People literally commit acts of slavery upon children (and adults) in Cullman County usually with a motive of monetary profit and often with a deviant sexual focus. – Human Trafficking Happens In Cullman County

Human Trafficking Happens In Cullman County

Yes … human trafficking happens in Cullman County and across all of Northern Alabama.

People literally commit acts of slavery upon children (and adults) in Cullman County usually with a motive of monetary profit. and often with a deviant sexual focus.

A simple, common, graphic example of this involves a parent who is addicted to some form of substance, usually street narcotics. They literally sell their children out sexually to a single stranger, or a network of middlemen, in order to fund their addiction. The effect on the victim is devastating.

There are countless documentable variations of this same, despicable and horrific theme in Cullman County, and across the nation.

Your immediate reaction to the above paragraph may be:

“Come on, really? Who does that? Not in Cullman … that’s silly. It doesn’t happen here.”

That reaction is understandable, but it would be 100% erroneous. It DOES happen here.

 

What Is Human Trafficking?

Human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery from which traffickers profit from the control and exploitation of others.

As defined under US federal law, victims of human trafficking in the US include three population groups:

1. Minors (under age 18) induced into commercial sex—referred to as Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC)

2. Adults (age 18 or over) involved in commercial sex via force, fraud, or coercion

3. Children and adults forced to perform labor and/or services in conditions of involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery through force, fraud, or coercion, such as domestic workers held in a home or farm-workers forced to labor against their will.

Sex trafficking occurs when people are induced by force, fraud, or coercion into the commercial sex trade against their will.

 

Human Trafficking Happens In Cullman County

January 2016 is Human Trafficking Awareness Month

The Cullman County Human Trafficking Task Force (CCHTTF) has been active over the last several months building a foundation of definition, support, infrastructure and membership to include all concerned citizens in Cullman County. They met Wednesday to kick off Human Trafficking Awareness Month in Cullman.

The purposes of the Task Force are straightforward. Fundamentally, their goal is two-fold:

1. To directly assist victims who are subjects of human trafficking, and

2. To PREVENT anyone, particularly children, from becoming victimized in the first place.

The mechanics, actions and details of how to accomplish those goals are complex.

Nationally, January is Human Trafficking Awareness month. It is effectively a time period where a ‘full court’ press is employed to educate citizens on exactly what Human Trafficking entails, how to prevent your loved ones from being pulled into slavery, and to learn how to help those you suspect may be victims of this lifestyle to find safety.

 

Human Trafficking Happens In Cullman County

What Is The Cullman County Human Trafficking Task Force?

The Cullman County Human Trafficking Task Force’s leadership is comprised of different agencies such as:

• Juvenile Probation
• Department of Human Services
• Brook’s Place
• Victim Services
• Cullman Caring For Kids
• City of Cullman and Cullman County Schools
• Wallace State Community College
• The Honorable District Judge Kim Chaney
• Cullman County District Attorney C. Wilson Blaylock
• CO3 Ministries
• Daystar Church
• A number of individual concerned citizens

 

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The CCHTTF’s Board of Directors is made up of:

Wilson Blaylock (District Attorney)

Kathy Wilson (Juvenile Probation)

Blakely Hopper (Brook’s Place)

Andria Richter (a local attorney active for children in the court system)

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Kathy Wilson

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Human Trafficking Happens In Cullman County

Kathy Wilson, the chair of the newly formed Cullman County Human Trafficking Task Force, had this to say after yesterday’s 12 noon Task Force meeting in Judge Kim Chaney’s courtroom on the second floor of the Cullman County Courthouse:

“The response from the citizens in Cullman County has overwhelmingly been in support of what we are trying to accomplish. People in Cullman care about others, and they want to make sure that those effected by this atrocity have their support. The Cullman County Human Trafficking Task Force will continue to educate, and make others aware until this crisis ends.

Nelson Mandela once said, ‘Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world’. He was, and still is, correct.”

 

Human Trafficking Happens In Cullman County

More About Human Trafficking

The Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC) includes any child involved in commercial sex. Sex traffickers frequently target vulnerable people with histories of abuse and then use violence, threats, lies, false promises, debt bondage, or other forms of control and manipulation to keep victims involved in the sex industry.

CSEC and sex trafficking exists within the broader commercial sex trade—often at much larger rates than most people realize—and has been found in a variety of venues, including residential brothels, hostess clubs, online escort services, fake massage businesses, strip clubs, and street prostitution.

Labor trafficking occurs when people are induced by force, fraud, or coercion to perform labor or services. Labor traffickers frequently target vulnerable people with histories of abuse and then use violence, threats, lies, false promises, debt bondage, or other forms of control and manipulation to keep control over their victims. Child labor trafficking occurs in agriculture, domestic servitude, peddling and sales crews, and service industries, such as restaurants.

Those vulnerable to human trafficking span multiple areas, such as age, socio-economic status, nationality, education-level, and gender. Traffickers often prey on people hoping for a better life, lacking employment opportunities, having an unstable home life, or with a history of sexual abuse—conditions present in all spheres of society. Human trafficking victims are found in cities, suburbs, and rural areas in all 50 states and in Washington, DC.

The most vulnerable populations include undocumented immigrants; runaway and homeless youth; victims of trauma and abuse; refugees and individuals fleeing conflict; and oppressed, marginalized, and impoverished groups and individuals.

 

Human Trafficking Happens In Cullman County

What Can Cullman County Citizens Do To Help?

Human Trafficking Happens In Cullman CountyThe first step is to take the blinders off and suspended understandable disbelief surrounding the subject of human trafficking.

Secondly, the Cullman County Human Trafficking Task Force is asking that citizens EDUCATE themselves on the basics of human trafficking, and what to look for in order to be aware of those around you who may be involved in such activities.

To that end, the Task Force is conducting a class – that is 100% free and open to the public – on January 26th at 6:00 pm. The location will be at Daystar Church at 200 Dystar Drive, Cullman, AL, 35057.

It is called: Human Trafficking Awareness and Investigation

Human Trafficking Happens In Cullman County

It will be conducted by a national leader in the field, Scott Santoro. Santoro provides training for the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center. He is also a senior training advisor for the United State Department of Homeland Security’s ‘Blue Campaign’.

Human Trafficking Happens In Cullman CountyHe is a top flight instructor. You’ll walk away knowing everything you initially need to know about the subject of Human Trafficking.

You owe it yourself, family, neighbors and community to become fully aware and in understanding of the blight human trafficking has become as well as how you can help eliminate it. This class will accomplish that for you.

 

Follow the Cullman County Human Trafficking Task Force on Facebook:

Human Trafficking Happens In Cullman County

 

Human Trafficking Happens In Cullman County

image by Ben Ostrowsky

Human Trafficking Happens In Cullman County

Timothy Collins

Timothy brings an insightful holistic perspective as well as a mountain man tenacity to his various roles at Cullman Today. You can reach him at cullmantoday@gmail.com.

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