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  • © Holly Craw and Home-School-Community, 2009. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Holly Craw and Home-School-Community with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Mother’s Day brunch can help rescue somebody’s daughter from sex trafficking – National sex trafficking | Examiner.com

Mothers are known as the face of love for their offspring. When children have gone missing or have taken a bad turn in life, many moms will continue to grieve and agonize until everything is set right once again. For the hundreds of thousands of children who have been caught up in sex trafficking, the setting right process may only come about if the girl or boy is pulled out of the situation through intervention of law enforcement and placement in a healing environment.

Troy Hailpern of Elevate Coffee Company in Phoenix wants to be part of the healing process. A special Mother’s Day Brunch has been set up as a fundraiser for StreetLightUSA, one of the few comprehensive residential treatment centers in the country for girls who have been rescued from sexual exploitation. Families can honor their moms and provide hope for some of the girls who need a safe haven of love and support. Each child enslaved in commercial sexual abuse is somebody’s daughter or son.

View slideshow: The many faces of crepes to delight your palate.

Elevate Coffee Company Mother’s Day Brunch

When: Sunday, May 13 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Where: Elevate Coffee Company
2530 W Happy Valley Rd, Suite 1273
At the Shops at Norterra, next to the Harkins Theatre

Phoenix, AZ 85085
(602) 341-5480

What to do: Purchase a hand-crafted sweet or savory crepe
Mom gets a free drink
$1.00 from each crepe purchased goes to StreetLightUSA to provide services for the girls.
Salads and desserts are also available.

Crepes can be purchased anytime Friday, May 11 through Sunday, May 13 and $1.00 for each one will still be donated to StreetLightUSA.

Celebrate Mom and give the gift of safety and care for some of the wounded daughters who are sex trafficking victims.

via Mother’s Day brunch can help rescue somebody’s daughter from sex trafficking – National sex trafficking | Examiner.com.

Alexis La Benz: A Girl Scout fights sex trafficking on a national scale – National sex trafficking | Examiner.com

Alexis La Benz of Chandler, Arizona has campaigned against the forced prostitution of children for the past four years, beginning at age 14. Her fight has mainly been orchestrated through informational and inspirational presentations within the ranks of Girl Scouts, teen groups and churches, both at the local and national level. She is now a high school senior who will be starting college in the fall, but the passion for making a difference for the sex trafficked children has not diminished.

She is part of a group called GS GEMS, Girl Scout Girls Empowering and Mentoring with Support, which will continue to raise awareness within the community about the issue. Alexis will transition at some point from a Scout to a troop leader, where her passion and influence can continue to grow.

View slideshow: Being a voice for the voiceless: A teen speaks out for sex trafficked teens.

Through this experience that married Girl Scouting and the championship of a cause, many doors have opened up for Alexis La Benz.

  • She has become good friends with some survivors and collaborated with other Girl
    Scout groups.
  • A pilot program with GSUSA teamed the GEMS members with Girl Guides in Honduras around the issue of sex trafficking. This broadened the perspective of both sets of scouts to see how the problem manifests and is handled in each country. The US girls began making and selling black and white awareness bracelets as their point of entrée for discussion, and the Hondurans prepared and served meals for the same purpose.
  • Alexis was named one of 10 National Young Women of Distinction, the highest award in Girl Scouting by GSUSA
  • She was asked to address 15,000 Girl Scouts and tell about her Gold Award project at the 2011 National GSUSA Conference where she got to meet the GSUSA president, Anna Maria Chavez.
  • She has received several scholarships and will be participating in Arizona State
    University’s Barrett Honors College in the fall of 2012.
  • As part of the 100th year celebration of Girl Scouting, Alexis took part in a ceremony at the Arizona State Capitol in which Governor Jan Brewer and eight other state legislators were given honorary Girl Scout status.
  • Alexis and her fellow GS GEMS, created a training video that other troops around the country can use to develop their own GS GEMS programs.
  • In 2010, she received the GS World Leadership Award
  • She was a Girl Advisor on the Arizona Girl Scouts Board of Directors for 2010-2012
  • Alexis still continues to do speaking engagements and incorporates her website, www.teensontrafficking.org, into her presentations.

What does all this involvement in the sordid world of sex trafficking mean for Alexis?

“It has had a huge impact on my life. It helps the greater good and helps me know about myself, the kind of leader I am. Even though there are really awful things in the world, you don’t have to sit idly by. You can put your foot down and say, ‘This has to be stopped!’ Even though it is a big bad world, we can help each other.”

Alexis will be majoring in Business Communication with a minor in Social Entrepreneurship (non-profit management). Her eventual goal is to be the CEO of GSUSA. In the meantime, she will continue to be a warrior in the fight against commercial sexual exploitation of children and will recruit others to stand with her in the battle

Read more about Alexis LaBenz’s story.

via Alexis La Benz: A Girl Scout fights sex trafficking on a national scale – National sex trafficking | Examiner.com.

Backpage boasts 400 child sex ads reported monthly: More trafficked minors found – National sex trafficking | Examiner.com

In a May 2012 investigation by ABC Nightline, the lawyer for Village Voice Media’s subsidiary, Backpage.com, insisted that the publication giant is helping stop the sex trafficking of minors. This week, Backpage asked that the demand from the state attorneys general to shut down the adult sex ads be dropped. Attorney Liz McDougall told Nightline’s Cynthia McFadden that 80 percent of their Phoenix based employees are tasked with scouring the adult services ads to find postings about children. Approximately 400 notices are passed on to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children each month, double the number reported six months ago.

Nevertheless, there are still children being trafficked through the online ads of Backpage.com. Sheryl*, an employee at a national treatment center* for girls rescued from sex trafficking, regularly monitors the adult section of Backpage. She has recently identified two of the former residents of the facility. The pictures were turned over to the police and the teen girls were found and apprehended. In addition, a third girl, age 15, and the pimp were brought into custody.

View slideshow: Backpage.com: Blatantly violating its own standards on sex ads?

Often, the girls themselves are commanded by the pimp to take and post their own pictures. Even though the posting rules specify that account holders must be 18 or over, and a credit card is needed to pay the ad fees, there is no way to verify the age or identity of the poster.

Posting rules on Backpage.com

You agree to the following when posting in this category:

  • I will not post obscene or lewd and lascivious graphics or photographs which depict genitalia, actual or simulated sexual acts or naked images;
  • I will not post any solicitation directly or in “coded” fashion for any illegal service, including exchanging sexual favors for money or other valuable consideration;
  • I will not post any material on the Site that exploits minors in any way;
  • I will not post any material on the Site that in any way constitutes or assists in human trafficking;
  • I am at least 18 years of age or older and not considered to be a minor in my state of residence.

Any post exploiting a minor in any way will be subject to criminal prosecution and will be reported to the Cybertipline for law enforcement.

Postings violating these rules and our Terms of Use are subject to removal without refund.

The Adult Entertainment section is filled with ads that blatantly violate the company’s own rules. The second bullet point refers to prostitution, which is illegal in all states except Nevada, and there it is legal only in certain counties. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that the services being solicited are sex for money, especially with the pictures on the sidebar. Human trafficking may be most identifiable if minors are involved, but “consenting adults” may also be entrapped in the bondage of sex slavery in a variety of ways.

Backpage.com is making $2-3 million every month from the sex ads, but Liz McDougall claims they are helping to stop the sex trafficking by cooperating with the police. However, the attorneys general from 48 states and three territories have declared that they are contributing to the problem by allowing the adult section to continue. There is a major nationwide movement to have Backpage shut down their adult services section, just as Craig’s List did 18 months ago.

What do you think? Does the ease of advertising sexual services contribute to sex trafficking, especially of minors?

*Name of center and employee withheld for the protection of the residents

via Backpage boasts 400 child sex ads reported monthly: More trafficked minors found – National sex trafficking | Examiner.com.