This is what human trafficking looks like.

By | Child Sex Trafficking, Success In the Field | No Comments

The following post was written by Kyle Woods and Kyle Hartsock, detectives inside the Ghost Unit, with the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office. Through their work investigating human trafficking cases, they use Spotlight regularly to aid in investigations. We’ve asked them to provide insight on factors that contribute to sex trafficking.

Until our unit started in 2014, our department had never investigated human trafficking (HT), not even on accident.  HT is unique because the victims usually don’t self-identify. Instead, you must find common factors in their life and behavior that can lead us to look further into the circumstances. Read More

Inside Human Trafficking Investigations

By | Child Sex Trafficking, Success In the Field | No Comments

The following post was written by Matt Blumenthal, a sergeant with the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department. Matt has been with the department for 23 years and is currently a supervisor at the San Diego Human Trafficking Task Force. As a team fully dedicated to investigating human trafficking, they use Spotlight regularly to aid in investigations. We’ve asked Matt to provide insight on what goes into human trafficking investigations and outcomes.

I have two daughters (ages 16 and 18) and I cannot imagine what life would be like for either of them to fall prey to the traffickers that I encounter daily.

Not only have I seen the realities of human trafficking in my work, but I’ve seen two neighbors that I have known since elementary school fall into the life of drugs and human trafficking. It had devastating effects on the girls and their families.

This is the reality of human trafficking — it’s happening everywhere. Read More

Women Who Inspire Us to Be a Force For Good

By | News, Technology For Good | No Comments

We all find a way to get through the tough days, the rough patches, the I’m-not-doing-great-today days. And when we’re taking care of ourselves as we try to build the world we want to live in, we need something to ground us. On International Women’s Day, we’re reflecting as a team about the women who inspire us to keep going, try harder, and push through.

Because that’s what we need in this work — people who inspire us to be better than we are today, people who show us through their actions that not only can we make a difference, but that we can make this world different. It’ll get better if we build it.

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What does it mean to protect innocence?

By | Technology For Good | No Comments

When I was in elementary school, we had our pictures taken. Not for picture day, but for ID cards for our parents in case we got lost. They took our fingerprints, wrote down our height, weight, eye and hair color. If you asked me back then what it meant to keep me safe, all that would come to mind is not walking off with a stranger, venturing too far from home or making sure I stopped, dropped and rolled in case of a fire. Read More

Human Trafficking Awareness 365 Days A Year

By | Child Sex Trafficking, Survivors | No Comments

Let’s recap.

Grappling with the reality of child sexual abuse takes time and space, regardless of whether you’re new to the issue or have lived its reality. We hope you give yourself that space, and we hope we get to keep you as a critical part of this movement. As we look beyond Human Trafficking Awareness Month, we want to provide you with information that you can you carry forward into the next 11 months and beyond. Read More

The Path to a Sustainable Recovery for Trafficking Survivors

By | Child Sex Trafficking, Survivors | No Comments

The following post was written by Stephany Powell, Executive Director of Journey Out, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit that provides the critical tools and support necessary for women to help victims of commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking break free from a life of abuse and violence and rebuild their lives. During Human Trafficking Awareness Month, we’re amplifying the voices of trafficking survivors and those working on the front lines of trafficking. Read More

160+ Reasons to Keep Fighting

By | News, Survivors | No Comments

Working in this space, I spend a lot of my time speaking about the myths that surround offender typologies. Educating others that the sexual abuse of children knows no bounds. It isn’t something that is just happening in the shadows — in the dark corners of the web or in a scary basement. It can happen anywhere. Often times, child sexual abuse victims are abused by someone they know — people these children should have been able to trust.

But there are times when I am caught off guard by news of an abuser, even with the background knowledge I bring to the table. Never has that been more true than as the news broke over the past year about the former national medical coordinator for USA Gymnastics. Read More

Saving Innocence: Crisis Response and Support for Children

By | Child Sex Trafficking, Survivors | No Comments

Those working on the front lines of trafficking are working hard to provide survivors with much needed resources to aid in recovery. In honor of Human Trafficking Awareness Month, we are elevating their voices to draw attention to the incredible work they do. The following post was written by Jessica Midkiff, Oree Freeman and Amber Davies at Saving Innocence. They work to give children on-the-ground help by utilizing strategic partnerships with law enforcement, social service providers and schools, while mobilizing communities to prevent abuse and increase neighborhood safety. Read More