“This no longer looks like ‘street walking.’ Present day sex trafficking looks more like a young teen going to a hotel room after school where he or she is bought and sold for sex multiple times. The next day, it starts all over again,” says Meghan Malik, trafficking project manager for the Women’s Fund of Omaha.
During the most recent legislative session, the Women’s Fund worked with State Senator Patty Pansing Brooks to introduce LB 289, a measure that increases penalties for trafficking and solicitation. It also increases protections for trafficked individuals with a particular focus on minors. The bill passed 48-0.
In July 2016, the Women’s Fund released “Nothing About Us Without Us,” a research report focused on the insights of survivors of sex trafficking in Nebraska. The research shows that preventing, identifying and serving survivors of sex trafficking – and addressing demand – requires a multi-system, coordinated and collaborative approach.
More information about local resources and how to “Realize, Recognize and Respond” to sex trafficking is available on the Coalition on Human Trafficking’s website at www.NoTrafficking.org.
The S.A.F.E. Center offers free human trafficking awareness training for anyone who is interested, including church groups, civic groups, and clubs. Educators will help you know how to spot human trafficking and what you can do to help. To set up a training, call the S.A.F.E. Center at (308) 237-2599.
I have great admiration and respect for victims of horrendous crimes who find the strength and courage to speak about those crimes publicly. Nacole is one such brave soul who gave a TEDx talk about child sex trafficking – and what it’s like to be the mother of a child who has been lured away and sold.
I have great respect for people who escape a horrible situation and then choose to fight the criminals that created that situation. It takes a lot of courage to stand and face people who have perpetrated unspeakably vile crimes. Simply facing these people in a court of law, under the protection of armed police officers, is extremely difficult. Continuing to fight after gaining freedom and establishing a life – that takes both courage and dedication.
Catalleya Storm survived human trafficking in Ohio, was freed through the help of law enforcement, and continues to speak out against human trafficking and sexual slavery. Her TED talk is focused on her own experience, the prevalence of these crimes in the United States and the very simple fact that combatting modern slavery and human trafficking of all kinds is everyone’s responsibility.
Catalleya is someone I would love to meet and/or hear speak. She is one of many people who I would add to my list of speakers at a slave-free city conference…if I were planning such a thing.
Kris Wade is the founder and executive director of the Justice Project in Kansas City, which has the following description posted to their website:
The mission of the Justice Project, a peer-based nonprofit human rights organization, is to provide criminal justice and social systems advocacy and navigation for women in poverty who may be suffering from a multitude of challenges, including homelessness, discrimination, addiction, mental illness, domestic violence, prostitution or other forms of sexual exploitation. Since 2007 the dedicated volunteers at the Justice Project have helped positively change the lives of more than one hundred women from the streets of Kansas City.
This is an amazingly difficult job anywhere in the world. In Kansas City, the challenges are exacerbated by the mistaken belief (all over the United States) that these kinds of things don’t happen in Kansas – or anywhere else in the Midwest or similarly agricultural-heavy regions of the United States).
Ms. Wade’s Ted talk clearly explains why and how these things happen all over the United States, even within the heartland.
I would welcome the opportunity to meet Ms. Wade and learn more about the work her non-profit performs. I also would like to hear her thoughts on the slave-free city project.
First I must admit to being a bit of a Tom Robbins fan. I simply love Even Cowgirls Get the Blues and Skinny Legs and All has some wonderful commentary on international peace efforts and the connections between human beings. It is entirely possible that I will post quotes from these, and other, novels by Tom Robbins at some time in the future.
Can you feel the ‘but’ coming?
Yep, Fierce Invalids Home From Hot Climates will stand as the Tom Robbins exception. The main character is a CIA agent with violent tendencies and a drug habit – all of which are pretty standard character traits incorporated into the character of international spies (See: James Bond) and elements that are covered in other Tom Robbins novels. The one thing Switters, the main character, indulges in that separates this novel from others is pedophilia. Specifically, he likes teenagers and extremely young looking international prostitutes found in countries where child sex-trafficking is disturbingly common. He is also entirely unrepentant about and comfortable with his ‘tastes.’
Add onto that the fact that his primary love interest is his 17-year-old step-sister, thus crossing the boundaries of incest; and he would make the perfect bad guy. If he were the bad guy, this novel might be more palpable; but he’s not the bad guy, he’s the highly sympathetic main character who stands as the voice of reason and the source of wonderfully philosophical statements on the nature of life and universe.
I gave it my best shot, but I simply cannot read this book.