A Blight On Mankind: Human Trafficking — Modern Day Slavery

We believe that slavery had been defeated in one our country’s bloodiest confrontation.  The Civil War may have closed a chapter in our nation’s history of legalized slavery, forever closing that it.  However, slavery still exists, and not only in remote corners of the globe but in our own backyards.  Once again we as Americans need to put a light on this horrendous practice. 

Thursday January 11th, 2018, our photographic journalist, Marc Langsam attended the Simi Valley chapter of Soroptimist, “Stop Human Trafficking” event held at Santa Susanna High School. 

This is from the group’s website on the event: 

“Human trafficking is not something that exists solely in far-away lands. The industry is booming in California, and particularly in Ventura County. 

In March, 2017, local authorities received information about a 17-year-old girl who was able to escape her captors in Oxnard and call a hotline. The girl gave hotline workers the cross streets where she was hiding, and waited there to be rescued. She’d been held against her will for three days and repeatedly “forced to commit acts of prostitution,” which is a dressed-up way of saying she was sexually violated for three days. 

This isn’t an isolated incident. Three other human trafficking cases with Ventura County ties were prosecuted recently, including members of a large prostitution ring who trafficked 25 Chinese women throughout Southern California. In one particularly horrifying local case, a mom trafficked her own daughter at a hotel in Camarillo. 

According to the Ventura County Coalition Against Human Trafficking:

“Ventura County victims have been male and female, adults and children, documented and undocumented, and a variety of ethnicities.

“At any given time, 60% of the female youth in Ventura County Juvenile Facility are estimated to have been sex trafficked in short or long-term situations (VCBH Juvenile Facility Clinic).””

It is time to put a stop to this practice in the 21st century as we did legal slavery in the 19th century.  

Some resource websites:

Journey out: www.journeyout.org

Life Impact International: www.lifeimpactintl.org

National Human Trafficking Resource Center www.traffickingresourcecenter.org https://humantraffickinghotline.org/

Zoe International: www.gozoe.org

Robert Clark

Robert Clark, former FBI agent and star of CBS’ “Hunted.” Vice President of Not One More is pictured here making people aware of how pervasive Human Trafficking is. Predators seek out boys as well as girls.

Kyle Crocker

Detective Kyle Crocker, Major Crimes & SWAT, Lead detective as it pertains to Hum an Trafficking. He is the 4th from the right on the panel.

Christian Perez

Christian Perez is Client Services Program Manager for Interface Children & Family Services. www.icfs

From their website:

Three Compelling Stats:

Our community has the highest rate of reported domestic violence in California (60,000+ residents) Tonight, more than 200 homeless youths will be sleeping on our streets

1 in 4 women and their children will experience family violence at home This does not have to happen . . . Be part of the solution

Established in 1973, Interface Children & Family Services is the region’s most comprehensive nonprofit social services agency providing direct, responsive, wrap-around services to address the complex needs of client and community.

As a critical safety net for children and families, we provide 24 distinct programs across six major program areas including mental health services, youth services, family violence intervention, justice-involved families, and community development and 2-1-1 information and referral in 19 counties.

Today, Interface serves over 35,000 local individuals annually. We continue to earn the respect of individuals, businesses, and foundations which provide grants, donations, and in-kind services to ensure that the work of Interface is sustained.

Interface works collaboratively with many other service providers. We are the only agency with a presence in all existing, formalized “under one roof” facilities across Ventura County. By collaborating, we best provide family support, domestic violence intervention, outreach and youth activities, as well as prevention and counseling within economically challenged communities. 

The Panel

Third from the right on the panel is Stacy Jewell…a Survivor of Trafficking and Trainer – Stacy Jewell at age 19 was abducted and forced into the world of the sex trade for almost two years.

Shannon Sergey, 2nd from the right on the panel, is the Founder & CEO of Forever Found It is a Simi Valley based organization

The group Forever Found has a storefront called Second Story: www.foreverfound.org

Forever Found exists to prevent, rescue, & restore child trafficking victims.

Objectives:

Rescue and Restore one million children from slavery.

By partnering with Rescue Homes around the world, we can strategically rescue individual faces and support their restoration in a Safe Home tailored to meet their Holistic needs.

In the United States, the involvement of local government is essential in the successful rescue of trafficking victims. By supporting the needs of local counties and individual victims, we can tangibly rescue American children.

Prevent the sale of children in the US and Abroad through:

Grassroots awareness programs within our communities.

Teaching individuals to not only be on the lookout for warning signs and how to report them effectively, but also to be aware of vulnerable and at-risk children.

Addressing local demand for the purchase of sex by targeted education on the reality of child trafficking.

Stopping the cycle of trafficking in targeted geographic regions abroad via prevention programs and encouraging rescued children to become advocates as they grow into the next generation of leaders.

There is nothing on earth more beautiful than a child, more inspiring than a child’s purity and freedom, and more devastating than when these intrinsic qualities are stolen. Forever Found’s heart beats to prevent the exploitation of children, to rescue those enslaved, and to give each child the opportunity to find restoration–to BE FREE.

You can view more of Marc Langsam’s work on:  http://photographyczar.com/


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Debbie Thomas

Thank you for covering our event “I Will Not Be Sold”. This crime needs the exposure.