When caring citizens and law enforcement work together, we can make inroads toward stopping human trafficking. Such is the case when Nita Belles of In Our Backyard organized volunteers and worked with law enforcement and task forces to fight sex trafficking centered around Super Bowl 50. Core team members and over 150 volunteers spent thousands of hours doing anti-trafficking work. It’s the kind of volunteer research and rescue operation that rips at the heart hour after hour, but without these dedicated people, there would be little hope for those enslaved.
The Santa Clara County results were reported in our local newspaper:
– 42 victims identified
– 30 “johns” arrested or cited
– 14 arrests or citations for prostitution related offenses (pimps)
– discovery and allegation from one victim of being kidnapped
– 1 Denver Bronco practice player questioned, released, and sent home to Denver
FBI released the info below as their results.
“12 pimps, including two females, were arrested.”
“Investigators made contact with 129 prostitutes. Most were not arrested but were offered services to help get them out of “the life.”
“They also busted 85 people for soliciting sex.”
“Seven juveniles were rescued from sex traffickers and pimps by law enforcement during the weeks before the Super Bowl.”
Read more at http://www.inquisitr.com/2783440/super-bowl-50-video-human-trafficking-at-levi-stadium-included-broncos-pimps-kidnapping-and-prostitution/#xWPMxvkoJfV2bqRV.99
The Santa Clara County operation was part of a national coalition of law-enforcement agencies called the National Johns Suppression Initiative.
Trafficking didn’t stop when the Super Bowl ended. It is an on-going, ever-increasing crime in our nation. We can each do our part by educating ourselves, actively looking for those seeking freedom and joining local and national groups working to abolish slavery.
One idea that nearly anyone can participate in to help abolish slavery is Freedom Stickers. Research has shown that the most effective place to reach a victim of human trafficking is inside restroom stalls because often that is the only time a victim of human trafficking is not being watched by their traffickers. Freedom Stickers, designed with the help of survivors of human trafficking are intended to catch the eye of a victim of human trafficking and provide them both a phone number and a text number to ask for help. Within a couple of minutes of texting inside a restroom stall, the victim can have help on the way, erase the text from their phone so their trafficker doesn’t know they have requested help, and have a plan for law enforcement to rescue them at a pre-arranged location later in the day.
If you or your church or community group wants to offer help inside bathroom stalls you can go to www.InOurBackyard.org and they will walk you through the necessary steps to place these (with permission of course) and you can help offer freedom to those being enslaved.
Let’s all do what we can to abolish slavery in our nation!