Added: Cristel Stanfield - Date: 21.12.2021 20:54 - Views: 35138 - Clicks: 4881
That is, until it hits close to home.
As a refresher, human trafficking is any activity where human beings are treated as possessions to be exploited or controlled using fraud, force, or coercion—usually for labor or sex. Two weeks ago, I had the opportunity to attend a local event on understanding sex trafficking in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The film was actually a social experiment, and it revealed how easy it is for a pimp or recruiter to befriend an unsuspecting teenager for nefarious purposes.
Maybe the girl thinks her parents are too strict, or a boy in her class broke her heart. This was the experience of Leslie King, a sex trafficking survivor from Grand Rapids. The conference room was quiet as we watched her tell her story on screen. Leslie grew up on South Division. Her dad was an alcoholic, her mom was a workaholic, and she was molested by a cousin at the age of eight. When she was fifteen, a pimp befriended her, bought her gifts, took her to restaurants, and introduced her to his friends. He was a very caring person—or so she thought. Then he sold her to his friends, and she was trapped for twenty years in a lifestyle of prostitution, drugs, and violence.
Today, she is free, and she has started an organization right here in Grand Rapids called Sacred Beginnings, a safe haven for those trying to escape prostitution and trafficking. She wants everyone to know that education is key. In order to fight human trafficking, we must know and understand the warning s. You may have seen my post on recognizing a victim, but at the conference I learned more red flags to watch out for. They are the following:. Hannah Blair, a survivor of sex trafficking, says the s of human trafficking are different than most people think.
A trafficker rarely takes away by force. They can be rich, poor, young, old, married with children, homeowners, and have good jobs. Clergy, law enforcement, professors, and factory workers have been among those arrested in America for trafficking. The vast majority are either married or in a committed relationship. Sometimes, a couple will team up and run a trafficking business from their home. In October oftwelve were arrested in Genesee Country, Michigan, in connection with human trafficking.
The occupations of some of these men included supervisor, mechanic, painter, and college student. In December offorty-six were arrested near metro Detroit in connection with trafficking. The ages of these men and women ranged from 18 to 59, and they were from all over the state. First, we are on an international border.
Pimps tend to travel in circuits, moving their victims from place to place to avoid detection. Also, prostitution is legal in Canada, which makes exploitation and trafficking much easier. Second, Michigan has one of the highest migrant farming communities.
According to the Michigan state report of the Polaris Project, in there were victims, traffickers, and trafficking businesses identified. Of course, these were only the ones reported, and a lack of awareness on human trafficking can lead to ificant underreporting.
The bulk of these cases were reported near Detroit, but Grand Rapids is one of the other hotspots. Inthere were an estimated victims of online sex trafficking in Grand Rapids alone. At the conference before mentioned, GR Police Chief Eric Payne told us that in there was a ificant case investigated in Grand Rapids, but could not yet give us information on it.
Chief Nowicki, who serves as the chief of police at the GR Ford Airport, told us that there have been several complex trafficking cases here in Grand Rapids that had to be turned over to the FBI. About a year ago, I had the opportunity to meet with a Grand Rapids police officer who was on an FBI task force that dealt with violent crimes against children.
Grand Rapids is known to be a more conservative city, so I put this question to the officer with whom I spoke. He told me that since Christian communities are more insulated, they are not as vulnerable to traffickers, but they also have their guard down. But silent victims give the perpetrators power and create opportunities for them to hurt someone else.
Make your home the place to be when it comes to hangouts and sleepovers.
This makes it much easier to become a target. Maybe she met a guy online who turned out to be a pimp. She can go to school during the day and experience living horror at night. Satan knows he has a short time to stir up as much evil and suffering as possible. Our time is short too—too short to fear. And how many times has our God told us not to fear? In order to effectively fight human trafficking, we have to know what it actually looks like.
Sometimes, this means we have to smell the swamp, and dealing with this issue really stinks, honestly. But if we refuse to tell others where the swamp is, someone is going to fall in.
Non-fiction drama with inspirational healing. This has been a timely read as my wife and I are struggling with how we can help. This has been weighing heavy on our hearts and minds for the past few months. Especially when it involves children. We are not to far from Grand Rapids. Everyone can do something…there are many different ways to fight human trafficking. Please stay informed like this.
Thank you for sharing. Home About Resources Connect. Most of us can push aside the distant catastrophes and horrors we hear about. Who are these men and women who commit such base crimes? What makes Michigan appealing to traffickers? What does trafficking look like in Michigan? How vulnerable are Christian schools and communities? As a parent, how can you protect your children?
Be aware, but not afraid. Non-fiction drama with inspirational healing Reply. Kristen Author. I will check it out! Thanks for the suggestion! Karen R Rymer. Leave a Reply Cancel reply. Loading Comments Required Name Required Website. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by .Girls Grand Rapids Michigan sex
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