Shared Hope International http://sharedhope.org Leading a worldwide effort to eradicate sexual slavery...one life at a time Fri, 19 Sep 2014 23:36:53 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 ArtPrize Exhibit Uses Real Suvivor Voices to Bring Awareness to Sex Trafficking http://sharedhope.org/2014/09/15/artprize-exhibit-uses-real-suvivor-voices-to-bring-awareness-to-sex-trafficking/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=artprize-exhibit-uses-real-suvivor-voices-to-bring-awareness-to-sex-trafficking http://sharedhope.org/2014/09/15/artprize-exhibit-uses-real-suvivor-voices-to-bring-awareness-to-sex-trafficking/#respond Mon, 15 Sep 2014 14:09:16 +0000 http://sharedhope.org/?p=8701 Working with Shared Hope International, artist Pamela Alderman created an ArtPrize exhibit to bring greater awareness to the problem of sex trafficking. Using audio files from Chosen (one of Shared Hope’s documentary video resources), Pamela was able to add real voices from survivors and law enforcement to the exhibit. “The Scarlet Cord reveals the deception that enslaves innocent children. [...]

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“Tethered”

Working with Shared Hope International, artist Pamela Alderman created an ArtPrize exhibit to bring greater awareness to the problem of sex trafficking. Using audio files from Chosen (one of Shared Hope’s documentary video resources), Pamela was able to add real voices from survivors and law enforcement to the exhibit.

“The Scarlet Cord reveals the deception that enslaves innocent children. As visitors step inside a 40-foot storage container filled with thirty doors, they enter a secret world. This dark world crosses religious and social economic borders to sell our children for sex. A twisting scarlet cord depicts the trauma bond that connects the children to their traffickers. The weathered doors represent these abused children whose youthful minds have become knotted. My art—dedicated to these suffering children tethered within the sex industry—calls for compassionate action.”

Set against the backdrop of “The Scarlet Cord” ArtPrize installation, the collaborative music video featured below from artist Pamela Alderman and singer Kelsey Rottiers aims to confront the harsh reality of child sex trafficking and to call for compassionate action.

Midnight Wars & The Scarlet Cord from Pamela Alderman on Vimeo.

 

Some important facts the exhibit aims to confront:

  • There are 100,000 teens trafficked in the USA between the ages of nine and nineteen (FBI)
  • The average age at which a child is first exploited through prostitution is 12 to 14 (FBI)
  • Cybersex sells children as young as six weeks old for sex to customers in the USA (Women at Risk International)
  • Children are sold by their families for drug money and rent in West Michigan (Manasseh Project)

ArtPrize is the world’s largest open art competition and this year’s 19-day event expects to draw over 400,000 visitors. ArtPrize runs September 24 – October 12 at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Learn more about Pamela on Facebook, Twitter and on her website.

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Ajay’s Story of Hope http://sharedhope.org/2014/09/12/ajays-story/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=ajays-story http://sharedhope.org/2014/09/12/ajays-story/#respond Fri, 12 Sep 2014 16:58:23 +0000 http://sharedhope.org/?p=8586 I am Ajay Pun Magar, and I’m 17. I’ve been living at Asha Nepal 11 years. When I was young, my mother was taken from Nepal and sold into the brothel in India. From that time on, I lived with my uncle and aunty in Nepal. Those times were very hard for me. I was [...]

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16th Anniversity Dinner headshot 1I am Ajay Pun Magar, and I’m 17. I’ve been living at Asha Nepal 11 years.

When I was young, my mother was taken from Nepal and sold into the brothel in India. From that time on, I lived with my uncle and aunty in Nepal. Those times were very hard for me. I was not sent to school; instead I was sent to work in the fields, to graze cows and goats. My mother did not forget me, though, and after a few years she arranged for me to come to India. I was sent to India and stayed with her for some years. I was still very young and unaware of the life my mother was suffering. Though I stayed with my mom, I was not given proper love and care. She seemed busy with her work all the time, unable to give me the attention I needed. I came under the influence of the bad people in the brothel, and I became a street kid, wandering here and there. Later on, I came to know about my mother’s profession, and it made me very sad.

Fortunately after a few years, my mother and I were rescued by Bombay Teen Challenge and we went to Ashagram, outside Mumbai. I was very happy to arrive there. I felt like I had a really big family. Eventually, we were able to go back to Nepal, and we were sent to live at Shared Hope Intenational’s Village of Hope Asha Nepal, where I was even happier. Aunty Bimala [the director] was very supportive, loving, and caring. Unfortunately, my mother died in 2004. I was very sad and depressed. But again, I was loved by everyone, and they helped me overcome my sorrows. I used to think I was alone — that nobody understood me, but God showed and reminded me of His promises and always lifted me up when I was down.

Now, I have completed the 10th grade and am enrolled in a high school course in Hotel Management. In the future, I want to open a fine restaurant of my own and treat people with good food and service. But my dream is also to be a football player (which Americans call soccer). I play football for renowned clubs here in Nepal — and I am good at it! — so I want to utilize my talent and share the Gospel through sports ministry.

Meet Ajay: Attend one of our 16th Anniversary Night of Hope events to hear this story in person.


Other stories of hope:

Our international guests will share how you have given them a hope-filled future…and how you can make that gift available to others like them.

Our international guests will share how you have given them a hope-filled future…and how you can make that gift available to others like them.
Learn more and register here

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Manisha’s Story of Hope http://sharedhope.org/2014/09/12/manishas-story/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=manishas-story http://sharedhope.org/2014/09/12/manishas-story/#respond Fri, 12 Sep 2014 16:57:52 +0000 http://sharedhope.org/?p=8589 My name is Manisha Sunuwar. I am 20 years old. Asha Nepal has been my home since I was 7. I knew nothing about myself — I didn’t know where I came from, who my parents were, where my home was, nothing. I learned the bitter truth from another resident at Asha Nepal, Renu. I [...]

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16th Anniversity Dinner headshot 1My name is Manisha Sunuwar. I am 20 years old. Asha Nepal has been my home since I was 7.

I knew nothing about myself — I didn’t know where I came from, who my parents were, where my home was, nothing. I learned the bitter truth from another resident at Asha Nepal, Renu. I call her “Aunty.”

Born in a small village in central Nepal, my mother grew up very poor. At 16, she fell in love with a man who offered her a job and a better life in the city. But she was betrayed and sold in India. She soon got pregnant with me, but she did not want a baby: a boy was destined to be a criminal, a girl a sex slave like her. She wanted to get rid of me, so she started neglecting me.

That’s when my dear Aunty Renu, also trafficked to the same brothel, began caring for me, while encouraging my mother to send me to someplace I could be saved. But both of them were helpless until the wonderful day my Aunty was rescued by Shared Hope International’s local partner organization. She urged my mother to take me, to seek shelter there, but my mother was not convinced. Instead, she sent me to a relative in Nepal while she stayed to work. I am told that I lived there for three years.

Eventually, my Aunty Renu came to Nepal and searched for me. When she found me she saw that I was miserable and was being used by these relatives as anything for money. She immediately arranged to bring me to Shared Hope International’s Village of Hope, Asha Nepal. Asha Nepal gave me the parental love and care I had never had; they gave me a family! The best part is, I know Jesus. I was living in a dark cage, but He used many people to rescue and restore me. I believe that God had a plan for me from the beginning, and He allowed these things so I could testify that He is the one true God!

I am now a second-year college student pursuing a degree in Social Work. My dream is to bring change to my country in the area of Human Trafficking. Having gone through this bitter experience, I want to restore trafficking victims trafficking back into society and see sorrowful lives transformed to joyful ones.

Meet Manisha: Attend one of our 16th Anniversary Night of Hope events to hear this story in person.


Other stories of hope:

Our international guests will share how you have given them a hope-filled future…and how you can make that gift available to others like them.

Our international guests will share how you have given them a hope-filled future…and how you can make that gift available to others like them.
Learn more and register here

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Pooja’s Story of Hope http://sharedhope.org/2014/09/12/poojas-story/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=poojas-story http://sharedhope.org/2014/09/12/poojas-story/#respond Fri, 12 Sep 2014 16:55:31 +0000 http://sharedhope.org/?p=8587 My name is Pooja Ghimire. I’m 21. I’ve been living at Asha Nepal since I was 8. My mother, Shoba, was from the same rural village in Nepal where I was born. She was the eldest of seven; when her father died, she and her mother raised the younger children. At 16 my mom married, [...]

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16th Anniversity Dinner headshot 1My name is Pooja Ghimire. I’m 21. I’ve been living at Asha Nepal since I was 8.

My mother, Shoba, was from the same rural village in Nepal where I was born. She was the eldest of seven; when her father died, she and her mother raised the younger children. At 16 my mom married, and soon I was born; but when I was five months old, my dad married another woman for her dowry and left us without food or money.

Mother desperately struggled to care for me, but life was hard. I was very sickly. Just to survive, she left me with my father and his mother and returned to her own mother. Then a woman offered her a good job in a Kathmandu factory. That woman’s “sister” arranged the trip and gave my mom some dry meat — it was drugged. She awoke as a slave, thousands of miles away in a Mumbai brothel — where she spent five miserable years in pain and darkness, without hope.

Meanwhile, I was also in severe distress. My cruel stepmother beat and threatened me, forced me to do all the housework and take care of my stepbrother. I had no education, proper food, or clothes, while my stepbrother did. I couldn’t even remember what my own mother looked like.

My mom was finally rescued by the team from Shared Hope International’s local partner organization, and went to Nepal to stay with Aunty Bimala [the director] at Asha Nepal. They formed a plan for rescuing me. When she came to my village, my stepmother hid me — she wanted to keep her slave. But one day my mom grabbed me and ran! We fled to Shared Hope International’s Village of Hope, Asha Nepal. There I got everything I had been denied — good education, food, clothes — and lots of love and care.

At 9 I accepted Christ as my Savior. All my painful experiences have helped me realize that God is there for me. Jeremiah 29:11 became real to me: I know that God has a good plan for my life; whatever He does is to prosper me, to give me hope and a future. I’m pursuing a degree in Business Administration, to become a banker and build my own business. I want to glorify God and encourage women who have gone through the same pain my mom experienced. I believe that God will help me achieve those dreams.

Meet Pooja: Attend one of our 16th Anniversary Night of Hope events to hear this story in person.


Other stories of hope:

Our international guests will share how you have given them a hope-filled future…and how you can make that gift available to others like them.

Our international guests will share how you have given them a hope-filled future…and how you can make that gift available to others like them.
Learn more and register here

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Savita’s Story of Hope http://sharedhope.org/2014/09/12/savitas-story/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=savitas-story http://sharedhope.org/2014/09/12/savitas-story/#respond Fri, 12 Sep 2014 16:54:30 +0000 http://sharedhope.org/?p=8588 I am Savita Tamang, 30 years old; Asha Nepal has been my home for 10 years. My mom was sold in India when she was very young. She became pregnant and sought an abortion, but my father said he would take full responsibility if the child was a boy. When I was born a girl, [...]

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SavitaI am Savita Tamang, 30 years old; Asha Nepal has been my home for 10 years.

My mom was sold in India when she was very young. She became pregnant and sought an abortion, but my father said he would take full responsibility if the child was a boy. When I was born a girl, he refused to accept me. My mom was miserable; she had never wanted me in the first place. She sent me to various people who kept me for short periods. When I contracted polio, it became even harder to find someone to take me. Finally my mother paid a maid a large sum to take me, and I was raised in that family.

The woman’s son and daughter-in-law abused me. They forced me to do household chores dawn to dusk even when I was seriously ill. I have the bitter memory of being hungry for long periods. Eventually they forced me to marry a very poor man who didn’t even have a proper place to stay. But they lied to my mom, continuing to request money for my support.

When I refused to do what this man told me, he became violent. One day, he threw me out of the house. I was miserable. I went to stay with an aunt who had been trafficked to the brothel. She hid me in her place for three weeks, but knowing she couldn’t protect me long, she begged for help from the Bombay Teen Challenge outreach team. They arranged my rescue. I asked them to help my mom too, and they were able to free her a few months later. We both were recommended to Shared Hope International’s Village of Hope at Asha Nepal — where we started our lives again.

My mom was with me for three years before she died. My family at Asha Nepal consoled me in my grief.

I wanted to utilize the beautiful life God gave me. At school, I got good grades. I work at Asha Nepal as a caregiver for the children. Now I’m in my second year of college, studying Sociology. I’m working very hard: it’s difficult after such a long gap in my education!

God has blessed me in many ways; my dream is to be a good example for those who have lost hope and faith. I also want a family of my own, and lead a normal, happy life. God has proven to me that nothing is impossible in Him!

Meet Savita: Attend one of our 16th Anniversary Night of Hope events to hear this story in person.


Other stories of hope:

Our international guests will share how you have given them a hope-filled future…and how you can make that gift available to others like them.

Our international guests will share how you have given them a hope-filled future…and how you can make that gift available to others like them.
Learn more and register here

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Shared Hope Files Joint Amicus Brief to Support Justice for Victims http://sharedhope.org/2014/09/10/amicus-brief-against-backpage/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=amicus-brief-against-backpage http://sharedhope.org/2014/09/10/amicus-brief-against-backpage/#comments Wed, 10 Sep 2014 19:22:27 +0000 http://sharedhope.org/?p=8385 On July 30, 2012, J.S., S.L., and L.C., three juvenile sex trafficking victims, filed a lawsuit against Backpage.com, LLC alleging that the website participated in their exploitation by creating an online marketplace of escort ads where children are sold and bought for sex. Backpage.com claims it is immune from civil liability under Section 230 of the [...]

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On July 30, 2012, J.S., S.L., and L.C., three juvenile sex trafficking victims, filed a lawsuit against Backpage.com, LLC alleging that the website participated in their exploitation by creating an online marketplace of escort ads where children are sold and bought for sex. Backpage.com claims it is immune from civil liability under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA), 18 U.S.C. § 230. The trial court denied Backpage.com’s request to dismiss the case and on July 26, 2014, the Supreme Court of the State of Washington granted review of the decision.

Backpage.com is a primary venue for buyers of commercial sex, including with minors who are exploited through trafficking. Just as buyers will continue to seek commercial sex acts with juveniles until we take seriously criminal deterrence efforts, Backpage.com will continue to facilitate these buyers until we stop them.

Shared Hope International joined National Crime Victim Law Institute, Covenant House New York and Human Rights Project for Girls in filing an amicus (“friend of the court”) brief urging the court to allow the case to proceed, giving the child victims in this case the right to seek justice and have their day in court. Other advocacy organizations and the Washington State Attorney General’s Office have filed briefs in support of these children also.

The Washington State Supreme Court will hear arguments in the case on October 21, 2014.

Amicus Briefs in Support of Child Respondents

Case Filings

Federal Legislation

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USA Today – Study: Soliciting Sex from Minor Nets Little Prison Time http://sharedhope.org/2014/08/25/usa-today-study-soliciting-sex-minor-nets-little-prison-time/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=usa-today-study-soliciting-sex-minor-nets-little-prison-time http://sharedhope.org/2014/08/25/usa-today-study-soliciting-sex-minor-nets-little-prison-time/#comments Mon, 25 Aug 2014 18:01:57 +0000 http://sharedhope.org/?p=8285 By: Megan Cassidy, The Arizona Republic PHOENIX — The crime of soliciting sex from a minor in Arizona carries a sentence of up to 24 years behind bars, but a Phoenix suspect convicted of the crime should more realistically expect a term of three months, according to a new study released by anti-sex-trafficking group Shared Hope International [...]

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By: Megan Cassidy, The Arizona Republic

PHOENIX — The crime of soliciting sex from a minor in Arizona carries a sentence of up to 24 years behind bars, but a Phoenix suspect convicted of the crime should more realistically expect a term of three months, according to a new study released by anti-sex-trafficking group Shared Hope International and Arizona State University.

The outcome for a Phoenix convict hovers around the average when compared with the sentences of counterparts nationwide. The median actual time served in D.C.-Baltimore for soliciting sex from a minor was 180 days, 14 days in Portland and 88.5 days in Seattle.

None of those studied was charged with a sex-trafficking crime.

The study’s results indicate judicial leniency for a crime that is responsible for fueling the sex-trafficking market, said Linda Smith, president and founder of Shared Hope International.

“The research shows that when they’re arrested … at state level, that they’re not facing the full force of the law,” Smith said.

The study’s results were presented Monday in Phoenix.

The study was the first of its kind to focus on the criminal outcomes of the demand side of sex trafficking, the “johns” who are arrested for soliciting sex from a minor or an undercover decoy claiming to be one.

It has only been in the past three to four years that most states have enacted severe penalties for the buyers of minors, Smith said, and the study had limited subjects with which to work. So researchers tapped into 134 cases from four sites whose agencies have devoted extensive resources to anti-demand law enforcement: those in the D.C.-Baltimore corridor, Phoenix metro area, Portland metro area and Seattle metro area.

The Phoenix-area results align with those of the more highly publicized cases, many of which were pleaded down to lesser offenses.

Michael Gilliland, former Sunflower Farmers Market CEO, was sentenced to two 15-day terms after pleading guilty to misdemeanor pandering.

Jerry Marfe, a former high-school chemistry teacher who was caught in a December teen prostitution sting was sentenced to 15 days in jail followed by 10 years of probation.

Marfe was one of 30 who were netted in the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office operation. All were initially charged with one or two counts of class-2 felony child prostitution, but of those sentenced to date, 18 ended up pleading to lesser counts of pandering, class-6 child prostitution or child/vulnerable adult abuse. Three others pleaded to charges of class 2 or class three felony child prostitution.

Researchers focused on the criminal justice outcome of each of the 134 cases and found that they resulted in 119 arrests, 118 of those arrested prosecuted and 113 of those prosecuted eventually found guilty.

Of those found guilty, 26 percent served no time and 69 percent of the sentences were suspended by an average of 85 percent.

Dominique Roe-Sepowitz, director of the Office of Sex Trafficking Intervention Research at Arizona State University, said she was particularly troubled that only 66 of the 113 cases were registered as sex offenders. The outcome, she said, would have been different if there wasn’t a dollar amount involved.

“How we categorize them is going to be very important for our culture moving forward,” she said.

Former sex-trafficking victim and survivor advocate Rebecca Bender encouraged law enforcement to focus on the buyers rather than the traffickers, as it is extremely difficult to break a victim’s bond with her trafficker.

“One thing that’s not difficult is to get the victim to to turn on her buyer,” she said. “They are less than scum to us.”

In a separate portion of the study, researchers found 99 percent of 407 buyers studied across the country were male, the median age was 42.5 years, and 21.6 percent of the total buyer cases where a profession was identified involved someone in a position of authority or trust, including law enforcement, attorney or military personnel.

Smith said it is up to police, prosecutors and judges to enforce the laws to their fullest extent, but said a culture of tolerance for buyers is pervasive.

The study operates on the notion that tougher, enforced penalties will act as a deterrent for buyers. So researchers view the issue in terms of economics: Shrink the demand, reduce supply.

“If there’s no market because the buyer stayed home with his own family, then the traffickers would not be out there preying on the children in our neighborhood,” Smith said.

Researchers point out that the buyers are often overlooked by police in favor of extracting minor victims from a dangerous situation or arresting traffickers. The amount of time and resources it takes to investigate buyers is often disproportionate to the penalties, which are substantially higher for traffickers.

“The problem on the law-enforcement end is making it a priority to go back and do the buyer end of it,” Sgt. Clay Sutherland of the Phoenix Police Department’s vice unit says in the report. “Our emphasis on going back after the buyers is limited. We have our hands full.”

Defense attorneys and several suspected buyers involved in these cases have rebuked the “predator” designation due to the method police use for arrests.

Law enforcement agencies often rely on decoys to sweep the streets of would-be buyers. Undercover officers post ads on 18 and over websites but later make it known that the “girl” is underage. Many defendants say they were seeking an of-age prostitute—a misdemeanor offense that turns into a serious felony when the girl is underage.

“Ninety-nine percent (of johns) — they’re looking for an adult,” said defense attorney Mark Nermyr in an earlier interview with the Arizona Republic. “At some point, the officer sneaks age in the conversation, and that changes it from a misdemeanor — 10 days in jail — to a felony. It’s not doing anything to combat child prostitution.”

Smith argued that there are signs of intent from many of the defendants, but said intent should be irrelevant.

“You’re not allowed to run over somebody while under the influence of alcohol and say, ‘Oops, I didn’t know I drank too much,’” she said. “You should stand and take the punishment for hurting the child.”

Researchers say while state laws are catching up to the reality of the business, work needs to be done as a culture. The study says anti-trafficking push could benefit from a public-awareness campaign like those of MADD and texting-and-driving, to make the practice more shameful in the public eye.

“When people start seeing that this is the crime of a man or a person who is buying an innocent child, it will change,” she said.

FULL STORY  - USA TODAY –  Study: Soliciting Sex from Minor Nets Little Prison Time

Visit Demanding Justice Website 

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#DemandingJustice – Help us Share the News http://sharedhope.org/2014/08/22/demandingjustice-badges/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=demandingjustice-badges http://sharedhope.org/2014/08/22/demandingjustice-badges/#comments Fri, 22 Aug 2014 23:33:48 +0000 http://sharedhope.org/?p=8229 On August 25, Shared Hope International is releasing the Demanding Justice Project Report and an interactive website featuring our research on demand. The Demanding Justice Project is a research and advocacy initiative designed to promote deterrence of demand for commercial sex with children through increased attention and advocacy on demand enforcement. The research report documents [...]

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On August 25, Shared Hope International is releasing the Demanding Justice Project Report and an interactive website featuring our research on demand. The Demanding Justice Project is a research and advocacy initiative designed to promote deterrence of demand for commercial sex with children through increased attention and advocacy on demand enforcement. The research report documents the outcomes of federal and state arrests, charges and prosecutions of buyers of sex acts with children.

The findings of this research will inform advocacy efforts to strengthen anti-demand legislation and enforcement and will be featured on our new website at www.demandingjustice.org. The Demanding Justice Project website will allow you to read this groundbreaking research, see who is buying sex with children in your state, and exposes high profile buyers who are celebrities, athletes, and politicians, among others. This is where you come in. Please consider announcing the release of www.demandingjustice.org with us. This page contains a press kit and social media badges so you can join us in a show of overwhelming solidarity against demand for commercial sex with youth in the United States.  Please join us to Demand Justice! Here’s what you can do:

  • Display a #DemandingJustice badge on your Facebook/Twitter/Instagram profiles for a day on August 25.
  • Use your social media to announce the Demanding Justice Project and join hundreds of other voices across the anti-trafficking movement by supporting our Thunderclap, a social media crowd-speaking platform that helps us proclaim in a unified voice that demand must be stopped.
  • Forward our press release to your news contacts.
  • Share www.demandingjustice.org when we go live on August 25th!

Thank you for being an ally in the effort to eradicate the market force that fuels sex trafficking and victimizes the vulnerable. Together we can defeat demand. We are #DemandingJustice. Are you? 

Display #demandingjustice badges & suggested text for social media on August 25

Download All Images 

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Buyers who Purchase Sex Acts with Minors are Subject of New Study by Shared Hope International http://sharedhope.org/2014/08/18/buyers-who-purchase-sex-acts-with-minors-are-subject-of-new-study/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=buyers-who-purchase-sex-acts-with-minors-are-subject-of-new-study http://sharedhope.org/2014/08/18/buyers-who-purchase-sex-acts-with-minors-are-subject-of-new-study/#comments Mon, 18 Aug 2014 21:27:27 +0000 http://sharedhope.org/?p=8128 Shared Hope International, Arizona State University Release Findings of New Study on Buyers of Sex with Children PRESS RELEASE PHOENIX, ARIZONA – According to a new study which will be released on August 25 by Shared Hope International, in partnership with Arizona State University, buyers who purchased sex acts with minors are avoiding sex trafficking [...]

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Shared Hope International, Arizona State University Release Findings of New Study on Buyers of Sex with Children

PRESS RELEASE

PHOENIX, ARIZONA – According to a new study which will be released on August 25 by Shared Hope International, in partnership with Arizona State University, buyers who purchased sex acts with minors are avoiding sex trafficking charges. The Demanding Justice Report documents the criminal justice outcomes of buyers, with the ultimate goal of identifying gaps in anti-demand law enforcement in order to generate creative solutions to develop effective strategies to combat demand. The report explores national trends in the enforcement of anti-demand laws. The research also tracks 134 cases from arrest to sentencing in four target locations (Phoenix, AZ; Portland, OR; Seattle, WA; and Baltimore, MD/Washington, D.C.) to determine whether buyers are being sentenced to the fullest extent of the law. On the corresponding campaign website, www.demandingjustice.org, users can view convicted buyers in their state and take action to combat demand.

Demanding Justice Report and Campaign Website Release Press Conference

August 25 | 11:30 am MST
Burton Barr Central Library
1221 N. Central Ave., 85004

Speakers:

  1. Congresswoman Linda Smith (1995-99), President and Founder, Shared Hope International
  2. U.S. Attorney Brendan Johnson, United States Attorney for the District of South Dakota
  3. Commander James Gallagher, Phoenix Police Department and Associate Director of Research Innovation, Office of Sex Trafficking Intervention Research at Arizona State University
  4. Prof. Dominique Roe-Sepowitz, Director, Office of Sex Trafficking Intervention Research at Arizona State University
  5. Sex trafficking survivor and advocate

All speakers will be available for individual interviews immediately following the press conference from 12:00-12:30 pm MST.

On August 26, Shared Hope International, in partnership with AZPOST, is hosting a training for law enforcement officers and prosecutors on how to investigate and prosecute the buyer in child sex trafficking crimes.

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Feds Seize Myredbook.com, Threatening Online Facilitators of Sex Trafficking http://sharedhope.org/2014/07/08/feds-seize-myredbook-com-threatening-online-facilitators-sex-trafficking/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=feds-seize-myredbook-com-threatening-online-facilitators-sex-trafficking http://sharedhope.org/2014/07/08/feds-seize-myredbook-com-threatening-online-facilitators-sex-trafficking/#comments Tue, 08 Jul 2014 16:18:58 +0000 http://sharedhope.org/?p=7795 The dirty business of child sex trafficking is rapidly migrating to the Internet, due  to the accessibility and anonymity of websites like Craigslist.com, Backpage.com, and Myredbook.com that allow ads for “adult services.” It is well known that these ads mask child and adult sexual exploitation and that big money is being made. Advocates like Shared [...]

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The dirty business of child sex trafficking is rapidly migrating to the Internet, due  to the accessibility and anonymity of websites like Craigslist.com, Backpage.com, and Myredbook.com that allow ads for “adult services.” It is well known that these ads mask child and adult sexual exploitation and that big money is being made.

Advocates like Shared Hope International have railed against the injustice of the protections provided to online facilitators of sex trafficking through the federal Communications Decency Act (CDA) immunities that block civil actions by victims and preempt state criminal prosecutions.  Congressman Frank Wolf (R-VA) has repeatedly challenged Attorney General Holder to bring federal prosecutions against the online classified giant Backpage.com. Recently  Congresswoman Ann Wagner (R-MO) introduced the SAVE Act and Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL) is poised to drop his own version; both are intended to bring liability to online facilitators of child sex trafficking.

The dam may have broken!

Last week the FBI and the IRS shut down Myredbook.com – the fifth highest revenue generator from sex advertisements – while they investigate possible money laundering of cash gained from racketeering based on prostitution. Websites that promote prostitution create a dangerous platform for sex traffickers leaving trafficked children more hidden and vulnerable and drive the demand for sex actsDemand thrives on these websites.

This investigation may be a chink in the extensive armor these companies have built around themselves including  half-hearted efforts at self-regulation  as well as strident opposition to  victim compensation and state laws that would empower state prosecutors to stop trafficking in their own jurisdictions. The Justice Department, stymied from prosecuting these sites for trafficking due to evidence gaps, may have finally found a way to begin dismantling these criminal enterprises.

The reaction of one buyer of the sex acts being sold on these sites (as expressed on usasexguide.info) says it all: “Holy S**t. Look what happened. Try to click on myredbook.com.”

myredbook

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