National Human Trafficking Hotline Number
A Bridge of Hope (ABOH) is committed to doing our part to end human trafficking in our lifetime by utilizing the gifts and talents within our organization, it’s volunteers and the community at large. We are powerful beyond our wildest dreams and can bring forth awareness to end Modern-Day Slavery in this generation, by simply using our voices, socialized media, our resources, and our talents.
ABOH focuses on prevention and education; to prevent future victims of human trafficking and bringing awareness to the issue.
We desire to educate the community about human trafficking and how the community can do their part to end it. Our target populations include: civic organizations, advocacy groups, sororities/fraternities, school faculty, school-aged children and parents, faith-based groups (regardless of denomination), and communities throughout the country. Our trainings are targeted to fit the audience and to fit your training time guidelines. It is important to train your organization so we can help to prevent any further victims of Modern-Day Slavery and to identify any individuals who may need to be recovered from a life of victimization.
(**Please note that the human trafficking hotline phone number listed above is written that way on purpose and it is a complete phone number.)
The Faces of Human Trafficking:
What is human trafficking?
Human trafficking is defined as the sale, transport and profit from human beings who are forced to work for others; is the modern equivalent of slavery. Millions of people, against their will, around the world are forced to work for the profit of others, for example by begging, forced prostitution, forced commercial sexual exploitation of adults and children, child sex tourism, involuntary domestic servitude, debt bondage, forced labor (including migrant workers), bonded labor, forced child labor, child solders, organ breeding/harvesting, forced pregnancy for forced / illegal adoption, and so many more.
Actual statistics are hard to quantify and prove, so to give you an idea of what is being reported:
There are more slaves today, than any other time in our history. Thousands of youth are at-risk everyday in America and abroad of being introduced to the major players of human trafficking, which is truly organized crime. Now statistics on human trafficking or anything else are hard to prove and quantify for a variety of reasons, but even one person who is a victim of human trafficking is too many. Wouldn’t you agree?
There are thousands of people, all having drastically different stories, and vary in socio-economic backgrounds, ages, education, ethnicities, from all different parts of the globe, who have been victimized in various forms of human trafficking. The wide range of victims and situations that the victims are coming from really depict how heinous the human trafficking really is and how far it stretches across the globe. Human trafficking is modern-day slavery!
Below is a letter from a mother of a young girl who’s been trafficked. They lived on the West Coast of the United States, a middle-class family, a loving home, nurturing, non-abusive, and yet it still happened to them…
“Never in a million years did I think I would experience the world of prostitution. The oldest profession had become a part of my life and a part of my only daughter’s. My pride and joy who was raised with high values and morals, homecoming princess, cheerleader …a valuable young woman of society unbeknownst to her was sold for sex trafficking. Like many young women she began her adult life away from home attending college and enjoying the simplicity of work, school and friends. Her life changed when she turned 21 and befriended “Ashley”.
Ashley had begun to prey on my daughter’s need for the companionship of having a best friend. She groomed my daughter with “best friend” attention and exposed her to a life that was frowned upon by her family and when she protested, Ashley began to threaten and isolate her. It seems as if Ashley knew her weaknesses and exploited them in her favor. Granted my daughter has free will, she felt she did not have a choice but to be Ashley’s friend. The “friendship” ended when Ashley sold my daughter in to a local sex trafficking ring.
My daughter spoke of being at a party with Ashley in which she was ogled by men much older than her. When she voiced her discomfort she was threatened with her safety and was told that she was to do exactly as she was told to do. She was taken to an empty home, windows were blacked out and each room was with multiple mats on the floor. She began to fear the worst as she heard water continuously running in the upstairs bathroom and she began to silently plan her escape. (Mind you, this is all happening in a college town!) Within minutes she had found her courage, she crawled through an unlocked window and ran to a nearby home. She was let in by fellow college students however she did not tell them of her experience. Once Ashley had learned of her escape, she has made my daughter’s life hell.
There have been continuous threats upon my daughter’s life as well as against her family. Multiple defamatory online postings were created without her knowledge using her full name, phone number, email addresses and explicit photos. Our plea for help from our local police department was met with little of importance. Her life was not of value as she made the choice to become friends with Ashley. The exploitation from Ashley had made my daughter a criminal not a victim. There was no help to empower her to charge those who had sold her. Our city’s police department’s motto is “to serve and protect” there was no implications of offering to help and most certainly no offers to protect. There was just a shame placed upon her for the choice of befriending the wrong person and being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
With this attitude of the police department, how is any victim expected to trust those who we pay for protection? How is she expected to heal when she was failed by those who serve and protect? How do we as parents reinstate her trust in us since we told her she can call on them if she needed help? Police protection is a social right, the very enforcers of our social rights has caused social injustice! Those whom are exploited in human trafficking are NOT criminals they are victims who are forced into criminal acts to save their own lives. How can we expect victims to comply to society’s moral values when their lives are endangered?!
With such little help from law enforcement, I noticed there were even less resources available in my local area for those who have become victims of this exploitation. There was a not a local number for me to call to reach out for help for my daughter. The only available resource I was able to utilize was thousands of miles away in Tennessee. I contacted an organization, A Bridge of Hope in which a kind and empathetic voice on the line helped me to gain my composure and without judgment gave me the tools to empower ourselves and how to advocate for my daughter’s safety. Granted we were able to bring my daughter to safety, the battle is not over. In fact the battle has just begun for her to rebuild her life and to begin to heal from the horrors of being sold into sex trafficking. What an incredible burden to place on any individual of this great country which frowns greatly upon slavery.
There should not be shame placed on already burdensome shoulders. Their wounds should not be treated as insignificant nor should their soul be forever imprinted of the minute value that was placed upon their bodies. Every woman is a daughter of someone; she holds value in someone’s heart and will always be the exceptional woman she is envisioned to be. With that in mind the same vision needs to be ingrained in those who we entrust to protect us from the social injustices of human trafficking.
There is little information available to help those who are exposed to sex trafficking. Our society has silenced victims into hiding their shameful experiences. The value placed upon the souls of those who are sold is minimal and the scars will forever live in their hearts. Families are blamed due to their immoral behaviors or their lack of values. Truth of the matter is, sex trafficking can occur at anytime and anywhere. There is no discrimination of who can be a victim.”
Are you adequately trained in human trafficking awareness?
A recent study said that 74% of organizations didn’t feel that they were adequately trained in human trafficking and victim identification. Please let us know if we can be of service to you in this area. We have a variety of trainings to suit the needs of your organization, whether it is a church, youth group, school, sorority/fraternity, or any other group. If you are interested in having a team member be a part of a training or panel discussion you are having, please email your request to BuildingBridgesTogether@yahoo.com and you will be sent a Speakers Request Form to fill out and submit. Please note that team members are available to travel for approved.