Great article from the Huffington Post:
10 Things You Didn't Know About Slavery, Human Trafficking (And What You Can Do About It)
There are women and girls right here in Minnesota who have been able to break free from human trafficking and sexual exploitation but they are starting over with little or nothing for themselves or their children. In this exceptionally cold winter, they could really use a hero with a coat.
Can you help?
Imagine the difference that coat will make to the woman or child who receives it. If you have a very gently used coat or are out shopping the post-season sales and find a deal, can you bring it in as soon as you are able?
Members of the Breaking Free (a Minnesota nonprofit) outreach team will deliver them ASAP.
Sex trafficking is a complex problem. It it takes time to build trust and help someone trapped by coercion, threats, desperation and fear. That is what Breaking Free works to do.
But they need your help. This is one big way that you can make a difference today.
There is especially a need for:
Please bring to:
Location: Breaking Free, University Avenue, Saint Paul
Days/Times - Call Robin to schedule: @ 651-645-6557 ext 8161
**Please let them know you heard about this from Hero Search***
Begin 2014 knowing you have made a woman or her child more comfortable in the Minnesota cold.
More importantly, she will know there is someone who stands behind her and cares.
Please share the message with everyone you know who might be able to help.
Friday, December 20, 2013
MN bad guy gets longest sentence yet - 36 years
Our legal system is making progress.
With heavier enforcement, longer sentences and stiffer penalties, make it more risky and in the big picture less lucrative to exploit girls and young women. Hopefully, over time this is a piece of the puzzle that will help prevent other other victims.
So sad to see, again, how these predators target the most vulnerable - young girls at the age of just starting high school; and as one of the victims described, the family routinely preyed on "young women who are mentally slow and/or vulnerable" when recruiting them for prostitution.
Both brothers are accused of taking drastic measures to keep their victims under their control. In April 2011, Washington-Davis brought a victim to a hotel in Ely so she couldn't talk with her family members and so that they wouldn't know where she was.
What Can We Do?
Protect our children:
If there are children in your life or periphery that are vulnerable through weak family support, social alienation, bullying, menal or physical challenges - Reach out. In your family, school, church, neighborhood. Be a source of strength and support. Even in little doses, you never know what small acts make a difference.
There are victims because there are willing consumers:
Based on the statistics, we all know consumers.
One of the greatest things we can do as individuals is not to be afraid to talk about this.
It is hiding in plain sight.
Posted by Hero Search at 7:18 PM
Friday, December 13, 2013
A St. Paul couple was charged in trafficking case with 15-year-old girl this week after the girl sent an email: “These pictures was taking of me and posted on backpage the people that posted them have been making me sleep with the guys that called im only 15 years old …. Please help….” The couple was charged after the girl told police that the pair made her have sex with up to 20 men a day.
15 year old? Do you remember being 15? I was just getting used to high school, playing volleyball, going to dances, learning to drive, starting to date, loving Christmas and holidays with my family....and being safe and sound at home.
This girl is just one. There are others kids like her out there tonight right here and all over Minnesota that need help. And other kids at risk because they don't have simple things like a safe place to live, food, a family.
But there is so much hope. This is a human-made problem that can be solved.
If each one of us individually does something - no matter how small - This dark part of our neighborhoods and world will begin to change.
I'll be posting just some of those things in the weeks to come.
In the spirit of the Hero in HeroSearch.org (and nod to Hobbit 2 out today), a quote:
(Saruman) believes it is only great power that can hold evil in check, but that is not what I have found. I found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love.
I agree with Gandalf.
Posted by Hero Search at 2:06 AM
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Hero Search connects people with causes they care deeply about(like animal rights, human trafficking or youth education). Organizations who are doing important work within a cause list simple things they need so followers can help real people, right in the community, right now. Find out more - Subscribe to this blog to be part of this exciting and brand new way of giving. We are starting our beta test - BE PART OF IT! Start subscribing and post your ideas and feedback. To Qualify, you must: 1) Have a big heart! 2) Be willing to provide feedback to make Hero Search great! For our initial beta test, we will be working with human trafficking organizations in the Twin Cities Metro and organizations that serve survivors as well as work in prevention through work with at risk youth including youth living in crisis, that are homeless, with socioeconomic challenges, and many others. Approximately each week, we will post everyday ways you can help - by donating things you already have, adding a few things to your grocery or household purchases to donate, participating in local events, or even things you can do in your everyday life. We want to add more causes in the future so take the survey and help create the next version of Hero Search ->
Posted by Hero Search at 8:43 PM
YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE
Jennifer Victor-Larsen is the founder of Hero Search. She is passionate about helping vulnerable youth and ending human trafficking.