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)
“During COVID, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children has seen a 90.46% increase of calls to the Cyber Tip Line, and the National Human Trafficking Hotline has seen a 40% increase in calls.”
“Freedom requires action. Let’s teach the next generation that EVERY person has value, dignity, and worth, not as a commodity sold for the pleasure of others, but as a human being.” (Safehouse Project)
Thanks to all who came out to support the Lick Family as they shared about their new “venture!” I know it meant a lot to them! For those who couldn’t make it, Chris has taken a job at the Human Trafficking Institute, and he and Kelsey will be moving to Belize! He will working with the Belizian government to develop and implement best strategies to deal with human trafficking in their country. (Hope I said that right!) They’ve made a two-year commitment and will be leaving in January. If you see them around, make sure to talk to them and hear about this amazing opportunity the Lord has given them.
Please mark your calendars for our next meeting on Sunday, Sept. 20th from 3:00-5:00 pm in the courtyard at Calvary Murrieta. We will be hearing about two amazing ways we can be involved with kids at risk. The Thompsons will be sharing about Safe Families for Children and Charlotte Paulsen will be sharing about the work ICA is doing with refugee kids. Please come out and learn more about what they do and how you can help.
I attended a very informative “zoom” meeting with our county task force. They, as well as many organizations that have literally been working in this field for years, are concerned about the misinformation that’s being put out there on social media regarding human trafficking. Although happy that more awareness is taking place, they know that while people are busy looking for kidnappers that are holding our children captive, the real red flags go unnoticed. The recruiters are still using their typical recruiting and grooming techniques, looking for vulnerabilities to exploit. Some of the risk factors are substance abuse, homelessness, unstable housing, dysfunctional families, mental health issues, etc. They offer jobs, money, homes, stability, and “family.” They either use force, fraud, or coercion, and soon the victims are brainwashed to think that their abuse is somehow synonymous with “love.” They are threatened, beaten, and manipulated. The victims of labor trafficking are dramatically increasing. Predators target victims, finding their place of vulnerability. They gain their trust, they fill a “need,” they try to isolate them, and then the abuse usually begins. The victim begins to feel like they have lost all control of their own life, and then the offender does whatever they need to do to “maintain” control. Online predators are increasing as well as they “prowl” the web, looking for targets. “Sugar-dating” is also a trend on high school and college campuses.
Human trafficking should not be a political issue; it is a human rights issue! Don’t get swept up into the divisive political trap that’s being set! It’s wrong because slavery, exploitation, and abuse is ALWAYS wrong! Let’s stay educated, create awareness with real facts, support organizations that are really doing something, speak out against the porn industry, educate your kids about internet safety and some trends to watch out for, learn what red flags to watch out for, report things that don’t seem “right”, etc.
I just finished a book by a trafficking survivor called In Pursuit of Love by Rebecca Bender. It gives a true picture of the realities of one the most common type of trafficking here in the United States. Her story will grip your heart while educating you at the same time. In the back of the book, she also gives some of the most common types of coercion tactics used by pimps, as well as some of the “red flags” to look for. Go to www.rebeccabender.org for more resources, etc. About the book, Christine Cain wrote, “Rebecca’s journey of transformation and healing will encourage you with the truth that redemption is possible, even in our darkest moments.”
Thanks for taking the time to read these. Thank you for praying. And thank you for caring about this issue. We appreciate all you do!
In His love,
Human Trafficking Hotline: 1-888-3737-888
Operation Safehouse (Riverside): 951-351-4418
Safehouse of the Desert: 760-343-3211
See the list of items to donate for Rebirth Homes below.
- Ziplock bags (quart or gallon size)
- Hand Sanitizer
- Flip Flops
Riverside County Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force Update: Norma Vazquez
This workshop will discuss the effects of Human Trafficking in Riverside County, including local trends and problems the detectives are dealing with. We will be discussing the efforts of the task force in educating the public, as well as rescuing victims, investigating and prosecuting the traffickers.
The Global Face of Human Trafficking: Matt Robertson
Human Trafficking and the enslaving of people effects many, including babies, children, pregnant mothers, and adults looking for work. It has many faces and different methods to enslave are used in various places, such as child brides in China, brothels in Cambodia, and fishing boats in Somalia. Learn more about this global issue and how we can help combat this present-day evil.
Fighting Human Trafficking By Living Ethically and Responsibly: Charlotte Paulsen
You can help in the global fight against Human Trafficking by shopping ethically and responsibly. Come learn how fair trade and other organizations can literally help change lives. We will also be discussing how foster care and adoption can help prevent abuse, as well as other simple lifestyle changes.
The Digital Family: James Walker
Learn to create a healthy digital environment. Technology in the family can create tension, open your family to outside threats, and distract you from how you want to live. Learn how to create a technology plan to help your family use your technology to thrive and stay safe, all while building relationships.
You Can Make a Difference - Your Yes Matters: Cory Nickols
God has uniquely equipped and gifted you with talents, abilities and His Holy Spirit to make a difference in this world. And He has given you His heart for justice, which includes standing up for victims of human trafficking both locally and abroad that can’t fight for themselves. They need YOU! Your Yes Matters. Come learn how you can make a significant difference in the fight to end human trafficking both locally and abroad regardless of your age, skillset or job qualifications.
Sandra Morgan RN PhD, an educator and nurse will be our Master of Ceremonies this year, Dr. Morgan is recognized globally for her expertise in combatting human trafficking and working to end violence against women. The White House recently officially announced that President Trump has appointed Sandra Morgan to a two-year term as a member of the Public-Private Partnership Advisory Council to end Human Trafficking. Dr. Morgan’s experience serving missing and exploited children includes direct care as a pediatric nurse, a volunteer with Doctors of the World (Athens, Greece) and as a past Administrator of the Orange County Human Trafficking Task Force (OCHTTF). Her expertise is recognized locally, nationally and internationally and includes such venues as Asia, Russia, Europe, Africa and the Middle East. She serves the Orange County CSEC (Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children) Steering Committing partnering with Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice. In her role as Faculty and Director of Vanguard University’s Global Center for Women and Justice, she has built capacity for research, education, and advocacy directly related to the exploitation of women and children. She consistently brings together diverse groups to collaborate during annual Ensure Justice conferences as well as special focus summits. Her Ending Human Trafficking podcast has been recommended by the national Administration of Youth and Family Services Clearinghouse and is a great way to get up to speed on the complex issues of combatting human trafficking.
Dave Rogers serves as the Director of Law Enforcement Operations for the Human Trafficking Institute. He previously served as the FBI’s National Program Manager for Human Trafficking within the Civil Rights Unit, overseeing the FBI’s anti-trafficking work across the United States. Prior to this, Dave was an Advanced Instructor at the FBI Academy in Quantico, VA, where he trained new agents to conduct criminal investigations. In addition, Dave has trained government units on human trafficking enforcement from Central and South America, Eastern Europe, and Asia. During his 23 years in federal law enforcement, he developed a broad range of investigative expertise, working organized crime, labor racketeering, asset forfeiture/money laundering and international terrorism cases. Dave has a BS in International Relations from American University.
Harmony Grillo victim of exploitation turned UCLA honor student, Harmony’s goal is to help women and girls entrenched in sexual exploitation find freedom.
As a survivor, 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 sheds light on the impact of a pornified culture and the lives of women trapped within it. She has received Congressional recognition for her work and has had the opportunity to train LAPD, LVPD, Department of Justice, and the FBI in best practices for working with victims of sexual exploitation and trafficking. Her memoir, Scars and Stilettos details her harrowing account of moving from victim to survivor to liberator.
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 and then for Commercially Sexually Exploited Children. Norma later became Operation SafeHouse’s Anti-Human Trafficking Specialist and Case Manager. Norma has been able to continue her work in educating youth, agencies, and community leaders in both the importance and the realities of Human Trafficking. SafeHouse is an organization dedicated to working with youth and youth in crisis. We provide a 21-day program where youth are provided individual, group, and family counseling. SafeHouse provides Intensive Case Management to survivors of human trafficking. The goal is to bring support to youth and families and to give a voice to voiceless.
Matt Robertsonis a seasoned mentor, business developer, and catalyst for change who has helped global organizations grow, adapt and expand. His broad career includes: Lean Process improvement in the Software Industry; Organizational Change, Leadership Development and new partnership development for Habitat for Humanity in Uganda and World Vision US; serving as a Pastor at NorthWood Church in Texas, and Bayside Church in California; Business Development in the Construction Industry; and now serves as a Senior Advancement Officer for Agape International Missions. He and his wife Shela, married 24 years, have two children.
Charlotte Paulsen is the Executive Director of International Christian Adoptions and Institute for Children’s Aid. The organization is a International Adoptions, Domestic Foster and Adoption Agency, and a Refugee Resettlement Agency for youth from around the world. She has worked at ICA for over 15 years. ICA advocates for Services for Children and Families worldwide including Fair Trade. She has her Master’s in Social Work with an emphasis in Child Advocacy.
James Walker, M. Ed. is the Academic Support and Technology Director at Whittier Christian High School and a professor in Vanguard University's Teacher Education Program. He is also the founder of "The DIgital Family" partnering with schools and churches to support their communities in creating a healthy digital environment. In the process, he has guided hundreds of families in the creation of home technology policies centered around their own family values.
Cory Nickols Cory Nickols is Destiny Rescue USA’s Director of Strategic Partnerships and Chief Spokesperson. He plays a key role in raising awareness, funds and talent for the ongoing work and mission of Destiny Rescue.
Cory’s passion for the issue of child sexual slavery stems from his own story of abuse he experienced as a minor. As he moved forward on his own healing journey, he discovered he had a gift to write and speak, so he began sharing out of his own life experiences from brokenness to wholeness. His writings garnished the attention of the largest Christian newspaper company in the country, the Good News, which he began writing for. It was at this job that he learned about Destiny Rescue and realized this was a pivotal moment towards his divine destiny – he knew he had to do something to help defend children. So, he packed up his belongings and moved to Chiang Rai, Thailand, to start working for Destiny Rescue out of their international headquarters as their Senior Writer. Eventually his role grew to become their International Media Director.
Over time, Cory started participating in undercover work in coordination with antitrafficking police and other Destiny Rescue rescue agents in red light areas where the trafficking of minors was known to exist. He saw horrific injustices done to children, which ultimately stirred his heart to return to the U.S. to tell these child survivors’ stories.
Today, as Destiny Rescue USA’s Chief Storyteller, Cory travels extensively throughout the United States and beyond to bring greater awareness to the pandemic of human trafficking and to inspire audiences of all ages to play their part in defending children around the world. He is also a frequent guest on TV and radio programs
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