Category: Awareness

Man charged with sex trafficking, luring victims through website promising help

South Florida man, William Foster, 48, formed a fake nonprofit called “Foster’s Care.” Its sophisticated website claimed it provided free service to victims of human trafficking. Foster targeted young women in group homes, shelters, or those working at strip clubs, particularly low-end ones, where the teens were likely to have violent pimps they wanted to escape.

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Statewide anti-human trafficking campaign launches in Tyler

The campaign called “Can You See Me?” includes a series of billboards depicting scenarios of the most common forms of human trafficking in the U.S. They are displayed in public spaces and transportation hubs across Texas to equip the public to recognize indicators and report suspicious behavior to dedicated hotline numbers.

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Reflection Ministries prepares to open village for human trafficking victims

Reflection Ministries of Texas is set to open “The Village” – a set of homes that will house victims of human trafficking – at the beginning of next year. Lisa Bownds, founder of Reflection Ministries, said they have several acres of land with five cottages. Four of the cottages will be used for housing and the last cottage will be a multi-purpose building used for counseling, therapeutic services and training classes.

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Sex traffickers using social media to target children

Cindy Malott, Director of Advocacy Services for Crisis Aid International, works with survivors of sex trafficking. She said social media is now the “most common way” she sees traffickers are making initial contact with victims. “Every app you can imagine,” said Malott. “Even apps specifically focused for young children.”

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Trafficking victims can clear arrest records, but it isn’t easy

Florida law that passed in 2013 allows victims of human trafficking to clear records of arrests that resulted, but process can be slow and complicated. The Justice Restoration Center in Dunedin, FL, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping trafficking victims erase criminal records. Executive director Brent Woody said Florida has the best such law in the nation, and his organization has worked with more than 200 victims.

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Police: Ellington man, owner of ‘sex dungeon’ arrested again in human trafficking investigation

Simon Hessler, 47, of Ellington, CT, has been charged with four counts of fourth-degree sexual assault and four counts of risk of injury to a child. Hessler was previously arrested last year after seeking out girls between the ages of 10 and 12 online with the intent to train a young girl in his “slave quarters” and have sex with the girl.

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Advocates in State College Urge Education and Training on Human Trafficking “In Your Backyard” At Summit

In 2018, 127 cases of human trafficking were reported in Pennsylvania, according to the National Human Trafficking Hotline. At the 2019 Rural Human Trafficking Summit hosted by the Pennsylvania Office of Rural Health at Penn State Tuesday, advocates said that to target and stop trafficking, the public needs to first recognize the situation.

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Bombshell $10M suit claims two NYC hotels turned a blind eye to sex trafficking

The trafficker would always pay for the rooms in cash and when he didn’t have money for rooms at the Econo Lodge in N.Y.C., NY, he allowed hotel staff to rape the 10-year-old girl “in lieu of his payment for the rooms,” the papers show. There was even a bowl of free condoms displayed at the front desk that the victim would use when they ran out, the suit states.

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Human trafficking lurks in Sunshine State’s shadows. Join the anti-trafficking movement. | Opinion

“Thanks to many years in the fight, nonprofits have the insight and resources needed to craft effective legislation and policies. USIAHT, for instance, offers a program called the “TraffickingFree Zone” that equips businesses, churches, counties and other communities to reduce demand and combat trafficking.” writes Sharon Bates, an abolitionist with the U.S. Institute Against Human Trafficking.

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Legalized prostitution will put DC’s most at-risk youth in further jeopardy

“The real issue lies in demand for sex with young people, with millions of Americans seeking out and purchasing sex with our most vulnerable citizens. As more and more buyers enter the market, sex trafficking of vulnerable youth will increase exponentially because of the statutory protections afforded by legalized prostitution.” writes Kevin Malone, President of the U.S. Institute Against Human Trafficking.

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D.C. leaders hear from public over proposal to decriminalize sex work

The bill at the center of the hearing would amend existing city laws to eliminate criminal penalties for selling or buying sex in the District. If passed, it would make the District the only U.S. jurisdiction to legalize prostitution, outside of some areas of Nevada where legal brothels exist. Prostitution involving minors and coercing others to engage in sex work against their will would remain illegal.

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Former Sex Workers See Value in Trafficking Education

This month, Florida became the first state in the nation requiring sex-trafficking education as part of every student’s curriculum. “Tragically, human trafficking is an epidemic in our country,” Gov. Ron DeSantis said upon passage of the new rule. “Children of all ages need to know and understand the hazards of human trafficking and how to protect themselves from dangerous predators.”

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Kansas Made This Sex Trafficking Survivor A Criminal — She Wants Another Chance

Hope Joy Zeferjohn, a Topeka, KS native, became a victim of the commercial sex trade while in state custody, ran away, and was sent to prison for aggravated human trafficking. Despite federal and state laws that bar prosecuting children for prostitution, Zeferjohn is serving a nearly six-year sentence in the Topeka Correctional Facility and will spend a lifetime on the state sex offender registry.

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How Pace in Ormond Beach is working to prevent human trafficking

Pace Center for Girls has a specific focus on preventing sex trafficking. Pace Center for Girls works towards long-term solutions by building resiliency through gender-responsive services and support (including physical health, mental health, legal, and education); social emotional learning; and developing coping skills in a safe and trusted environment.

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Florida Schools to Teach Students About Child Trafficking Prevention

Florida will be the first state to require schools to teach K-12 students about child trafficking prevention after the state’s Board of Education unanimously approved the rule on Monday. No other state to date has required that schools provide a human trafficking prevention education. Geoff Rogers, CEO and co-founder of the U.S. Institute Against Human Trafficking, commended Florida for its leadership. “We hope more states will follow their lead as we seek to put an end to this terrible crime in the United States,” Rogers said.

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New Boutique Opens Solely for Sex Trafficking Survivors

What was once a construction trailer in Austin, Texas is now a special clothing store for certain child sex trafficking survivors. It opened on Wednesday at the Refuge Ranch, run by The Refuge for Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking (DMST). The ranch is the largest long-term residential treatment facility for child sex trafficked girls, aged 11-19 years old.

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Website allows people to find prostitutes, rate sex workers

KOB 4 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, discovered a website that allows people to leave reviews of people they met who offer sex acts. Posts detail what the sex worker looks like, what they will do and how much it will cost. KOB 4 called a person who listed their number on the website. She offered her services and rates, which she described as a donation.

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Sex-trafficking victims file lawsuits against 4 metro Atlanta hotels

In a first of its kind case here in Georgia, four sex-trafficking survivors have filed a lawsuit against four metro Atlanta hotels, claiming the hotels profited from and participated in sex trafficking. The complaint also alleges a sign was a front desk fixture there for years declaring “no refunds after 15 minutes,” encouraging commercial sex for a one-night rate.

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Seeking Jesus by Seeking Justice

A man washes dishes in the back of a diner. A teenage girl waits in a car parked at a rest stop. And a woman leans against the gleaming wall of a hotel lobby. None of these scenes appear out of the ordinary—but the dishwasher isn’t getting paid, the teenager isn’t waiting for a parent to finish pumping gas, and the woman isn’t entering a room by choice.

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Selling Kids: Human Trafficking in Alabama

“Most of our kids identify as bisexual. And, that’s because they’ve been sold to this person or that person, males and females. So, they don’t know what their gender is,” said Lynn Caffery, Executive Director of the shelter Safe Harbor Youth in Huntsville.

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FBI Busts 67 Sex Traffickers, Recovers 103 Child Victims

Geoffrey Rogers, co-founder and CEO of the U.S. Institute Against Human Trafficking, told The Epoch Times previously that the child trafficking problem in the United States is an “epidemic that’s continuing to spin out of control.” “I’m outraged at the fact there’s over 100,000 kids in America that are sold for sex every single day,” he said.
“What we are also outraged about is—where is the outrage?”

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According to law enforcement, Central Florida is a hotbed for this kind of modern-day slavery. And to make matters worse, victims are getting younger and younger, with pimps now recruiting elementary school-age children.

According to law enforcement, Central Florida is a hotbed for this kind of modern-day slavery. And to make matters worse, victims are getting younger and younger, with pimps now recruiting elementary school-age children. But human trafficking survivor Savannah Parvu, who was 11 years old when she was sold for sex, knows a much darker side.

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Thousands indicted, arrested for human trafficking in nation-wide sweep

This operation, conducted during April and May by the Internet Crimes Against Children task forces, resulted in the arrests of nearly 1,700 suspected online child sex offenders. The task forces identified 308 offenders and 357 child victims. The task forces investigated more than 18,500 complaints of technology-facilitated crimes targeting children and delivered more than 2,150 presentations on Internet safety to over 201,000 youth and adults nationwide, the DOJ reports.

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