EnLIGHTen group thanks everyone for their support; encourages all to be aware and make a difference
Article by Deborah Eltringham, member of EnLighten, SOS WELCA
First, I want to thank our readers, those of our ELCA members who take interest and the time to read and learn more about Human Trafficking!
|As enLIGHTen members, we are still reaching out and talking to everyone who will listen. Our group organizes events to teach what Human Trafficking is. We have put together a workshop to teach people how to speak to others about it. Each member of enLIGHTen have spoken to smaller groups as well. Just this past weekend, enLIGHTen members attended a youth event at Capital University, where our own Holly Hunt presented an interactive workshop on Human Trafficking, which was very well received by 35 teens. Kelly worked with A/V, while Sister Sally, Martha, Karen and I (Debbie) passed out popcorn and Frisbees with the National Trafficking Hotline number and text imprinted on them. We all were able to talk and answer questions – it was an amazing session. Most had heard about Human Trafficking, but now they are equipped to make a difference, and safely.|
Awareness is key to recognize what is happening around us. Trafficking can look different in each community, but the signs of a child’s behavior, appearance, and who they are accompanied by are still the same. The Ohio Supreme Court lists below (some) of the signs of a Trafficked child:
- Physical signs of abuse – bruises, cuts, burns.
- Malnourishment, hunger
- Fatigue or Exhaustion
- Signs of Substance Abuse
- Chronic dental problems
- Inappropriately dressed for weather, location or age.
- Branding – tattoos that shows ownership, a name or gang name.
- Non-verbal communication with an unrelated adult – seeking approval before answering questions.
- Presence of an overly controlling or concerned older male or female friend.
I read in our local newspaper; a child was given by the mother to an elderly man for “company” on several occasions – the child saw money given to the mother. The child was being sexually abused. This same child was acting out in school – signs something is terribly wrong in that child’s life. A child’s family can be trafficking their own child for money, or it can be to support a drug habit.
Let’s continue to look out for our children; for all of God’s children. See something – Say something. The national hotline for Human Trafficking will take anonymous information and will contact the local authorities for an investigation. Make the call – talk to them, they can answer your questions, assure you of your suspicions, make the difference to that one child.
Thank you so much for caring!
The National Hotline for Human Trafficking is 1-888-3737-888 or text “BEFREE” (233733)