Over 90% of human traffickers are known to the victims
This 4-1/2-minute read has essential information to safeguard your family. If you can only do one thing and don’t want to read it watch this TED Talk, Growing Up In a Pornified Culture, by Gail Dines, author of Pornland: How Porn Has Hijacked Our Sexuality. Thank you for your time.
Why is this post on an architect’s website?
Because we care about families. What happens to one family affects others. We are all connected. If your kids or grandkids are exposed to pornography and sexual predators through their devices then your family and your home are no longer safe.
Human traffickers are like termites eating away at the future of Hawaii by targeting kids, our most precious resource.
On May 4, 2019, I accompanied my mom to Awaken, a human trafficking conference sponsored by the Alec & Belle Waterhouse Lecture Series, a ministry of Wai`alae Baptist Church. She feared for her granddaughters when she heard that most girls induced into sex trafficking are brought in by someone they already know and trust.
Human trafficking, e.g., labor- and sex-trafficking, is the fastest growing crime in the world. The “product” is reusable, easily transportable, and lucrative; $250,000-$500,000 per year is a conservative estimate. It ensnares all ages, backgrounds, ethnicities, religions, and genders.
Becky McDonald, Founder and President of Women at Risk, International presented a range of scary and heart-warming stories, risk factors, alarming statistics, and action steps. A local panel of trafficking survivors, non-profit leaders, and a Honolulu Police Department Lieutenant shared their experience and answered questions, affirming that yes, this happens here.
One short video told the true story of a local high school girl who was providing sex services in cars in the school’s parking lot during school hours. Her handler was a female classmate. In fact, most human traffickers are women.
McDonald grew up in Pakistan, lived in the Philippines, and currently lives in Michigan. Her compelling message: civilians can ask more questions and observe more behaviors and signs of trafficking than police because people let their guard down around regular people. The most helpful tipsters identifying victims who need help are waitresses, flight attendants, health professionals, tattoo artists, nail technicians, clerks, bus drivers, and teachers.
“Take it personally and you will know what to do.”-Becky McDonald
“When things don’t make sense, pay attention.”-Becky McDonald
Signs of human trafficking
- Bar code tattooed on the back of the person’s neck
- Crowns tattooed on neck or chest
- Children with wads of cash
- A much older boyfriend
- Hotel keys in her purse
- She doesn’t know what neighborhood she lives in (because she is moved around so much)
- Using tampons daily, not just during periods
What you need to know
- Gonzo porn is normalized and mainstream. It includes brutality, hardcore sex, and real and simulated violence against women. “It makes Playboy look like Sunday school stuff,” warned McDonald.
- The first exposure to porn is at 11 or 12 years old. Girls and boys get unhealthy, harmful ideas about themselves and sexuality if their first exposure to sex is gonzo porn.
- 1/3 of all downloads are porn.
- 1 in 11 men in Hawaii are buying sex online = 18,000 buyers.
- American youth don’t think of oral sex as sex
- 2/3 of 15-24 year-olds are having sex
- There are sex clubs in high school
- Predators are able to turn on the computer’s camera using FaceTime and take pictures of kids getting dressed and then coerce them into sex trafficking.
- Girls recruit other girls at the average age of 12-14 years for sex trafficking
“Whenever there is a power differential predators will flock.-Becky McDonald
Hawaii factors related to human trafficking
- Youth culture
- Government corruption
- Organized crime
- Minority communities
- Mining (wherever there are lots of men, sex workers are brought in)
- Entertainment economy (strippers, child sex workers, and massage parlors, and brothels [174 brothels in Honolulu out of 196 in Hawaii])
- Secrecy (cultures of privacy)
How you can help
Talk about healthy sexuality with your kids. If most of the sex ed is from porn, they have no idea.
Take notes, record facts, take pictures. Get enough information to help an officer investigate the situation or rescue the victim.
Apps to report sex trafficking
Who to call
Ho`ola Na Pua (808) 222-1872
Trafficking Victim Assistance Program Hawaii (888) 398-1188 toll-free
Department of Human Services/Child Welfare Services (808) 832-1999
Lt. Michael Brede, Jr., HPD (808) 723-8481
The National Human Trafficking Hotline (888) 373-7888
Stop the Sale 800-7659
1-877-363-7528 (1 877 end slav)
McDonald’s book recommendations
Pornland: How Porn Has Hijacked Our Sexuality by Gail Dines
Oral Sex Is the New Goodnight Kiss: The Sexual Bullying of Girls by Sharlene Azam
Who else is fighting?
Thorn – a nonprofit developing technology to battle child sex abuse on the internet, founded by Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore
Fight the New Drug – non-religious, non-legislative organization using science, facts, and personal accounts to educate about the harmful effects of porn
TED Talks on pornography
What’s wrong with pornography, you may ask.
- Today’s porn is not Playboy. It is video of violence and degradation. It teaches young people that sex is not making love but rather being hurt and hurting someone else. Rape is a common theme.
- McDonald said porn addiction, like any substance addiction, requires escalating stimulation to achieve the dopamine effect in the brain. 20-year-olds are experiencing erectile dysfunction because their first sex education was exposure to gonzo porn.
- Kids are exposed to porn younger and younger. Do you want your 8-year-old looking at that stuff? The neuroplasticity of young people’s brains makes early exposure to porn especially harmful. They are literally more impressionable.
Be safe. Keep your family safe. Make sure they know how much you love and value them.
Bad guys hide in dark, secret corners. Encourage daily talks so kids feel safe and comfortable being open with you.
Let God, church, and faith embolden you to protect your family.
In addition to having and sharing information, you need to do one more thing:
Every day, in some way, make sure your loved ones know how important they are. Not just to you, but to the community, their family, their world. They are important and loved and valued. It’s not about being popular, pretty, or having the right things. They are important because they are here, at this time, in this country, with these conditions being just so. Help them find that thing that fills them with light and purpose. We are each a part of a meaningful whole.
Don’t let them settle for friends, relationships, or treatment that is less than worthy.