has only a few weeks left to sign off on Sara's parole. I need your help to bring her home.
I started this petition for Sara because while I can't help all human trafficking victims, I can help one. I really believe that each survivor matters. Will you sign my petition and show Gov. Brown that there is public support for granting her parole?
Sara was arrested and tried in 1994, before anyone was using the term "human trafficking" and when the country was still struggling to understand issues like domestic violence and pimp control that give one person coercive control over another. There was no expert witness at Sara's trial to explain how her years of repeated rape, trauma, and abuse had affected her actions. There was no expert to tell the jury that with counseling, support, and care, Sara could heal from her traumatic past and grow to be a strong and moral woman.
In June, the California Parole Board reviewed her case and signed off on granting Sara’s parole. Her case currently is in the California Governor’s office waiting for Governor Jerry Brown’s final consideration. He can free Sara.
Now 35, Sara has spent her life in prison as a model prisoner. Governor Brown signed a bill this year that allows juveniles sentenced to live without parole to have their cases reviewed - so we know he understands cases like Sara's. With the parole board recommending that Sara be released, he now needs to hear from the public that he should approve Sara's parole. That's why your signature is so important to helping free my friend. Please free human trafficking victim Sara Kruzan
Jeni* is a sweet, 15 year old who is filled with hope for her future. However, you would not expect this if you knew what she has been through. About a year ago she met a woman who pretended to be her friend. This older woman was extremely kind to Jeni. She bought her things and acted like a true friend by caring for her but all of this was just a pretense to earn Jeni’s trust.
After three short weeks she introduced Jeni to a…Continue
Posted on August 8, 2014 at 12:44am