Hope Rising https://hoperisingtexas.org Providing Hope and a Future for Victims of Sex Trafficking Fri, 10 Apr 2020 15:06:54 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.6.2 The Power & Problems of the Detox https://hoperisingtexas.org/the-paradox-of-the-detox/ https://hoperisingtexas.org/the-paradox-of-the-detox/#respond Thu, 09 Apr 2020 18:27:52 +0000 http://hoperisingtexas.org/?p=7715 The post The Power & Problems of the Detox appeared first on Hope Rising.

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I recently heard the CV -19 shutdown referred to as “America’s Invitation to Detox”.

In his sermon entitled, A Family being Formed and Fruitful | Acts 5:12-42 Pastor Dave Tooker makes the example that these weeks without sports, school, travel, in person gatherings or a normal work schedule have been a type of detoxification/rehabilitation program for Americans.

When done correctly, the process of detoxifying and rehabilitating can be miserable.

Withdrawal symptoms are painful. The body goes through a state of shock when the source of addiction has been removed. Anger is often a manifestation of feeling out of control.

Addicts may become hostile towards the person who they perceive took their power and control away from them; often acting in anger, physically harming those around them, using profanity and railing against the universe.

Addicts may become manipulative, making promises to become a better person or quit patterns of bad behavior. The body trembles or aches, sometimes sweating profusely or shaking with chills.

Detoxifying is a terrible process.

The good news is that such a terrible process can achieve remarkably positive results.  If the detoxification process is allowed to play out until the very end, the person “drying out” can literally become transformed in their mind, body and  soul.

The key is to let the process run its due course. We must not circumvent it.

If an addict begs and receives a bailout, the process will be cut short, and the desired results will not be achieved. Sadly, the person can end up in a worse state of mind than ever before, desperately inhaling, drinking, viewing or using their vice until they are in a stupor. No clear mind. No revived spirit. No renewal of any kind.

It’s easy to point fingers at someone who enters into drug or alcohol rehab, but the reality is that modern society has become addicted to many things, most notably, the addiction of always “being on” and always “being entertained”.

Very rarely do we find ourselves alone – all alone – without television, radio, internet or (God forbid) a smartphone.

It’s hard to be alone: Like any good vice, the addiction to constant entertainment dulls the pain of what we might feel if we were to sit alone in the company of only our thoughts and feelings.

We’ve realized that it’s hard to sit still. It’s hard not to have an event to attend, or a ballgame blasting from the living room television screen.

It’s hard to re-adjust to life as a family:  It’s hard getting to know and connect with your children or spouse in a deep and intimate way. Living under one roof and talking to each other using full sentences can be a real challenge for some of us.

We’re off balance: It’s hard to determine our value at work. If we are no longer asked to come into the workplace, we may begin to doubt ourselves or our value to the company. We know that performance pays the bills. When the ability to produce has been removed (or seems in jeopardy), we become restless, angry, fidgety and insecure. When the things that are familiar are removed and we are left alone with ourselves, it can feel very unfamiliar and cause us to feel insecure.

Hurting people hurt others: In our insecurity, we may lash-out in anger at others. Conversely, some of us simply wish to retreat, run, leave, check out. It’s important to recognize our feelings, name them, identify the triggers and modify our reactions.

Healthy people will realize the value of peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness and self-control.   When we name our emotions, releasing them to a Higher Power, only then can we make room for comfort and peace. Jesus said in John 14;27, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

In light of CV-19, we all have a better understanding of what it is like to lose our perceived sense of control and security.

At Hope Rising, we are all too familiar with the anger and insecurities experienced by children and youth who have lived a lifetime of insecurity. Children of abuse experience severe PTSD and have never had the chance to learn proper coping skills. Instead, they have spent their entire lives in survival mode, trying to avoid the landmines of anger, abuse and rape.

In this eye-opening interview, DrKyle Miller, LPC-S, LMFT-S, Counselor to Sex Trafficking Survivors explains the process a survivor of sex trafficking goes through during the initial stages of rehabilitation. Before we label these children as “troubled youth” and cast them off as hopeless causes, perhaps we should seek to gain a deeper understanding of the environmental factors which led to their current situations.

Children of trafficking and sexual abuse walk a long and lonely road of restoration. Hope Rising’s Model of Wrap-Around Services including Equine Therapy with EAGLA Certified Equine Specialist Gayle Brittain has been proven effective with exceptional long term-results.

The current model of care depends heavily on loving and highly trained foster families to walk this long journey alongside the youth in our care. However, as Dr. Kyle Miller explains on this video, the first 30-90 days are very volatile, and unpredictable. The pressure to flee is so great, that foster families are facing extreme challenges during this initial stage of detox and assessment.

The Emergency Assessment & Stabilization Center  of Greater Houston and the Washington County Emergency Assessement & Stabilization Center are vital to the first 30-90 days following the rescue of a child sex survivor. For more information on how you can support these long-term rehabilitation programs please follow us our social media platforms.  Or email hope@hoperisingtexas.org

* Hope Rising is a 501c3 nonprofit anti-sex trafficking and licensed foster care agency specializing in the long-term restoration of children and youth rescued from sex trafficking and abuse.

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Western Raffle https://hoperisingtexas.org/western-raffle/ https://hoperisingtexas.org/western-raffle/#respond Tue, 07 Apr 2020 18:45:34 +0000 http://hoperisingtexas.org/?p=7691 The post Western Raffle appeared first on Hope Rising.

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Thank you for your continued support in providing long-term restoration services to minors rescued from human sex trafficking.

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A Beautifully Hand Stitched Quilt
Enter for your chance to win a beautiful hand-stitched quilt made by the loving hands of the members of the Friendship Quilt Guild of Brenham. Hand made quilts are hard to come by, and this 81 x 93 quilt will serve as a keepsake for generations.
Due to the Corona Virus, we have been forced to cancel the Western Weekend and Trail Ride for Hope. This is a major Spring fundraising event which supports our Equine Therapy Program and expansion of support services. Please ROPE A RAFFLE Ticket for a chance to win 1) A 12 Gauge Pump Action Shotgun 2) A Guided South Texas Hog Hunt 3) A beautifully hand quilted blanket.  Ticket packages are 5 for $20. Purchase online and we will send you your raffle numbers. Thank you! 

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From the Classroom to the Boardroom, Kimberly Davis joins Hope Rising as Director of New Business Development https://hoperisingtexas.org/from-the-classroom-to-the-boardroom-kimberly-davis/ https://hoperisingtexas.org/from-the-classroom-to-the-boardroom-kimberly-davis/#respond Tue, 07 Apr 2020 18:24:31 +0000 http://hoperisingtexas.org/?p=7682 The post From the Classroom to the Boardroom, Kimberly Davis joins Hope Rising as Director of New Business Development appeared first on Hope Rising.

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Director of New Business Development, Kimberly Davis

Kimberly Davis serves as the Director of New Business Development for Hope Rising. Her extensive experience working with nonprofits, leading capital fundraising campaigns, as well and organizing volunteer committees makes Kimberly a valuable asset to the Hope Rising organization.

As a former public educator, Kimberly saw first hand the level of impoverishment and neglect which ran rampant in families from a wide economic and socio-demographic. Determined to utilize her talents in administration and team building, Kimberly pivoted from the classroom to the boardroom and now uses her talents to bridge the gap between corporations and nonprofits. 

“As I looked around the faces of all the precious kids, I could only guess at how desperate some of their home lives must have been. We often hear about the importance of school lunches and snacks, but what we don’t hear about is the abuse that takes place in so many of these homes.”

“Although I didn’t realize it at the time, I had children who were no doubt sexually abused within the walls of their homes, and at the hands of their family members. I knew I was called to cheer and campaign for those who needed my passion and my voice.”

“I have worked in nonprofits for many years now, but the work of Hope Rising is special. It’s hard. It’s harder than any work I’ve ever done. When I sit and listen to the stories of our survivors, my stomach aches. It’s as bad as you can ever imagine. But that is where I know I am needed.”

“I am needed to share these stories and educate the public, and raise awareness of the issue of sex trafficking in middle America. I am passionate about the long-term rehabilitation programs provided through Hope Rising. I see their work, I see the results and I am passionate about helping to build strategic partnerships to bring complete restoration to the lives broken by the autrocity of sexual abuse, trafficking and exploitation.” 

Kimberly serves as lead development for events, strategic campaigns, and nurturing important relationships on behalf of Hope Rising. Kimberly holds a Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies from Texas A&M University.

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Hope Rising Announces the Date for the 2020 Boots & Bells Annual Fundraising Gala https://hoperisingtexas.org/annual-boots-bells-gala-2020/ https://hoperisingtexas.org/annual-boots-bells-gala-2020/#respond Tue, 07 Apr 2020 17:04:56 +0000 http://hoperisingtexas.org/?p=7644 The post Hope Rising Announces the Date for the 2020 Boots & Bells Annual Fundraising Gala appeared first on Hope Rising.

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Hope Rising a nonprofit 501c3 anti-sex trafficking organization and licensed child placement agency has announced November 13th as the date for their 2020 Annual Boots & Bells Fundraising Gala.

The venue, Deep In The Heart Farm sits on 150 acres of rolling hills with a seasonal creek, majestic oaks, and stunning sunsets. The abundant natural beauty offers breathtaking views in a serene bucolic setting northwest of Houston, south of College Station, just north of Brenham, Texas.  

Venue Address: 8351 Highway 105, Brenham, TX, 77833

Guests are encouraged to book hotel or B&B accommodations and enjoy a beautiful fall weekend in the country.  There are numerous live music venues, events, and shopping opportunities available on both Saturday and Sunday following the Hope Rising Friday night gala. The Washington County Chamber of Commerce Calendar is also a good resource for nearby events. This is the perfect opportunity to steal away from the busy city life and enjoy a weekend in the country while supporting a worthy cause.

Follow our social media channels to stay up to date with this event. Now accepting Volunteers, Gala Sponsorship’s and Auction Items.

Contact Kimberly Davis: kimberly.hoperising@gmail.com 

 

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Hope Rising Breaks Ground for Washington County Emergency Assessment & Stabilization Center https://hoperisingtexas.org/hope-rising-breaks-ground-for-washington-county-emergency-assessment-stabilization-center/ https://hoperisingtexas.org/hope-rising-breaks-ground-for-washington-county-emergency-assessment-stabilization-center/#respond Tue, 07 Apr 2020 16:16:11 +0000 http://hoperisingtexas.org/?p=7633 Hope Rising, a licensed child placement agency and non-profit (501c3) anti-sex trafficking organization, has kicked off their 2020 Capital Giving Campaign for the Washington County Emergency Assessment and Stabilization Center […]

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Hope Rising, a licensed child placement agency and non-profit (501c3) anti-sex trafficking organization, has kicked off their 2020 Capital Giving Campaign for the Washington County Emergency Assessment and Stabilization Center for children and youth rescued from sex trafficking and sexual abuse.

Executive Director Sherri Clement says that she is overwhelmed by the community’s response and support of local efforts to raise awareness of human trafficking and provide safe, nurturing homes for children and youth rescued from expolitative and sexually abusive situations.

Hope Rising has been in operation in Washington County since 2014, and has operated as a licensed placement agency since 2017 under the direction of Executive Director, Sherri Clement. 

“A rural ranch environment provides an ideal setting for our homes and this will also be true about the future Emergency Assessment and Stabilization Home here in Washington County,” says Clement. “Since we will facilitate all of our services on-site at the new facilities, children in our care will be educated through an online charter school with an on-site trauma informed teacher and tutors. While in the care of our foster families, we encourage the children to spend a great deal of time outdoors.participating in equine therapy and decompressing in the natural environment.”

Plans where released for a new state-of-the-art Emergency Assessment Home which will begin construction in early spring with an expected completion date of mid-2021.

“What we have learned,’ says Clement, ‘is that when a child is rescued from a sexually abusive or exploitative environment, they need a lot of individual care and attention and they need it right away. They need medical and psychiatric care, as well as, a safe and nurturing environment with caregivers willing to bond with them. These are incredible expectations to place on any biological parent or foster family, but it is well worth the effort.”

Oftentimes, when children first come into foster care, not much information is known about them and their trauma,” explains Renee Calder Encinias, Licensed Administrator and Program Director for Hope Rising. “This makes it hard to be sure that their first placement is a good match.  When a child is placed in a home that is NOT a good match, then they are moved, and an additional trauma is added to their experience.  This is disruptive to the foster homes and other children placed in that home as well as the child who is bouncing around trying to find the “right fit.”  Many have recognized for some time that what is needed is upfront assessments to find out what the child’s needs are. When this was identified as a gap in services in Texas, specific to the population of trafficking survivors, Hope Rising decided to fill that gap.  The intent is to have a child who is believed to be a survivor of sex trafficking come to Hope Rising’s Emergency Assessment Center for 30, 60 or 90 days based on their needs and how long it takes to complete all the necessary medical screenings, psychological evaluations and a list of other assessments and screenings.  These assessments will help those responsible for the child better determine what home or facility is the best fit for the child. Knowing the child’s needs, the team will know what skills the next caregivers should possess. This also allows for a slower transition, if needed, so the child can get to know the new caregivers a little rather than meeting them for the first time when their caseworker is dropping them off in the home.  The Emergency Assessment Center will also provide 24 hour awake staff to ensure the safety and well-being of those children placed in Hope Rising’s care. These staff will be trained in working with the trafficking survivor population, as well as, given many other tools to help these children heal while in Hope Rising’s care.

“The Texas Governor’s Office has recognized the need for specialized care and trauma-informed intervention programs,” explains Clement. “Governor Abbott and his team are very active and remain informed of all details concerning the operation of Hope Rising and the development of the Emergency Assessment Center. Senator Michael McCaul has also been on on a site visit and is an instrumental voice in fighting trafficking and providing long-term restoration for victims of sexual abuse and exploitation.” 

“This kind of work is hard,” says Pastor Tim Webb, Chairman of the Board of Hope Rising. “Successful treatment of sexual abuse requires extensive therapy and trauma-informed care from highly trained and educated professionals. Sexual exploitation breaks not only the psyche but also the spirit. The work is often misunderstood, the topic taboo, and people can have a hard time understanding how they can be a part of the solution. This assessment center, if handled correctly, could be a state-of-the art facility for sexual restoration and healing for minors.”
Anyone seeking additional information or seeking donation opportunities can find more information at www.hoperisingministries.org and follow along on social media.

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Hope Rising Awarded the Silver Seal of Transparency in Accounting by Guidestar https://hoperisingtexas.org/hope-rising-awarded-the-silver-seal-of-transparency-in-accounting-by-guidestar/ https://hoperisingtexas.org/hope-rising-awarded-the-silver-seal-of-transparency-in-accounting-by-guidestar/#respond Tue, 07 Apr 2020 15:21:31 +0000 http://hoperisingtexas.org/?p=7618 Hope Rising a 501c3 anti-sex trafficking organization and licensed Foster Care Agency just completed an in-depth three-month audit with the third-party firm of Seidel Schroeder Certified Public Accountants, rated A+ […]

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Hope Rising a 501c3 anti-sex trafficking organization and licensed Foster Care Agency just completed an in-depth three-month audit with the third-party firm of Seidel Schroeder Certified Public Accountants, rated A+ with the Better Business Bureau. We are pleased to have earned the Silver Seal of Transparency in Accounting (Guidestar by Candid). As a first-year applicant, we were awarded the Bronze Seal. This year we are pleased to announce, that we have earned the next level of financial transparency – The Silver Seal.

Transparency in accounting is very important to us. We have retained the services of Seidel Schroeder for all future tax filing and auditing efforts to ensure your donations are making maximum impact and being used in full accountability and transparency. Thank you for your continued support of our ministry.

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Hope Rising Announces Plans to Open Emergency Assessment & Stabilization Center for Children and Youth Rescued from Sex-Trafficking https://hoperisingtexas.org/hope-rising-emergency-assessment-center-greater-houston/ https://hoperisingtexas.org/hope-rising-emergency-assessment-center-greater-houston/#respond Tue, 07 Apr 2020 00:51:51 +0000 http://hoperisingtexas.org/?p=7586 The post Hope Rising Announces Plans to Open Emergency Assessment & Stabilization Center for Children and Youth Rescued from Sex-Trafficking appeared first on Hope Rising.

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April, 2020

Hope Rising, a 501c3 faith-based nonprofit has announced plans to open the first-of-its-kind Emergency Assessment & Stabilization Center (EASC) for children and youth rescued from sex trafficking.  

This secluded facility will provide emergency services including in-house triage, assessments, evaluations and trauma-informed services provided by a 24-hour wake staff and family model of care. The goal is to provide a safe and welcoming environment while obtaining a whole person assessment for the first 30-90 days after rescue and prior to placing the child with a Hope Rising trauma-informed foster family – or other appropriate placement in the case that Hope Rising’s long term specialized foster care homes are at capacity.

Sherri Clement, Founder & Executive Director of Hope Rising explains, “We are excited to add another critical solution to what was identified as a gap in care in the overall continuum of care to our organization. With the ability to provide emergency services, assessment and stabilization, we will have a direct impact on improving long term care placements and by extension have better outcomes for the children in our care.”

“This facility is much needed, and will provide a resource to Houston law enforcement, first responders, and the area court systems,” says Jennifer Hohman, founder of HAAT, Houston Area Against Trafficking. Jennifer Hohman is also the Founder of The Houston 20, a group of philanthropic women, who have supported Hope Rising a great deal in Hope Rising’s efforts to serve children rescued from human trafficking, something that they are very passionate about. The Houston 20 has not only provided support for the Hope Rising assessment home, but also partnered with Black Tie Boxing to raise funds to provide Hope Rising with the necessary funds to make it possible to purchase the facility that will be opening this year. The Houston 20 has also worked very hard to get services and materials donated that will help bring the facility up to the standards of licensing.

Tom Jarlock, Director of Operations for Hope Rising, adds, “Our team consists of highly trained professionals with decades of experience dealing with sex trafficking survivors.  Children suffer complex trauma and PTSD as a result of their exploitation and can present with many psychiatric and psychological symptoms. Early and accurate assessments can help determine the course for the best long-term therapy and treatment options.” 

Gayle Brittain, Director of Equine Therapy Services for Hope Rising explains, “Victims of PTSD have been in a prolonged state of survival mentality. It is vital that a survivor feel secure and stable before they are able to see success in any type of counseling program. The first 30 – 90 days following rescue are a critical time as survivors are going to experience feelings of fight, flight or freeze. The children don’t need to be moved from multiple locations in order to receive medical or physiological care; the care should come to them. 

 “It’s extremely hard to place children of abuse immediately into a foster family because we just don’t have the proper assessment of the child. This facility provides a beautiful home-like atmosphere with landscaped gardens and outdoor space for the youth to relax. Relaxation is a key element in getting survivors of PTSD to begin the process of reasoning and rational thinking, as opposed to always being on high-alert and focusing all attention on survival.” says Renee Encinas BS, LCPAA, Program Director for Hope Rising.

Dr. Kyle Miller,  LPC-S, LMFT-S, and Counselor to Sex Trafficking Survivors explains, “The human brain develops paths according to our life experiences. In the case of children who have been trafficked, these brain patterns are deeply established. It requires in-depth counseling and a 180 degree turn from the life they have experienced. The problem is that it is not easy to isolate a child of trafficking if they remain with their trafficker, or in the home of an abuser. This Emergency Assessment & Stabilization Center will be the first of its kind, that I am aware of. From my viewpoint as a counselor to this population, it will fulfill a very real gap in the existing model of care.”

Funding for this project has been provided by private donations and is expected to be in operation by October 2020 (Covid19 dependent).

Donations of time, contractor services or monetary donations are appreciated.  For more information on Hope Rising, or the Emergency Assessment & Stabilization Center please email hope@hoperisingtexas.org or visit www.hoperisingministries.org

*About Hope Rising: Hope Rising is a 501c3 nonprofit and licensed Foster Care Agency dedicated to the rescue and long-term restoration of children and youth rescued from human sex trafficking.

*About The Houston 20: We are a growing group of influential and committed Houstonians who are forming a movement to advocate for the end of sex trafficking and sex trade in our city by supporting the non profit organizations providing direct services to victims and survivors

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7 Tips to Talking with Children about Human Sex Trafficking https://hoperisingtexas.org/7-tips-to-talking-with-children-about-human-sex-trafficking/ https://hoperisingtexas.org/7-tips-to-talking-with-children-about-human-sex-trafficking/#respond Thu, 20 Feb 2020 21:28:55 +0000 http://hoperisingtexas.org/?p=6790 7 Practical Tips for Talking with Your Child About Human Sex Trafficking Human sex-trafficking is not an easy subject to discuss – with anyone – much less young children. The […]

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7 Practical Tips for Talking with Your Child About Human Sex Trafficking

Human sex-trafficking is not an easy subject to discuss – with anyone – much less young children. The subject can be overwhelming and uncomfortable.  These 7 age appropriate strategies can help start the conversation.

#1 You Are the Parent, Use Your Authority and Help Develop A Plan

It is YOUR responsibility to lead the discussion about sexuality and boundaries with your child. Our culture has introduced human sexuality to children at alarmingly young ages. If you want to protect and properly educate your child in this area, being proactive is key. From a young age, children need to understand that their bodies are to be protected and not shared with others. Equipping them with an action plan for when they find themselves in dangerous situations or are exposed to pornography helps them proactively protect themselves.

#2 Paint Verbal Boundaries

Painting verbal descriptions for your children helps them to become aware of potentially dangerous situations. Using age appropriate phrases such as ( touching in the swimsuit area, or taking off one’s clothes), walk through situations that you know are potentially dangerous. For the kids who process better when they understand the ‘why’ of a request, this is a very important conversation. When my kids ask me, “Why would someone ever even do that?” I simply tell them that this world is a strange and sometimes dangerous place and we must always alert an adult if anyone, (including our friends) try anything inappropriate like this.  

#3 Keep Watch of your Closest Surroundings

A huge misconception about sexual abuse/assault/exploitation is that it will be perpetrated by a scary stranger. The reality is that the majority of sexual abuse and inappropriate behavior occurs in the home with a relative or close friend, or someone we trust for our child’s care.

#4 Keep A Watch Out for Child-On-Child Sexual Abuse

According to the National Center on Sexual Exploitation, Child-On-Child Sexual Abuse is at an all time high, and reports are escalating daily. The reason? According to the NCOSE, children are mimicking what they have seen somewhere else. Imagine toddlers playing in a preschool kitchen; they are acting out what they have seen in real life. It’s alarming to realize that children are seeing either highly sexualized television content and/or graphic online pornography and then re-inacting what they have seen through the context of play – which equates to child-on-child sexual abuse. 

#5 Educate Your Child About Pornography & Help Them Form A Plan To Reject and Report Exposure

Children are an average 2-clicks away from accidentally stumbling upon online pornography. New research has reported that children under the age of 10 now account for 22% of online porn consumption under 18 years old. Furthermore, 10% of children in the 7th grade stated that they are now watching enough porn to be concerned that they may have an addiction issue and not be able to stop. Pornography fuels the demand for more illicit and bizarre sexual acts, which in turn increases the demand for young children.  The National Center for Sexual Exploitation has labled pornography use as a National Health Crisis.

I recommend every parent and caregiver purchase Good Pictures Bad Pictures  by Kristen A. Jenson. This book provides a simple plan teaching children to “turn-away and tell” when they have been exposed to pornography. The publisher’s website www.protectyoungminds.org seeks to help parents “porn-proof” their kids before they come across highly addictive and easily accessible internet pornography. This site is useful for young adults to children as young as 3 years old.

#6 Help Your Child Recognize Grooming Techniques

Help your child understand that unsafe people are not necessarily mean, ugly or scary – and they are not always men. Alleged Epstein victim, Jennifer Araoz, says that Epstein’s recruiters were polished females loitering outside of her New York ballad/dance studio befriending young teen dance students. The recruiters would ask prospective girls to coffee and take a personal interest in their lives. Jennifer says that her father had passed away a few years before and that she was hungry for attention and validation that the Epstein recruiters provided. 

#7 Fill Your Child’s Emotional Love Tank

Our children are starving for quality time and attention from their parents. When they are left emotionally hungry, they will seek to be filled online or in relationships outside the home. When children are allowed access to mobile devices, email accounts and social chats, it is very difficult for parent’s to know all of their child’s online activities. Leaving them hungry for love with a mobile device is a recipe for disaster.

We meet families every day whose children have been victims of online predators. Many of which have been picked up in front of their own homes as a result of online interaction. Unfortunately, these under-developed brains do not have the ability to comprehend the potential danger that awaits them by engaging in these (unknown) online friendships.

Parents are the first line of defense in protecting children and their sexuality.  I encourage all parents and caregivers to take time to educate themselves about the issue of human sex trafficking, exploitation and abuse. The Texas Governor is asking all citizens to watch the new “Be The One Video”, www.betheone.org a professionally produced documentary highlighting details of Texas sex trafficking cases. It is tastefully produced and very informative. Remember, awareness saves lives. 

Helpful Sources:

www.hoperisingministries.org

www.EndSexualExploitation.org

www.EndChildonChildAbuse.com

www.protectyoungminds.org

www.betheone.org

Author Bio:

Rachael Hall is a mother of four children and currently serves as the Director of Marketing & Digital Media for Hope Rising, an Anti-Human Sex Trafficking organization dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation and restoration of children and youth rescued from human sex trafficking, exploitation and/or abuse.

Hope Rising provides long-term, trauma-informed therapy, foster care, onsite education, medical attention, and are well-known for their successful Equine Therapy Program.  Learn more at www.hoperisingministries.org 

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Children, the Superbowl’s Biggest Losers by John Whitehead https://hoperisingtexas.org/child-sex-trafficking/ https://hoperisingtexas.org/child-sex-trafficking/#respond Mon, 10 Feb 2020 22:13:10 +0000 http://hoperisingtexas.org/?p=6701 The post Children, the Superbowl’s Biggest Losers by John Whitehead appeared first on Hope Rising.

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 Original Content by the Rutherford Report. Written by John W. Whitehead 

January 2020

Children are being targeted and sold for sex in America every day.”—John Ryan, National Center for Missing & Exploited Children

There can only be one winner emerging from this year’s Super Bowl LIV showdown between the San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs, but the biggest losers will be the hundreds of young girls and boys—some as young as 9 years old—who will be bought and sold for sex during the course of the big game.

It’s common to refer to this evil practice, which has become the fastest growing business in organized crime and the second most-lucrative commodity traded illegally after drugs and guns as child sex trafficking, but what we’re really talking about is rape.

Adults purchase children for sex at least 2.5 million times a year in the United States.

It’s not just young girls who are vulnerable to these predators, either.

According to a USA Today investigative report, “boys make up about 36% of children caught up in the U.S. sex industry (about 60% are female and less than 5% are transgender males and females).”

Consider this: every two minutes, a child is exploited in the sex industry.

In Georgia alone, it is estimated that 7,200 men (half of them in their 30s) seek to purchase sex with adolescent girls each month, averaging roughly 300 a day.

On average, a child might be raped by 6,000 men during a five-year period.

It is estimated that at least 100,000 children—girls and boys—are bought and sold for sex in the U.S. every year, with as many as 300,000 children in danger of being trafficked each year. Some of these children are forcefully abducted, others are runaways, and still others are sold into the system by relatives and acquaintances.

Child rape has become Big Business in America.

This is an industry that revolves around cheap sex on the fly, with young girls and women who are sold to 50 men each day for $25 apiece, while their handlers make $150,000 to $200,000 per child each year.

This is not a problem found only in big cities.

It’s happening everywhere, right under our noses, in suburbs, cities and towns across the nation.

As Ernie Allen of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children points out, “The only way not to find this in any American city is simply not to look for it.”

Don’t fool yourselves into believing that this is merely a concern for lower income communities or immigrants.

It’s not.

It is estimated that there are 100,000 to 150,000 under-aged child sex workers in the U.S. These girls aren’t volunteering to be sex slaves. They’re being lured—forced—trafficked into it. In most cases, they have no choice. Every transaction is rape.

In order to avoid detection (in some cases aided and abetted by the police) and cater to male buyers’ demand for sex with different women, pimps and the gangs and crime syndicates they work for have turned sex trafficking into a highly mobile enterprise, with trafficked girls, boys and women constantly being moved from city to city, state to state, and country to country.

For instance, the Baltimore-Washington area, referred to as The Circuit, with its I-95 corridor dotted with rest stops, bus stations and truck stops, is a hub for the sex trade.

No doubt about it: this is a highly profitable, highly organized and highly sophisticated sex trafficking business that operates in towns large and small, raking in upwards of $9.5 billion a year in the U.S. alone by abducting and selling young girls for sex.

Every year, the girls being bought and sold gets younger and younger.

The average age of those being trafficked is 13. Yet as the head of a group that combats trafficking pointed out, “Let’s think about what average means. That means there are children younger than 13. That means 8-, 9-, 10-year-olds.

“For every 10 women rescued, there are 50 to 100 more women who are brought in by the traffickers. Unfortunately, they’re not 18- or 20-year-olds anymore,” noted a 25-year-old victim of trafficking. “They’re minors as young as 13 who are being trafficked. They’re little girls.”

This is America’s dirty little secret.

But what or who is driving this evil appetite for young flesh? Who buys a child for sex?

Otherwise ordinary men from all walks of life. “They could be your co-worker, doctor, pastor or spouse,” writes journalist Tim Swarens, who spent more than a year investigating the sex trade in America.

Catholic and Protestant churches have been particularly singled out in recent years for harboring these sexual predators. Twenty years after the clergy sex abuse scandal rocked the Catholic Church, hundreds of sexual predators—priests, deacons, monks and lay people—continue to be given work assignments in proximity to children. In many cases, the abuse continues unabated.

Although much less publicized, the sex crimes within the Protestant Church have been no less egregious. For instance, a recent expose into the Southern Baptist Church leaders by the Houston Chronicle documents over 700 child sex victims “who were molested, sent explicit photos or texts, exposed to pornography, photographed nude, or repeatedly raped by youth pastors. Some victims as young as 3 were molested or raped inside pastors’ studies and Sunday school classrooms.”

And then you have national sporting events such as the Super Bowl, where sex traffickers have been caught selling minors, some as young as 9 years old. Yet even if the Super Bowl is not exactly a “windfall” for sex traffickers as some claim, it remains a lucrative source of income for the child sex trafficking industry and a draw for those who are willing to pay to rape young children.

According to criminal investigator Marc Chadderdon, these “buyers”—the so-called “ordinary” men who drive the demand for sex with children—represent a cross-section of American society: every age, every race, every socio-economic background, cops, teachers, corrections workers, pastors, etc.

And then there are the extra-ordinary men, such as Jeffrey Epstein, the hedge fund billionaire / convicted serial pedophile who was arrested on charges of molesting, raping and sex trafficking dozens of young girls, only to die under highly unusual circumstances.

It is believed that Epstein operated his own personal sex trafficking ring not only for his personal pleasure but also for the pleasure of his friends and business associates. According to The Washington Post, “several of the young women…say they were offered to the rich and famous as sex partners at Epstein’s parties.” At various times, Epstein ferried his friends about on his private plane, nicknamed the “Lolita Express.”

Men like Epstein and his cronies, who belong to a powerful, wealthy, elite segment of society that operates according to their own rules, skate free of accountability by taking advantage of a criminal justice system that panders to the powerful, the wealthy and the elite.

Still, where did this appetite for young girls come from?

Look around you.

Young girls have been sexualized for years now in music videos, on billboards, in television ads, and in clothing stores. Marketers have created a demand for young flesh and a ready supply of over-sexualized children.

“In a market that sells high heels for babies and thongs for tweens, it doesn’t take a genius to see that sex, if not porn, has invaded our lives,” writes Jessica Bennett for Newsweek. “Whether we welcome it or not, television brings it into our living rooms and the Web brings it into our bedrooms. According to a 2007 study from the University of Alberta, as many as 90 percent of boys and 70 percent of girls aged 13 to 14 have accessed sexually explicit content at least once.”

This is what Bennett refers to as the “pornification of a generation.”

In other words, the culture is grooming these young people to be preyed upon by sexual predators.

Social media makes it all too easy. As one news center reported, “Finding girls is easy for pimps. They look on … social networks. They and their assistants cruise malls, high schools and middle schools. They pick them up at bus stops. On the trolley. Girl-to-girl recruitment sometimes happens.” Foster homes and youth shelters have also become prime targets for traffickers.

Rarely do these girls enter into prostitution voluntarily. Many start out as runaways or throwaways, only to be snatched up by pimps or larger sex rings. Others, persuaded to meet up with a stranger after interacting online through one of the many social networking sites, find themselves quickly initiated into their new lives as sex slaves.

Debbie, a straight-A student who belonged to a close-knit Air Force family living in Phoenix, Ariz., is an example of this trading of flesh. Debbie was 15 when she was snatched from her driveway by an acquaintance-friend. Forced into a car, Debbie was bound and taken to an unknown location, held at gunpoint and raped by multiple men. She was then crammed into a small dog kennel and forced to eat dog biscuits. Debbie’s captors advertised her services on Craigslist. Those who responded were often married with children, and the money that Debbie “earned” for sex was given to her kidnappers. The gang raping continued. After searching the apartment where Debbie was held captive, police finally found Debbie stuffed in a drawer under a bed. Her harrowing ordeal lasted for 40 days.

While Debbie was fortunate enough to be rescued, others are not so lucky.

According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, nearly 800,000 children go missing every year (roughly 2,185 children a day).

With a growing demand for sexual slavery and an endless supply of girls and women who can be targeted for abduction, this is not a problem that’s going away anytime soon.

For those trafficked, it’s a nightmare from beginning to end.

Those being sold for sex have an average life expectancy of seven years, and those years are a living nightmare of endless rape, forced drugging, humiliation, degradation, threats, disease, pregnancies, abortions, miscarriages, torture, pain, and always the constant fear of being killed or, worse, having those you love hurt or killed.

Peter Landesman paints the full horrors of life for those victims of the sex trade in his New York Times article “The Girls Next Door”:

Andrea told me that she and the other children she was held with were frequently beaten to keep them off-balance and obedient. Sometimes they were videotaped while being forced to have sex with adults or one another. Often, she said, she was asked to play roles: the therapist patient or the obedient daughter. Her cell of sex traffickers offered three age ranges of sex partners–toddler to age 4, 5 to 12 and teens–as well as what she called a “damage group.” “In the damage group, they can hit you or do anything they want to,” she explained. “Though sex always hurts when you are little, so it’s always violent, everything was much more painful once you were placed in the damage group.”

What Andrea described next shows just how depraved some portions of American society have become. “They’d get you hungry then to train you” to have oral sex. “They put honey on a man. For the littlest kids, you had to learn not to gag. And they would push things in you so you would open up better. We learned responses. Like if they wanted us to be sultry or sexy or scared. Most of them wanted you scared. When I got older, I’d teach the younger kids how to float away so things didn’t hurt.”

Immigration and customs enforcement agents at the Cyber Crimes Center in Fairfax, Va., report that when it comes to sex, the appetites of many Americans have now changed. What was once considered abnormal is now the norm. These agents are tracking a clear spike in the demand for harder-core pornography on the Internet. As one agent noted, “We’ve become desensitized by the soft stuff; now we need a harder and harder hit.”

This trend is reflected by the treatment many of the girls receive at the hands of the drug traffickers and the men who purchase them. Peter Landesman interviewed Rosario, a Mexican woman who had been trafficked to New York and held captive for a number of years. She said: “In America, we had ‘special jobs.’ Oral sex, anal sex, often with many men. Sex is now more adventurous, harder.”

A common thread woven through most survivors’ experiences is being forced to go without sleep or food until they have met their sex quota of at least 40 men. One woman recounts how her trafficker made her lie face down on the floor when she was pregnant and then literally jumped on her back, forcing her to miscarry.

Holly Austin Smith was abducted when she was 14 years old, raped, and then forced to prostitute herself. Her pimp, when brought to trial, was only made to serve a year in prison.

Barbara Amaya was repeatedly sold between traffickers, abused, shot, stabbed, raped, kidnapped, trafficked, beaten, and jailed all before she was 18 years old. “I had a quota that I was supposed to fill every night. And if I didn’t have that amount of money, I would get beat, thrown down the stairs. He beat me once with wire coat hangers, the kind you hang up clothes, he straightened it out and my whole back was bleeding.”

As David McSwane recounts in a chilling piece for the Herald-Tribune: “In Oakland Park, an industrial Fort Lauderdale suburb, federal agents in 2011 encountered a brothel operated by a married couple. Inside ‘The Boom Boom Room,’ as it was known, customers paid a fee and were given a condom and a timer and left alone with one of the brothel’s eight teenagers, children as young as 13. A 16-year-old foster child testified that he acted as security, while a 17-year-old girl told a federal judge she was forced to have sex with as many as 20 men a night.”

One particular sex trafficking ring catered specifically to migrant workers employed seasonally on farms throughout the southeastern states, especially the Carolinas and Georgia, although it’s a flourishing business in every state in the country. Traffickers transport the women from farm to farm, where migrant workers would line up outside shacks, as many as 30 at a time, to have sex with them before they were transported to yet another farm where the process would begin all over again.

This growing evil is, for all intents and purposes, out in the open.

Trafficked children are advertised on the internet, transported on the interstate, and bought and sold in swanky hotels.

Unfortunately, as I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, the government’s war on sex trafficking—much like the government’s war on terrorism, drugs and crime—has become a perfect excuse for inflicting more police state tactics (police check points, searches, surveillance, and heightened security) on a vulnerable public, while doing little to protect our children from sex predators.

WC: 2514

ABOUT JOHN W. WHITEHEAD

Constitutional attorney and author John W. Whitehead is founder and president of The Rutherford Institute. His new book Battlefield America: The War on the American People  is available at www.amazon.com. Whitehead can be contacted at johnw@rutherford.org.

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