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Human Trafficking | Sex trafficking of Women and Children. Spokane, WA
Human Trafficking

The ugliest, most preventable, man-made disaster
on our planet is

Sex abuse in its many forms: 
Raping adults and children, incest, pornography,
and the underground world of sex slaves (child trafficking).  

  • Human trafficking defined.  Human trafficking is an organized activity which forces women and children into prostitution.  These victims work on our streets, are often held captive in residents’ homes and hotels, and travel over our highways to other destinations where they will experience further exploitation and abuse.  Human trafficking is a cruel practice.  
  • Spokane has become an entry area for child prostitutes.  Teen prostitutes are initiated here and then moved into larger metro areas. 

  • Spokane has a sex trafficking problem, where adults pay for sex with a minor.  The prostitution ring is a huge problem.  Spokane Police Department's Human Trafficking Unit performs sting operations to help decrease the demand for the illegal sex trade.  ("Spokane man arrested after police sex sting," reporter Briana Bermensolo, KREM 2 TV, February 25, 2016) 
  • Many girls are sold into the trade at the very young age of 11, 12, or 13 in the U.S.  These girls are disillusioned runaways who are lured, deceived, sexually and physically abused, shunned, controlled, trapped and misjudged.  They are trafficked from within the U.S., Latin America and Asia.  The girls are often exploited by their own parents for money, and soon have UTI's and STD's.  They are sold for money, by the only person who makes money, the pimp.

    "You may choose to look the other way,
    but you may never say again
    that you did not know."
                                  - William Wilberforce

    These girls and women need our help.  They are scared, afraid to go back to their families, and tempted to stay where they have food and shelter, doing what they know to survive.  ("Enslaved Girls in the Sex Trade," The 700 Club, CBN, April 12, 2016) 

  • Male prostitution is “hidden,” and those involved are especially vulnerable.  
  • Those engaged in sex for money are often doing it to support a drug addiction.  
  • Childhood trauma, especially sexual abuse, often compels teen girls and women to enter this lifestyle.  
  • Sexual trafficking of children involves smuggling children from Mexico into our country.  The biggest clientele are Americans.  Dozens of rings are bringing children into 48 U.S. states, and setting up brothels where men prey on helpless children.  In addition, mobile brothels will deliver children to other locations.  

  • Some of our children who have disappeared have been taken into the sex-traffic business. 

    At least 200,000 innocent children have been forced into sexual slavery in the U.S. 

    There are nearly 2,000,000 children in the world who are being held against their will as sex slaves. People travel all over the world to engage in forced sex with children.  One girl was only 10 years old, and she was 6 months pregnant.  (Source: The Abolitionists movie - the beginning of the liberation of these children) 

  • The general age is 12-16, but as young as 5.  The American Dept. of Justice estimates there are 200,000 youths who are forced into the sex trafficking industry every year in the U.S.   The exact number of child victims of sex trafficking in the U.S. is unknown, because comprehensive research and scientific data are lacking.  (Commercial Sexual Exploitation of children/Sex Trafficking, the government's Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), updated August 2014); Sex Trafficking of Children in the U.S.:  Overview and Issues for Congress," a Congressional Research Service, 51-page report, January 28, 2015)

  • A 2005 United Nations report estimated that over 2 million children are victimized each year through prostitution and pornography.  (see UNICEF, The State of the World’s Children 2005:  Childhood under Threat (204), 26)

What You Can Do
  • 911
    Call if you are being sexually abused, being forced against your will to have sex, need help escaping abuse, or suspect child abuse is in progress.  If you are in doubt as to whether an emergency response would be considered necessary, err on the side of caution, and call 911.

    CPS - Child Protective Services (Spokane County)
    (509)  363-3550 
    After hours:  1-800-562-5624

    Washington State's End Harm
    Report child abuse
    (866)  363-4276

    National Human Trafficking Resource Center
    Text:  BEFREE (233733

    The National Child Abuse Hotline:
    (800) 422-4453   (1-800-4-A-CHILD)
  • Spokane Chapter of the Coalition to Abolish Human Trafficking in the Inland Northwest is hosted by World Relief Spokane at their location, the first Monday of each month at 4:00 pm.  Join the discussion at
    World Relief Spokane
    1522 N. Washington St, Suite 204
    Spokane, WA  99201
    (509) 484-9829
    For more information, please email:  race2endslavery@wr.org,
    or visit http://www.abolitioninw.org.

  • Provide information to victims, potential victims, or the general pubic to raise awareness.  Hand out general information and ways of getting help.  Find creative ways to share this information.  Create small wallet cards, door hangers with trafficking facts, book marks, posts on public bulletin boards, print on wrappers covering small bars of soap to be left in public bathrooms, etc.  Start a community group, or hold an event to raise awareness.  

  • Help establish and enforce a “Community Standard of Decency.”  Pornography drives sexual deviancy, violence against women, and child sexual abuse. 

  • Remember Elizabeth Smart.  Elizabeth Smart was kidnapped at age 14 and raped for 9 months before being rescued on March 12, 2003.  Today, she works to prevent predatory crimes, to end future sexual crimes  and victimization through prevention, recovery and advocacy for all children.  Learn about proven efforts to end crimes against children, to address victims, survivors and families with the resources and community they need to encourage hope and empower their future. 
    What parents should teach their children to prevent child abduction.  Show children how to call 911.  Teach children to fight back, scream, kick or yell, in the first few minutes they feel threatened by anyone.   
    TED Talk:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h0C2LPXaEW4

  • Be innovative, work with organizations listed on this page, and help create some solutions to this problem. 

    • Help girls and women escape this life, and prepare a safe place for them to go for healing and restoration.

    • Give out free samples of makeup or hygiene items or bars of soap, with a "Help Rescue # hidden in the bar-code" on the item.  These can be placed in public restrooms in highway rest stops, gas station rest rooms, and other places these women may show up. 

    • Do something to make a difference.  Enlist churches, private individuals, politicians, government agencies, and say that this will not happen in our community without a very big fight! 

    • Make sure those who leave the trade receive innovative therapy to help them change their lives, with a community of people who care about them, such as animal therapy, trauma-based counseling, small business enterprise, self-sustainability projects, and basic life skills.  ("Enslaved Girls in the Sex Trade," and Orphan's Promise of Houston, Texas, The 700 Club, CBN.com, April 12, 2016) 

  • President Barack H. Obama (January 16, 2013)
"And so, what we should be thinking about, is our responsibility to care for (children), and shield them from harm, and give them the tools they need to grow up, and do everything that they're capable of doing.  This is our first task as a society, keeping our children safe. This is how we will be judged.  And their voices should compel us to change.

"…we must do something to protect our communities and our kids…We have to examine ourselves in our hearts, and ask yourselves what is important?  This will not happen, unless the American people demand it.  If parents and teachers, police officers, and pastors, if hunters and sportsman, if responsible gun owners, if Americans of every background stand up and say, enough.  We've suffered too much pain, and care too much about our children to allow this to continue, then change will -- change will come.

"Along with our freedom to live our lives as we will, comes an obligation to allow others to do the same.   We don't live in isolation.  We live in a society, a government for and by the people. We are responsible for each other.

" …when it comes to protecting the most vulnerable among us, we must act now, for Grace, for the 25 other innocent children and devoted educators who had so much left to give; for the men and women in big cities and small towns who fall victims to senseless violence each and every day; for all the Americans who are counting on us to keep them safe from harm.

"Let's do the right thing.  Let's do the right thing for (our children) and for this country that we love so much." 

(Speaking of the Sandy Hook Elementary massacre which took the lives of 20 children and 6 adults, President Obama announced his anti-gun violence plan to curb such violence, and to protect our children.)
Local Organizations
Additional Resources

100,000 children are bought, sold, and rented in the U.S. every year.  Protected Innocence Challenge 2015, is a legal framework of protection for the Nation's children.  Anti-trafficking laws provide heavy penalties on both traffickers and buyers.  This deters demand and trafficking. 
see Shared Hope International: 

Internet Safety 101
Making the Internet Safer for Children and Families
Learn about pornography, Sexting, Predators, Social media dangers, Online gaming, Cyberbullying, and more.

The National Strategy for Child Exploitation Prevention and Interdiction
U.S. Department of Justice
A Report to Congress, August 2010