If you think you have come in contact with a victim, please call the National Trafficking and Information and Referral Hotline at 1-888-3737-888 as well as the RCAHT Hotline at 1-855-758-FREE (3733)
At our “At-Risk” meeting on Sunday, July 21st, at 3:00 pm, we will be showing a new film that hasn’t been released to the public yet. It’s called Shattered Dreams; Sex trafficking in America. Palomar College Television wanted to do a documentary on sex trafficking and they asked our friend, Marjorie Saylor, to collaborate with them. She is one of the three survivors they interviewed. This film has already won several awards at film festivals, and is up for 5 Emmy Awards for Best Documentary Short Film. It will soon be airing on PBS and then Netflix. Their goal is to get it into middle schools, high schools and universities around the country. Because Marjorie is in it, she gets unlimited access to the film, so we get one of the first opportunities to show it! Marjorie will be sharing afterwards and fielding questions. Love to see you there.
This film is being used to help create more awareness and provide education on the truth of trafficking. I learned a lot by watching it. I know people will be asking me about what age the film is appropriate for. I will say there is a curse word, and maybe 2 blurry but inappropriate shots of a woman’s body. I do need to throw that out to you so you can decide for yourselves. This wasn’t written to be a “Christian” film so just letting you know that. And obviously the subject matter is difficult. All that to say, maybe Jr high and up? You know your own kids.
Mark your calendar for July 21st and hope to see you there. Perhaps bring someone who you think could benefit by knowing more about how people get trafficked. It’s very eye-opening. Email me if you have any questions!
At our last meeting we learned a lot about Rancho Damacitas and all they do in our community. We’d love to be more involved with their work, so please pray with us on what that can look like. We’d love to tap in to your gifts and talents and see what we can do for both the single moms and their kids, as well as their transitional home for foster youth here in Murrieta. The opportunities and possibilities are endless! If you’re looking for a local organization to be involved with, this would be a great one! For more information about what they do, visit www.4kidsFirst.org or call them at (951) 302-2317. We may be doing a summer drive to collect some items from their GREATEST NEEDS Wish List. I’ll keep you posted.
Another GREAT local organization to volunteer with is Dream Center Lake Elsinore. They are doing great things in that community! They have some summer opportunities to get plugged into, so if you’re interested, check them out at www.dreamcenterle.org
I also wanted to invite you to the next Riverside County Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force Meeting. It will be held at Calvary Murrieta on June 19th, from 10:30-12. These meetings are very informative, educational, and eye opening. I’d love for you to be able to attend. Spread the word!
Rebirth Homes, an organization that we’ve had share at our meetings a few times, has a few job openings. They have opened a home this year in Perris for women survivors of trafficking. They are looking for a House mom, a part time case worker (16 hours a week), an Executive Assistant, and a Director of Operations with ministry experience. If you’d like more info on those, contact Debbie Martis at [email protected]
I wanted to throw out a few more dates for you to mark on your calendar. The nextA21 Walk for Freedom is on Saturday, Oct. 19th. The Next Justice MattersConference (JM9) is on Jan. 26th, 2020.
Our June children-at-risk meeting will be cancelled due to Father’s Day.
See you soon!
For those of you who were at the meeting last month, I promised I’d send out a list of the “volunteer needs” Rancho Damacitas currently has. I also wanted to let you know about a fun opportunity we have to support some great anti-human trafficking organizations. Albert Pujols (of the Angels) and his wife Deidre created Strike Out Slavery in 2017 to raise awareness about the existence of modern day slavery. This year, they are taking it to ballparks from coast to coast. They will be playing Tampa Bay at Angel Stadium on Saturday night, Sept. 14th at 6:07 and a large part of the proceeds of the ticket sales will be divided among various organizations, many of which we love and support! If you’d like to buy a ticket or get more info, go to www.strikeoutslavery.com. There’s a free post game concert by Lauryn Hill, vendors, and testimonies. I went last year and it was a great night!
So … if you’re interested in volunteering at Rancho Damacitas, here are some of their current needs:
- Childcare: babysitting during classes or special functions
- Advisory council: members needed for the children’s Enrichment Fund and Scholarship programs
- Office Support: someone who can help with reception, organize donations, etc.
- Grounds and Beautification: people who love to garden, prune, paint, mow, etc.
Greatest In-Kind needs:
- FOOD: especially for our Project Independence Youth. Some of them are between jobs or on seasonal employment and are struggling. Food would help a lot/or maybe a group that wouldn’t mind coming in and teaching them how to create a simple meal. They don’t know how to cook!
- New (not used) car seats for our growing tots
There is a volunteer application online to complete and then they will contact you to get started.
Don’t forget the next Task force meeting here at Calvary Murrieta is Wednesday, June 19th from 10:30-12. See you at our next Children at Risk meeting on Sunday, July 21st!
Thank you to all who helped, prayed, and attended Justice Sunday on the 27th! Wow! It was fantastic! I appreciate all the help and all those who volunteered to make the day spectacular. I pray and hope that everyone that attended learned a lot and was challenged to take some action! One of the organizations that had a table as an exhibitor will be presenting at our next Children at Risk meeting on Sunday, Feb. 17th from 3-5 pm in the Agape Room at Calvary Murrieta. Run2Rescue is a Christian non-profit org that seeks to reach, rescue, and restore victims of human trafficking. Once they are rescued, they help to provide a safe living environment where they can experience healing and restoration. They are currently planning to open an emergency home soon. You can read more about their ministry at www.run2rescue.com
Come learn about what they do, how we can pray and encourage them, and ways we can partner with them. I’d also like to hear your comments, criticisms, and suggestions about Justice Sunday so we can continue to improve every year and make a greater impact. I value your input. Thank you and hope to see you soon!
Protecting Our Children from Digital Predators:Jeff Udvarhelyi (Agape Room)
This workshop will examine the motives and methods sexual deviants employ while online, within the gaming community and through popular apps to quickly build relationships with children to sexually exploit them. The workshop will also provide resources for parents to better protect their children in the digital age.
Porn and Sex Trafficking: Harmony Dust Grillo (Mercy Room)
Victim of exploitation turned UCLA honor student, Harmony is passionate about assisting women in their journeys of healing and transformation. In 2003, she founded Treasures, a faith-based outreach and support group to women in the sex industry and victims of sex trafficking. Armed with personal experience, a Master’s Degree in Social Work and evidence-based theories, Harmony will shed light on the connection between porn and sex trafficking and the impact on those involved. According to research, 68% of young men and 18% or young women watch porn at least once a week. The numbers aren’t that different in the Church, where 64% of Christian men and 15% of Christian women say they watch porn at least once a month. Learn how the staggering and ever-increasing consumption of porn is fueling the sexual exploitation and trafficking of people all over the world.
Survivor Informed Care: Engaging Youth Survivors of Human Trafficking: Mary Jo Ramirez (Room 133)
“I am exhausted from crying for help; my throat is parched. My eyes are swollen with weeping, waiting for my God to help me.” Psalm 69:3
This workshop will offer a comprehensive overview of survivor-informed practice that acknowledges the unique perspectives of youth survivors of human trafficking. It will explore the challenges they face in their efforts to regain and rebuild their lives. The services available to victims and survivors will be discussed. The session will explore successful approaches to serving survivors.
Learning Objectives: Increase knowledge of Sex Trafficking and the definition of CSEC; Gain an understanding of Labor Trafficking; Increase knowledge regarding identification of victims of human trafficking and available services for survivors; Learn successful approaches to inspire action and bring hope to survivors.
Riverside County Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force Update: Norma Vazquez and Ana Garcia (Room 132)
We will be discussing the effects of Human Trafficking in Riverside County. This will give an opportunity for a deep understanding of the effects that poverty and homelessness have on the perpetuation of Human Trafficking, and the use of drugs and alcohol as a tool for manipulation and control. Youth are recruited through the internet as many don’t understand the difference between healthy and unhealthy relationships. This causes youth to become more vulnerable and are can make them targets for traffickers. We will discuss the efforts of the Riverside County Anti-Human trafficking Task Force (RCAHT) in educating the public, as well as rescuing victims, investigating, and prosecuting the traffickers. Finally, we will discuss the work done by collaborative partners and service providers in providing restorative services to the victims, leading them into a path of self-sufficiency.
Ana Garcia is a graduate of California Baptist University, there she received her Bachelors of Science degree in Criminal Justice Leadership & Administration. In 2012 she began volunteering with Operation SafeHouse, shortly thereafter she was hired on as a shelter staff where for two years she worked directly with at risk youth, many of whom were homeless or runaways. For the past 3 years Ana has been working as the Senior Case Manager for Operation SafeHouse’s Anti-Human Trafficking program advocating and providing support to victims of human trafficking. Much of her free time is spent outdoors, going to the beach, and traveling.
Jill Miller, MSW, LCSW, is the Mental Health Director for California Family Life Center. Jill is a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional (CCTP) with International Association of Trauma Professionals (IATP), and is also certified in crisis intervention with American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress. Specialties include crisis intervention, chronic illnesses, grief and loss, and trauma related to the child welfare system. She also has 15 years of experience supervising interns, and providing clinical supervision for state licensure, and 9 years in private practice. She completed her MSW degree at Loma Linda University. Jill is a Doctoral Candidate at USC DSW program. Her area of focus is ensuring healthy development for all youth specifically youth in the child welfare system. She has 26 years of experience working with children, youth, and families.
Mary Jo Ramirez is the Executive Director of California Family Life Center (CFLC) and has worked for CFLC for 25 years. She is a graduate of La Sierra University and advocates concerning issues effecting at-risk children, youth and families. Her experience includes being actively involved in creating opportunities for economic, social, and community development.
As the Executive Director, she oversees the, CFLC’s Foster Family, Group Homes, Kin Care, Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act Youth Programs, Riverside County YouthBuild Program and the Safe Care program that assist vulnerable children, youth and families. She is a Board member for the Riverside County Workforce Development Board, a member of the Advisory Council Department of Social Services Independent Living Skills, and the Collaborative Chair for the Riverside County Office of Education Perkins Career Technical committee.
Rachel Thomas, M. Ed., is the Director of Sowers Education Group where she and a team of educators sow seeds of sex trafficking awareness and survivor empowerment. A graduate of UCLA with a Masters in Education and a personal survivor of human trafficking, Rachel has over 10 years’ experience in teaching, mentoring, corporate training, curriculum writing and public speaking. She has educated and inspired a wide range of audiences including teens, social service providers, churches, teachers, college students, and law enforcement. One of her organization’s proudest accomplishments is an intervention curriculum called Ending The Game; this curriculum is being used nationwide to help survivors break the bonds of attachment to the trafficking subculture.
Detective Jeff Udvarhelyi is 15-year law enforcement veteran at the Escondido Police Department in Southern California. During his tenure as a detective investigating the most egregious crimes perpetrated against children, Jeff has become an expert in the field of child physical abuse, child sexual exploitation, online child enticement and child sexual assault, where he has been the lead detective in hundreds of graphic and complex child abuse investigations. Jeff is cross-sworn as a Special Deputy US Marshal and serves as a member of the San Diego ICAC (Internet Crimes Against Children) Task Force and the federal CETF (Child Exploitation Task Force).
Norma Vazquez, Operation SafeHouse’s Anti-Human Trafficking Director graduated from California State University, San Bernardino with a Bachelor in Psychology and a minor in Gender Studies. She has been working with Operation SafeHouse since 2015. Initially providing direct care for Youth in crisis in the Emergency Shelter, and then for Commercially Sexually Exploited Children Youth at their Group Home. Norma later became Operation SafeHouse’s Anti-Human Trafficking Specialist and Anti-Human Trafficking Case Manager. Throughout her years of working for Operation SafeHouse Norma has been able to gain experience in working with Youth with complex trauma, and has been able to utilize her extensive training in trauma-informed care. This has allowed her to continue the work in educating youth, agencies, and community leaders in both the importance of the realities of Human Trafficking, as well as the necessity of empowering our Survivors.
7 Things Everyone Should Know About Human Trafficking
- The problem is ENORMOUS (Est. 24.9 million victims)
- Human Trafficking is NOT about movement: It’s not about moving people from one place to another. The essence is COERCION not movement.
- Traffickers are motivated by MONEY (Annual profits exceed 150 billion)
- ANYONE can be a Trafficking Victim (children, adults, men, and women)
- Traffickers VARY their tactics: Tailor tactics to unique vulnerabilities of each victim.)
- Don’t prosecute VICTIMS! Put Traffickers in jail, not their victims!
- There is HOPE: Trafficking can be stopped! (We are NOT powerless!)
Source: Human Trafficking Institute
Because God loves justice, so should we! And He has called us to
“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed.
Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice.” Proverbs 31:8-9
President Ronald Reagan used an old poem by Helen Kromer as a challenge to all of us. It goes like this:
One man awake can awaken another.
The second can awaken his next door brother.
The three awake can rouse the town,
Turning the whole place upside down.
And the many awake make such a fuss,
They finally awaken the rest of us.
Organizations and Ministries we Support:
- Agape International Missions (AIM)
- The Well Path
- International Christian Adoptions (ICA)
- Big Brothers/Big Sisters of the Inland Empire
- Rebirth Homes
- Destiny Rescue
- Rancho Damacitas
- Mercy Projects
- Riverside County Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force or call 760-343-3211;39
Most people don’t believe that slavery still exists today, but it does.
There are still 27 million people in slavery around the world. The US Government estimates that 14,500-17,500 people are brought into the US each year to be used as slaves. Human Trafficking is the second largest organized crime, behind illegal drug sales. The things these victims experience daily are unimaginable. Trafficking victims are often tricked into slavery by false promises of work and a better life. “Human Traffickers tend to prey on impoverished people who live in countries with little access to education, health care, or jobs.
We MUST educate ourselves and join the fight against modern day slavery.
“None of us are free if one of us is enslaved.”
Children at Risk
Just a few stats for your own info:
**According to the Global Slavery Index, 45.8 million people are enslaved in the world today.
**1 in 5 of the 11,8000 runaways reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited children in 2015 were likely sex trafficking victims.
**73% of children who have offline sexual encounters with offenders do so more than once.
Let’s work together to bring awareness, freedom, and hope to victims everywhere, both internationally and globally!
Here Are a Few Videos Showing What CAN Be Done!
If you have any questions or would like to be involved in this ministry
please contact Kelly Bell at 677-5667 or email her.
Meeting InformationMeeting days: Children at Risk Meets 3rd Sunday of each month
Meeting times: 3:00 pm -5:00 pm