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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

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

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

My Life My Choice: Survivor-Led Prevention

By | Prevention, Survivors | No Comments

The following post was written by Susan Alves, My Life My Choice Senior Survivor Mentor and Amy Corbett, LMHC, My Life My Choice Director of Prevention. Since 2002, My Life My Choice has worked to end child sexual exploitation through survivor-led programs that empower youth and their allies to fight back. During Human Trafficking Awareness Month, we’re amplifying the voices of survivors and those working on the front lines of trafficking. Read More

Rebecca Bender: I was trafficked in plain sight

By | Child Sex Trafficking, Survivors | No Comments

During Human Trafficking Awareness Month, we’re giving a voice to survivors and those working on the front lines of trafficking. While we’re proud of the results of our tools to identify victims faster, we know that the issue doesn’t end there. The following post was written by Rebecca Bender, co-founder and CEO of the Rebecca Bender Initiative. She is an award-winning, internationally recognized speaker, author and Survivor Leader in the movement to eradicate modern day slavery. Read More

How To Know If You’re A Target Of Sextortion – And What You Can Do About It

By | Sextortion | No Comments

The following post is written by Stacy Jeleniewski, PhD, Senior Research Specialist at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). Since 1984, NCMEC has served as the national clearinghouse and resource center for families, victims, private organizations, law enforcement and the public on issues relating to missing and sexually exploited children. Read More

Teens and Sextortion: What Online Safety Teams Want You to Know

By | Sextortion | No Comments
Safety teams at social media companies are working hard to ensure that you know the options when it comes to your online experience. Not only can they point you to tools to help you report abusive content, they can also suggest proactive steps you can take to protect your online persona. As part of Thorn’s Stop Sextortion campaign, Public Policy representatives from Thorn partner companies – Antigone Davis, Head of Global Safety at Facebook and Patricia Cartes, Head of Global Trust & Safety Outreach at Twitter — collaborated to provide you with their top tips on how to safeguard against, and respond to, sextortion. Read More

Sextortion: I Want People to Remember My Story

By | Sextortion | No Comments
The following post is written by Ashley Reynolds. She has spoken about her story in several states and was invited by the FBI and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) to help spread the word about sextortion. In May of 2016, Ashley was honored in Washington, D.C. and was presented with the ‘Courage Award’ by Beau Biden. Read More