The White House Office of the Secretary released President Obama’s proclamation that January is the National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month.
Today’s guests on CHWR with Dave & Bill were:
Michelle Bart, Public Awareness Chair for Soroptimist International Northwestern Region points out that proclaiming is only one-step, and that we must continue to communicate and make others aware on a continuous basis to be effective.
Jeri Williams, Northwest Coalition Against Trafficking (NWCAT) Survivor Network Coordinator, Trafficked Survivor and Community coordinator for the City of Portland. Jeri provided insight that only a survivor could share.
Our guests shared answers to the most frequently asked questions each receives as well as the questions people should be asking that only comes from understanding the subject of human trafficking and experiences shred from others.
It seems the common denominator throughout our discussion was for parents to be mindful never allow a heated situation to reach a point that his or her child feels the only way out is to runaway.
Most parents do not realize that within the first forty-eight (48) minutes to forty-eight (48) hours, a runaway child will likely be approached on the streets, and more often than not will end up in the custody of a pimp.
Michelle is commonly asked, “Do you have speakers available to talk about Human Trafficking?” Soroptimist is about education and empowering women.
Their relationship with Polaris provides a hot line… 888-373-7888
Jeri Williams, a survivor was stabbed and left for dead, and is now an Organizer for Portland. Jeri said, one of the more frequent questions she is asked is, “What can I do if I see something happening in front of me”. Call the police was Jeri response.
Jeri also pointed out that running away is an accumulation of life events. Running away does not happen overnight. “There are strong layers that have occurred over the years”, said Jeri.
According to Jeri, about ninety-eight percent (98%) of prostituted women are sexually abused as a child – the seed was planted long ago, part of that layer Jeri refers too.
Many times the layers that began early in childhood, will not show-up until later. Being hurt physically, mentally, and sexually that started early may manifest later during an argument causing a blow-up and the child runs away.
Another question that Jeri is asked, “What can I do?” Become more aware and educated. Keep loving – Keep loving. Do not kick your child out – Do not let go – Seek counseling, if you do not, the pimp wins.
Jeri was asked the question, “What could someone had said to you that would have made a difference for you?” Jeri’s reply, “You are not alone, and we are here to help”. It would have been planting a seed of hope, something she needed to hear. In Jeri’s words people, “Loved on me”, that is what made the difference.
However, it is not always as simple as a statement. An event can force you to follow a different course of action. For example, Jeri faced with the possibility of losing her children.
When you think of a victim, you think of a weak person – not so. These women are hard. They have to be, their lives depend on being tough.
Jeri is now an Organizer for Portland. An “Organizer” is a person who helps people to look at a problem – turn it into an issue – and then find solutions to it, explained Jeri.
Organizing for Jeri is about making investments in other people – help them to solve it for themselves – help develop leadership within the individual.
Nancy Goodell’s, frequently asked question is what are healthy habits – family practices – communication patterns that can be developed at an early age with children and can be carried throughout their adolescents?
We need to increase the child’s safety and security even when times are tough, so that when they are frustrated, angry, and out of control, they feel they have resources that they can rely upon in terms of the adults that are there for them.
Teach his or her child to communicate what the upset is – find ways to calm and sooth themselves – so they can make safe choices even when they are feeling out of control.
Anne is frequently asked, “What is human trafficking”? First, we need to recognize it is here, and it is a tragic problem. Many individuals are unaware, or are in denial of it happening here in the US – that is something that happens in developing countries or third world countries. Fortunately, the US has accepted it is happening and is addressing the problem.
Anne Garrett and Nancy Goodell’s book was written for adults on how to teach children to learn coping strategies. Ultimately, to keep them in the house – do not let them runaway.
Help them to keep from running when frazzled.
“Investment” is a great concept when thinking about our children. Invest in them at a young age, and develop communication patterns. If you do not start young to communicate with your child, do not expect to communicate when they are older. Our children are truly valuable investments; after all, they will be the parents of the next generation. It benefits everyone to invest in good parents – parenting.
In Anne and Nancy’s book, TLC for Frazzled Kids, they discuss a systematic program that identifies and supports coping skills. Following are three examples of what Anne shared with everyone:
You have an upset child – First – the adult needs to remain calm, and not be drawn in themselves, nor become part of the problem. Acknowledge the behavior – the problem of the child is there for a reason – acknowledge the child – I hear you – I hear you. Let us see if we can solve what is upsetting you.
Set clear limits – They cannot do things that are unsafe to themselves or to others.
Help your child discover new ways to get the need met, which will enable the child to feel safe and successful, which allows him or her to build self-esteem, self-sooth, and control when upset.
Kids are different, some may need activity to vent like shooting basketballs, others may go lay on their bed, draw, or journal. What do you need to do to calm down?
What do see that causes a child to run? For Jeri it was secrets (alcoholic), abuse at four and low self esteem.
Pimps know when kids are having problems. Kids with low self-esteem are susceptible to the ploy and cons of a pimp. Jeri pointed out that pimps are at the malls and already know your child, and most likely have begun the grooming process. That is why your child can be trafficked in forty-eight (48) minutes; they have been waiting and prodding.
It is difficult to know the statistics relating to trafficking. There are more victims than what we know – parents traffic their own children, and victims are unlikely to tell.
Children are never too young to teach them right from wrong. Make sure they know their full name, address, and phone number.
Here is a question for discussion…Has anyone thought about helping the pimp? What are the johns lacking in their child development? Jeri answered this question as it related to the development of her pimp. He knew no other life. One interesting point that Jeri pointed out that applies to all is to have discipline in your sex life.
More people today are enslaved in sex & labor trafficking than in any other time in the history of America or around the world. That is a concerning thought for everyone.
For several days beginning January 14, 2011 Michelle Bart, Chairperson and Soroptimist International Northwestern Region’s Public Awareness Chair, will host the Third Annual Northwest Conference Against Trafficking. The purpose is to inform, educate, and raise funds for a long-term shelter for trafficking victims. The deprogramming of victims of human trafficking is different from typical shelters for the homeless.
FYI: Farmland laborers, nail salons, and restaurants are typical environments where you may witness trafficking victims.
When all is said and done, parents, have such an important role on future generations. Jeri, stated earlier, and should be mentioned again, our children are an investment, and if properly nurtured and cared for will have an enormous benefit on the world we live in.
About Ann Garrett and Nancy Goodell’s new book:
TLC for FRAZZLED KIDS is a practical step-by-step guide for working with children who are experiencing trauma, injury, sickness, or the ongoing challenges of living in this complex world. Because today’s children contend with high levels of emotional vulnerability, the result may be a wide range of acting-out behaviors.
The TLC for FRAZZLED KIDS process has relevance for all children who experience a loss of control during difficult situations. As a resource for parents, teachers, therapists, and child-care workers, it is applicable in a variety of settings. The methods support the overall development of resilient children as they learn strategies for safety and success.
Outcomes include self-control, problem solving, and effective communication between adults and children.
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
December 22, 2010
Presidential Proclamation–National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month
Our Nation was founded on the enduring principles of equality and freedom for all. As Americans, it is our solemn responsibility to honor and uphold this legacy. Yet, around the world and even within the United States, victims of modern slavery are deprived of the most basic right of freedom. During National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, we rededicate ourselves to preventing and ending human trafficking, and we recognize all who continue to fight this serious human rights violation.
Human trafficking is a global travesty that takes many forms. Whether forced labor or sexual trafficking, child soldiering or involuntary domestic servitude, these abuses are an affront to our national conscience, and to our values as Americans and human beings. There is no one type of victim — men and women, adults and children are all vulnerable. From every corner of our Nation to every part of the globe, we must stand firm in defense of freedom and bear witness for those exploited by modern slavery.
At the start of each year, Americans commemorate the Emancipation Proclamation, which became effective on January 1, 1863, and the 13th Amendment, which was signed by President Abraham Lincoln and sent to the States for ratification on February 1, 1865. These seminal documents secured the promise of freedom for millions enslaved within our borders, and brought us closer to perfecting our Union. We also recall that, over 10 years ago, the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000 renewed America’s commitment to combating modern slavery domestically and internationally. With this law, America reaffirmed the fundamental promise of “forever free” enshrined within the Emancipation Proclamation.
We cannot strengthen global efforts to end modern slavery without first accepting the responsibility to prevent, identify, and aggressively combat this crime at home. No country can claim immunity from the scourge of human rights abuses, or from the responsibility to confront them. As evidence of our dedication to a universal struggle against this heinous practice, the Department of State’s “Trafficking in Persons Report 2010″ included America in its rankings for the first time, measuring our efforts by the same standards to which we hold other nations. Looking ahead, we must continue to aggressively investigate and prosecute human trafficking cases within our own borders.
Although the United States has made great strides in preventing the occurrence of modern slavery, prosecuting traffickers and dismantling their criminal networks, and protecting victims and survivors, our work is not done. We stand with those throughout the world who are working every day to end modern slavery, bring traffickers to justice, and empower survivors to reclaim their rightful freedom. This month, I urge all Americans to educate themselves about all forms of modern slavery and the signs and consequences of human trafficking. Together, we can combat this crime within our borders and join with our partners around the world to end this injustice.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim January 2011 as National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, culminating in the annual celebration of National Freedom Day on February 1. I call upon the people of the United States to recognize the vital role we can play in ending modern slavery and to observe this month with appropriate programs and activities.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-second day of December, in the year of our Lord two thousand ten, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-fifth.
Your CyberHood Watch Partner,
david c ballard
Radio Security Journalist