Archive for the ‘Educate yourself’ Category

Hey All!

Awesome meeting yesterday! So great to see all of you who were able to come out. I’ve attached the minutes and the PowerPoint to keep you up to date and have a handy reference. November Action Meeting PPT

 We have two important dates coming up:

  • December 1st: World Aids Day
  • December 10th: International Human Rights Day 

We need to bring the realities of these two issues to the Regent campus and surrounding Hampton Roads area so whether you have been coming or would like to plug in for one/both of these events, we are going to have an Events Action Team meeting to brainstorm ideas on Thursday, November 9th from 12-1pm on the 2nd floor of the Ordinary. Hope to see you there !

Beth Seremet

Secretary

Regent University: IJM Chapter

What is sex trafficking?

Sex trafficking is modern day slavery in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion.  It is estimated that just over 50% of the victims of sex trafficking are minors. The average age of entry in the trade is 12-14 years old.  The average victim trafficked is forced to service between 20-40 clients per day.

Sex trafficking is present in many countries all over the world, as well as in all 50 states.  It is very difficult to give an accurate number of people currently enslaved in the world; The estimated number is 27 million people worldwide. It has been published that every 30 seconds a person is trafficked worldwide.

Although the majority of people trafficked are women and children, there is no consistent face of a victim. This happens to people of all different social statuses, classes, and nationalities.

There is also no consistent face of a trafficker. There is a wide range of operations in trafficking. This includes, individual pimps, small ring operations, even large business like operations.  Most often, they are loose knit decentralized criminal networks.

There are many ways in which a person is trafficked. Traffickers recruit women and children through a variety of deceptive means. One typical situation is promises of employment to people in less than favorable life situations. This happens here in the United States and overseas. Most frequently in the U.S the victims are teen runaways or illegal immigrants. Overseas, the victim is typically a person who is desperate to provide for their family. They are transported to another country, promised a job and all identification documents are taken from them. The perpetrators prey on people in vulnerable life situations and sometimes take months to gain the trust of the victim. Usually, they pose as a love interest, other times befriending them.

Who is doing something about it?

The current federal law in place again trafficking is the Trafficking Victims Protection Act. It was originally introduced in 2000 but has been reauthorized with modifications in 2002 and 2005. It has reintroduced for 2011 and on October 13, the Senate Judiciary Committee passed the TVPRA by a vote of 12-6. The Senate bill is now ready to be voted on by the full Senate.  This law authorizes the annual Trafficking in person report and established a global minimum stand of confronting trafficking.  In this U.S the TVPRA established trafficking as a federal crime. This act also requires assistance be provided for victims and visa protection be granted for victims trafficked across international borders.

Each state has different laws, for Virginia in specific there are no laws that are specific regarding trafficking. There is a statue for abduction and in 2010 that statue was expanded. The expansion included abduction for the purpose of subjecting the person to forced labor or services and raising penalties for pimping.

House Bill 1898 passed in 2011, changing the penalty for any person who abducts a minor with the purpose of prostitution or manufacturing porn to a class 2 felony. The bill also provides that any person who receives any money on account of causing any person to engage in forced labor, prostitution, or the manufacture of child pornography is guilty of a Class 4 felony.

HB 2190 also passed in 2011. This bill is for victims of trafficking to received services from the department of social services. This would require that the commonwealth DSS would provide service for the victims to which they may be entitled to.  This bill also require that education and training programs be made to increase awareness of trafficking and services available to victims.  Also, this bill provides assistance for victims to return to their place of origin if they desire.

What can you do about it?

Step 1: Prayer. Gather a group of friends, church groups, or even individuals. We all know the powerful impact of prayer. The victims need prayer for hope and restoration. A big need is also prayer for the “johns” and their spiritual healing. After all, we know this is a spiritual battle.

Step 2: Awareness. There are many organizations that are in need of your help. Each of us have a gift from God and it is important that we use that good to fight in this battle against injustice.

Step 3: Giving.  We all have something to give; this could me prayer, hope,  time to volunteer, or monetary gifts.

There have been great strides in the past few years to the problem of human trafficking in Virginia, but there is still much progress to be made. There are many grassroots organizations in need of community assistance and volunteers.

If you would like to get further involved in this cause or want to learn more, please contact:

Regent University International Justice Mission

-IJM meets monthly to raise awareness and educate the community of the problem and how to be a part of solution. This includes students and citizens of Hampton Roads.

ijm@regent.edu

Jen Wakefield

Regent IJM President

Hello IJM!

 I have 3 worthwhile events to inform you about. I’d love for each of you to get involved with any of them that interests you, or not (stretch yourself), and that your schedule allows for, or not (stretch yourself). Justice really should be our lifestyle, not limited to given event…but I digress, ok, here we go in chronological order:

 

THIS FRIDAY, October 28th. New Life Providence (1224 Thompkins Lane, Virginia Beach, VA 23464. 7:00pm:

Screening of “58: Fast-forward the End of Poverty: WE HAVE EVERYTHING WE NEED. WILL WE DO EVERYTHING IT TAKES?”

58: is the inspiring true story of the global Church in action. Witness bravery and determined faith in a journey from the slums of Kenya to the streets of New York. Confront the brutality of extreme poverty and meet those who live out the True Fast of Isaiah 58 and create stunning new possibilities for the future.Travel from the sun-scorched plains of rural Ethiopia to British shopping centers, from Brazilian ganglands and the enslaving quarries of India to western churches, businesses and conferences.

58: invites audiences to discover the incredible work of God through His people in our hurting world. Meet ordinary people, hear their stories, and see their struggles and their victories as 58: shows the relentlessly loving God at work through His Church bringing hope to the darkest challenges of our day. Experience eye-opening reasons to lift our expectations of the future. Check out the trailer:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OzVLzVe4h8g

 

*Be the solution: If you would like to volunteer for this event and personally insert yourself in this event, let me know what works for you:

  • Promo: THIS WEEK! If you want flyers…let me know
  • Set up: 5:30pm
  • Greeters: 5:30pm
  • Coffee Servers: 5:30pm & 8:30pm (before and after event. You may choose to do before OR after).
  • Tear down: 9:00pm

 

Tuesday, November 1st. Library Plaza.11:00am-3:00pm:

Slavery Demonstration.

Picture with me… in the middle of the Plaza will be an IJM table with information about trafficking, the IJM bracelets to sell, and jars labeled with numbers. The numbers correspond to victims tied to trees and lamp posts around the plaza, each with a sign designating their price of freedom and the significance of that number (ie: $3: the average cost to rent a girl for an hour/ $27: There are 27 million documented slaves in the world today) etc. People will give money into whatever jar they choose and if their donation buys the price of someone’s freedom, they are given an IJM bracelet and get to free the “slave”…only for the “slave” to be sold again.

 

*Be the solution: There’s a couple ways to get involved

  • Get the word out!
  • Set up help (11:00am)
  • Volunteer to be a slave for ½ hour-1 hour between the time of 11:30am-3:00pm (you tell me when works for you)
  • Help co-host the IJM table for ½ hour-1 hour between the time of 11:30am-3:00pm (you tell me when works for you)
  • Tear down help (3:00pm)

 

Friday, November 4th. Summit Christian Academy (4209 Big Bethel Road, Yorktown, Virginia 23693). 6:30pm.

Justice Rally.

Night of prayer and worship lead by Livingstone House of Prayer. Fashion for sale by “Elegantees”.

Check it out: Livingstone House of Prayer: http://lhop.us/

                   “Elegantees”: http://www.elegantees.com/

 

*Be the solution: If you would like to help sell Elegantees at the event, let me know. The biggest thing you can do is come. Engage. Hear the Lord’s heart. Obey what He tells you. Intercede for the victims (both traffickers and trafficked persons alike).

 

Thanks for reading! Look forward to hearing from you soon !

Beth

The Continuum of Healing is the process a sex trafficking survivor in America goes through. Many people may think that there’s is a clear path when a survivor has been rescued from trafficking, but the truth is the path is more complicated than one might think.

Safe houses are something a lot of people have been mentioning as a resource to deal with survivors, but a safe house can be one of the further steps on the list to a survivor finding healing.  See graphic below:

As you can see from the Continuum of Healing sheet a safe house/therapeutic group home is not always the first step  a survivor goes to. First there are some tough spots they have to get through before they can even enter into a safe house.

Candace Wheeler, founder of Restoration Ministries http://www.restorationministriesdc.org, comments that, “…not all facilities have the license to perform all of the necessary care. If they have any issues of self harm, and 75% are suicidal then they have to be placed in a medical RTF (residential treatment facility) or psych hospital. These are the only facilities that are licensed to care for these issues. If a girl is in a safe home and has a meltdown (becomes very angry, tries to inflict harm on herself or others) then she has to be taken to the emergency room or they call the police and they will place her in the proper facility. The paper work is immense and if she is out of state the delays in getting paper work completed so that she can be moved is unbelievable. These girls are walking time bombs—you never know when they are going to explode.”

So let’s go through the process step by step:

  1. A survivor is rescued:

i.)Whether it’s because they got arrested for another crime such as drugs, shoplifting, carjacking, robbery, etc, or because of prostitution, picked up (seems to be underage, or saved from some type of bust). These are different types of ways a survivor is found.

2.  Detention:

i.) The survivor (this will be decided in the evaluation process) will be assigned an attorney, probation officer or social worker depending on their evaluation.

A.) the evaluation is on education, psych, medical, etc.

B.) Family Team Meeting (FTM) which more info can be found here     http://www.americanhumane.org/assets/pdfs/children/fgdm/pc-fgdm-ftm-report.pdf

ii.) Court hearing- (they have multiple court hearings if placed in detention. If placed at the psy hospital or foster care there are hearings, but not as many where a placement plan is presented to the judge (but the survivor has already gone through a 24 to 72 hour process to get to that point.) [All minors have to have a status hearing with 48 hr of arrest in DC— other states could be different].

iii.) An ICP (Interstate Compact Plan) has to be signed before the survivor can be taken across state lines. [The ICP is federal but every state has different laws. VA is very tough and takes longer to clear than MD or PA.]

iv.)Could be on probation for 1 yr or committed until age 21 according to DC law, which from state to state it can change.

3. Treatment

i.)Sent to Psych hospital if deemed to be harmful to self or other

ii.)Medical Residential Treatment Facility (RTF) or Long-Term Care (LTC)- (feds define long-term care 3-6 months) only facility to care for issues such as cutting or suicide and anger. Very expensive at least $430 a day.

iii.) Non-medical Residential Treatment or LTC

4. Transition

i.)Therapeutic Group Home/Safe House

ii.)Independent Living

iii.)Transitional Living

iv.)Shelters (emergency for street kids. Law enforcement will not place youth there. Youth enter on their own, cases in DC)

5. Integration

i.)Home

ii.)Foster Home

iii.)Drop-in Centers

iv.)Support Groups

As you can see the process is very lengthy and long, also sometimes the surviors never make it past step 3, because they relapse. This issue needs a lot of prayer and action on the prevention side and now even more on the healing side. There almost seems to be this imbalance with this issue where you see the majority of people on the prayer, prevention, and education side, and then starts to dwindle as you start the healing process, because it can be long, painful, and spiritually draining, but we need a generation to rise up and be there for the survivors they oh so passionately are fighting for the release of, but when they get released these passionate people run and leave them hanging.

Thanks to Restoration Ministries for the very in-depth information and to Networx for the graphic design. We have yet to find the owner of the continuum of healing layout, if anyone knows please contact us.

 

-Stephanie Johnson

For about the past year, I have been fighting injustice.  I have participated in a walk in D.C, I have written newspaper articles, I organized a fashion show, Lobbied with Legislators, I even met the founder and president of International Justice Mission while touring the headquarters in D.C. In the past year, I have done quite a bit for the cause.

The United Nations estimates that 700,000 to 4 million women and children are trafficked around the world for purposes of forced prostitution, labor and other forms of exploitation every year. Trafficking is estimated to be a $7 billion dollar annual business.

On July 24th, Stephanie Johnson and I took a road trip that seemed like it was not meant to happen. Financial difficulties, time constraints, car troubles, and massive amounts of traffic made us discouraged and irritated. Finally, we arrived to the Byrd theater for what we thought was just a documentary that would sign a much needed light on sexual exploitation of women around the world.

Currently, Cambodia’s illegal sex trade generates $500 million a year. No less than 55,000 women and children are sex slaves in Cambodia, 35 percent of which are younger than 18 years of age.

Before entering the theater (built in 1928) we had our picture taken with a sign that said “I am a part of the movement to end slavery”

We talked to a few friends that we have meet along the way in this journey such as Aaron Wenninger and his wife Natalie of Exodus cry and Sara Pomeroy of Richmond Justice Initiative. After taking our seats, we waited for the beautiful curtain to rise, not knowing our lives were about to change.

ne·far·i·ous

–adjective extremely wicked or villainous

 I could tell you all about the movie, I would paint a good picture of what I saw, but I’d rather you see it for yourself. Please attend the screening at Regent University on August 27th. Tickets are just $10 and proceeds will be used to make the 2nd and 3rd of the series. This project has over 800 hours of footage and was filmed on four continents.

Nefarious, Merchant of Souls, is a hard-hitting documentary that exposes the disturbing trends in modern sex slavery. From the very first scene, Nefarious ushers you into the nightmare of sex slavery that hundreds of thousands experience daily. You’ll see where slaves are sold (often in developed, affluent countries), where they work, and where they are confined. You’ll hear first-hand interviews with real victims and traffickers, along with expert analysis from international humanitarian leaders.”  (nefariousdocumentary.com)

The average age of a victim of sex trafficking is 12-13 years old. The average victim services 30-40 men a day.

We must not weep for these victims, we MUST turn these tears and turn them into action. If not you, then who? Who will fight for these voiceless women? Who will fight for those who have lost hope? I urge you, get involved. I ask you PLEASE see this documentary. If you want to see it, and you cannot afford to pay $10 I WILL make it possible for you to see. We must face this truth that breaks my heart each time I think of it. This is a problem that can no longer be ignored, stand up and speak out. Even if its 1 hour a day, spread the world and awareness.  This is our duty, as the children of God and Christians. This is a battle of faith and the enemy WILL NOT win.

Blessings and love to you all,

Jen Wakefield

Vice President

IJM Regent

What is your life like right now?  What has God been stirring in your heart?  Are you pursuing it? Have you laid your dreams off to the side because your dream is too big or difficult?

I recently have been reading the Dream Giver by Bruce Wilkinson, and the Lord has been confirming in my heart His call for me to dig deeper into His presence and will for my life. There are many obstacles in our lives that can hinder us for being all that God has called us to be.

Lately, I feel as though I have continually been knocked over, without motivation, or without passion. Yet the Lord has lovingly pursued me, encouraging me to honor Him in all I do. Part of this has been going to Him for healing in areas of my life. Another part has been a longing in my heart to be used by God. Specifically, this longing relates to my ultimate desire to work with victims of human trafficking and provide counseling to those individuals. Part of me has wanted to lay this dream aside until all of the right things come into place. Yet something stirs deep within me that God can use me now.

Amidst my weakness and difficulties, I am saying yes to God’s longing for me to be used in making change in this area of injustice.   I am asking God to show me how He wants to use me. And I’m getting back up again when I fall off course, as I do often.

If you’re reading this, you probably have passion for the ending of human trafficking. Something inside you wants to make a difference. Maybe another part believes you cannot make a difference, have no gifts or talents to offer, or have no time to confront this massive issue. Yet I believe the Lord says, “I can use you in many ways, big or small. Just step forward,
say yes to me, and I will show you how.”

May God direct you in all areas of your life and show you how He wants to use you in combating injustice.

~Marie

Regent IJM recently toured the IJM Headquarters in Washington D.C.

IJM Regent recently toured IJM Headquarters in DC.

Gary Haugen, founder of IJM.


 

Patrick, our Life Group Leader.

Beth, our Secretary.

 

 

 

Jen, our Volunteer Coordinator.

Stephanie, our President.

Many are a part of the movement. Are you?