INFORM our city:
Not In Our City (NIOC) aims to inform our city of the existence and prevalence of Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking through awareness events. These events include small in-home movie screenings, larger presentations, mass awareness events, and innovative awareness experiences.
#giveaflip Social Media Campaign
#GIVEAFLIP, COME TOGETHER, TAKE ACTION
Our #giveaflip campaign is designed to generate awareness of sex trafficking within the United States. Bottle flip challenges are made through videos shared through multiple social media platforms. Making a video and challenging a friend to do the same is the first step in raising community awareness. But it doesn't stop there!
To really “give a flip” we need to come together and take action! Visit the TAKE ACTION tab on the giveaflip website to discover how you can best fight sex trafficking in the US.
Visit giveaflip.fyi and get involved!
8 Days Screenings
Invite your neighbors, friends, co-workers, or peers to bring awareness to modern day sex trafficking. We bring the movie, you bring the people. A Not In Our City representative will be present afterwards to answer any questions and provide resources for community involvement.
Mobile Virtual Reality Experience
DSN&MFG is an Austin company that specializes in “building amazing brand experiences at the intersection of pixels and power tools.” NIOC is currently working with them to sketch out designs for a mobile virtual reality experience. The idea is to create a virtual reality "gaming" experience that opens the eyes of its visitors to the real-life stories of trafficking victims and deceptive traps of traffickers. The desire is for visitors to make a personal connection with the stories and therefore, be drawn into a new level of awareness and activism. The digital format would allow NIOC to adapt to any audience, whether by age or by language. With the plan for mobility, the NIOC experience could travel anywhere and transform presentation styles from a school gym setting to a unique booth at a large festival.
Phase I design is underway!
Know the 6-Step Recruiter Process
"This 6 STEP PROCESS being used on our urban and suburban students to
RECRUIT them into prostitution and trafficking is well thought out and EFFECTIVE! "
(father of a survivor)
Pimps and Recruiters are in our schools and churches!
THE PURPOSE OF STEP 1 IS TO ESTABLISH TRUST:
This step starts with identifying a target. The targets who are most at risk are girls with low self-esteem or girls who are struggling with school work, friends or family. After a target is identified things proceed in a way that seems innocent and remains that way for many weeks or months. The ‘friend’ that starts this process is not always a guy. At this point, a pimp may not be directly involved. The friend will be someone completely non-threatening. It is often a girl (a few years older). Its very likely that this girl is a previous victim who became a recruiter or "groomer" as a means to escape being trafficked.
The new friend takes your daughter/son places, she is fun, she has a lot of advice, and gives the impression that she is sort of a mentor. They usually receive some type of support (money, drugs, etc.) that helps them recruit effectively.
PARENTS: It is hard to recognize this step, but there are things you can monitor. Look for new friends and be inquisitive about their parents, background, living arrangements, etc. If they are a new friend...find out who have they been hanging out with before your child. Dig into the new friend's, circle of friends, by talking to other parents or the school. Go through pictures on your child's phone, look for new hangouts or hobbies. Changes that the new friend introduces, should raise questions and investigation.
They make sure your child has "fun" and feels a sense of independence
THE PURPOSE OF STEP 2 IS TO INTRODUCE A SOURCE (OR INCREASE THE LEVEL) OF FRICTION IN THE RELATIONSHIPS AT HOME:
The friend introduces drugs and /or alcohol. If the targeted teen has already experimented, the groomer will increase the frequency of use and ease of access. They will make them feel as if "everyone is doing it" (at least all the cool people) and they are awkward if they don't.
PARENTS: Many kids experiment during this time of their life. If you see or suspect any drug or alcohol use deal with it early. Find out whether it was experimenting with good friends they have had for a while, or whether it is the result someone new on the scene. If is it someone new, I would be more concerned about a possible trafficking connection.
They want to turn them against you.
THE PURPOSE OF STEP 3 IS TO DRIVE A WEDGE BETWEEN THE TEEN AND THE FAMILY:
The groomer will be very polite in front of parents, but when alone the groomer is constantly berating parents. “Your mom is such a b*&%#…... She treats you like a child.” “Your father grounded you for that? He never lets you do anything.” “I bet you can’t wait to get out of that house.” Every teenager goes through a time when they feel as though you are strict unreasonable. The groomer validates your child's thoughts and thus creates more trust with them and less with you. It is usually at this point that a consistent theme/message, "Let me know if you ever need a place to stay", begins to appear.
PARENTS: My advice is...try not to fight about source (new friends) of the friction. Try to use firm reasoning and love as the basis for all discipline. Engaging in a fight or simply putting your foot down (i.e. "I am your father/mother, and you will do as I say!") actually works to the advantage of the recruiters trying to drive a wedge between you and your child.
They are separated from old friends and introduced to new "friends" who are "more fun".
THE PURPOSE OF STEP 4 IS TO SEPARATE THEM FROM OLD FRIENDS WHO SHARE THEIR CORE VALUES.
The new friends understand the teen. They accept them and support them. They stop hanging out with their old friends and even their very best childhood friend.
You may run into their best friend's parents who say they haven't seen your child lately. Then you may realize your child was supposed to have recently spent the night at their home. You realize the person who has been your child's best friend for the past multiple years, isn't around anymore. This should REALLY alarm you!
PARENTS: Once the traffickers take the victim through step 4 your child is in REAL and IMMEDIATE DANGER! Consider intervention, residential counseling away from their "friends". Think about moving the child away to live with a relative in another state, or moving the whole family. It sounds drastic but it is logical!
They convince them that they can have a "better" life. They tell them that things parents warned them, about are simply because parents don't understand their generation.
THE PURPOSE OF STEP 5 IS TO DISORIENT THE VICTIM'S MORAL COMPASS:
The groomer knows this really cool guy. He is an up and coming rapper. Sometimes he works as a DJ at some of the coolest clubs in town. He is fun, has money, and is always on his way to a party. After a friendship develops he offers to get your teen into a club even though she is underage. He is working a private party and can put her on the guest list. That happens a time or two.
The teen gets to sneak a few drinks at the club and hang out with a group of people who are four or five years older. The people at the club fawn over the teen and make her feel very special. The new group of friends reinforce the same idea the groomer started. “Your parents are the worst. If you ever need a place to stay just give me a call.”
There is a guy that your child met a couple months ago who is friendly and nice. It turns out he not only smokes pot, but he deals a little on the side.
That cool girl they met who is so pretty and funny. She has her own apartment and seems to have money. Another new friendship is developing. Then it is revealed that the cool girl is a dancer. She dances in videos and makes appearances at clubs with the rapper and gets paid for it. "Can you believe that?" "Life is so easy when you are pretty and cool." "Who needs college or parents?"
PARENTS: When things have reached this point it is difficult to turn around but not impossible. Be looking for signs that your child is exposed to or participating in activities that are normally forbidden. If you haven't already attempted intervention with a survivor or support organization, or if you haven't removed the teen from the environment, you are running out of time...DO IT NOW!!!
And then...they take your daughter or son and make $ on them. ONLY 1 to 2% ARE RESCUED AFTER THIS STEP!!!
THE PURPOSE OF STEP 6 IS TO TAKE YOUR CHILD AWAY FROM YOU THROUGH BRAINWASHING, COERCION, KIDNAPPING, OR A COMBINATION OF THE THREE.
They take advantage of the right opportunity when it presents itself. It could be the teen getting into trouble or fighting with the parents. Or it could be an offer to take a ride with the rapper right after their 18th birthday.
It happens with younger teens too, but a girl who just turned 18 is a real target. Your daughter goes to a party and disappears. If she is 18, law enforcement is handcuffed. Unless there is clear evidence of a crime, she is just another young adult who decided to leave home.
If the people who led her away can keep for three weeks, the chances that you will ever see your daughter again, decrease significantly!
PARENTS: Know your options for recovery and support. Come up with an action plan to execute if your child disappears. Introduce yourself to the people and organizations you will need. Establish a code word that your child can use if they want out. They won't want to hear it now, but they might remember it when they need it.
Helpful Materials for Parents.
For Parents: 5 Discussion Topics on Trafficking
A quick and handy reference guide to get conversations initiated with your children. The first line of defense starts with their awareness.
For Parents: 8 tips on keeping your child safe from sex trafficking
The average age of entry into sex trafficking in the US is 12-14 years old. This guide give practical and broad parenting guidelines to help create a safer and more aware home.
For Parents: Red flags from your children
Sex-trafficking relies on heavy manipulation from the traffickers. Too often, the manipulation is so entrenched, that by the time the victims are captured, they are reluctant to being rescued. This postcard will help you get to know the the obvious — and not so obvious — warning signs.
Closer to Home: 5 Things you need to know about Human Trafficking in Katy, TX
Human trafficking is a CRIME committed when a trafficker uses force, fraud, or coercion to compel another person to work for little or no wages or to commit acts of commercial sex. This is modern day slavery. There are more slaves in the world today than at any point in history. 45.8 million globally. (Global Slavery Index) It is the fastest growing criminal activity today.
Human trafficking is EVERYWHERE. Not only are people trafficked and forced into labor or the sex industry in other countries, but also here in the United States. Many people seeking to come to the US for a better life are tricked into captivity, usually having their documentation and identity stolen by their traffickers. Here in Katy, these are usually the women working by force in brothels disguised as message parlors.
However, 80% of sex trafficking victims in the United States are US citizens. Domestic minor sex trafficking is the buying and selling of America’s own children. It's also known as Commercial Sexual Exploitation (CSEC). It’s our own children being forced into sexual slavery within the U.S. borders. Federal law defines sex trafficking as the exchange of a sex act for anything of value. A sex act could include pornography, stripping, oral sex, massage parlors, etc. Anything of value could include a place to stay, drugs, a hamburger or higher status in a gang. Many times, the victims are vulnerable children fighting to survive.
In Houston, cantinas are typically Hispanic bars with “bar girls” who are rented out to customers. They are sold with the customer’s beverage and are often forced to dance topless or nude, or engage in forced prostitution.
Spas/Modeling Studios/ Adult Galleries:
The number of these brothels has increased in the last decade, as they operate without a Sexually Oriented Business license and without local, county, or state controls.
Often these establishments are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Under the guise of “massage,” women are sexually abused and exploited for the financial gain of their trafficker.
Some strip clubs are starting points for women and girls being forced into a life of slavery. Often a pimp or a “boyfriend” forces them, through the use of threats or acts of violence, into performing acts of prostitution.
The Internet has proven itself to be a safe place for traffickers to advertise. There are specific web sites dedicated to the advertisement, review, and sale of victims of human trafficking.
Many victims of human trafficking are forced to act as servants or sex slaves in a private home, apartment or hotel. This provides an environment where the trafficker can more easily hide his victim, with less risk of exposure to authorities.
While it is true that there are children who are at higher risk for becoming a victim, such as runaways and 'throwaways,' all children are at risk. The average age of entry into sex trafficking in the U.S. is 12-14 years old - children at this age are vulnerable in their very essence. Gangs and the Mexican cartels are sending recruiters into TEXAS schools to find victims. People are selling them and threatening their families if they tell. Sometimes their own families sell them.
A lack of awareness in our country coupled with the explosion of the Internet and a pornographically charged culture makes the job of the pimp and the recruiter extremely easy, and the job of law enforcement extremely difficult. Human Trafficking is 2nd only to Drug Trafficking. Why? You can sell a gun once, you can sell a bag of cocaine once but you can sell a human over and over and over.
It has been reported that the lunch hour is the busiest time of the day for brothels and strip clubs in the Katy area. ”Sex trafficking is a market-driven criminal industry that is based on the principles of supply and demand. Therefore, people who purchase commercial sex increase the demand for commercial sex and likewise provide a profit incentive for traffickers, who seek to maximize profits by exploiting trafficking victims. Therefore, buyers of commercial sex need to recognize their involvement in driving demand. By not buying sex and not participating in the commercial sex industry, community members can reduce the demand for sex trafficking." National Human Trafficking Resource Center
The International Labour Organization reports that human trafficking is a $150 BILLION dollar industry. About $99 million of that is from the forced commercial sex trade, according to an ILO report, and the other $51 billion is from forced work, including construction, mining, agriculture and domestic servitude. The profits are huge and the risk of being prosecuted is slim - the United Nations says 99% of victims are never rescued.
In Katy, it is the influential communities and large high schools that are being targeted. Children from well-to-do families with good morals are highly vulnerable. Traffickers know that these children and teens are very trusting and know how to obey. Victims are “groomed” and manipulated into believing that their parents are unfair or too morally oppressive. The most frequent form of recruitment known is through peers. Girls are also recruited off of Facebook, MySpace, Snapchat and other social media sites and chat rooms.