In Orange County, the OC Human Trafficking Task Force is employing undercover officers to aggressively prosecute offenders. They also have an outstanding campaign to reduce demand. Vanguard Univeristy is working with The Protect Program to bring Human Trafficking awareness into schools. Dignity Health is one example of instituting a program to train health professionals how to recognize victims and how to talk to them. While these efforts are outstanding, unless we as the faith community get "up the river" to prevent human trafficking, it will never end.
So how do we get "up the river?" We come together as a coalition and empower our men to be leaders in raising awareness regarding the destructive nature of porn and how it creates demand for sex trafficking victims. We invite a representative from a local foster care organization to come speak at our services to recruit good foster parents, given that over 70% of victims are from the foster care system. We can work with the city to close down the illegal massage parlors. We can host a fair trade table at our church and school fairs to educate people that over 2/3 of all human trafficking in the world is labor trafficking and by being responsible for purchasing imported products that state "fair trade," we reduce demand. We can do a fundraiser for a local non-profit. These are just five examples of how we can prevent human trafficking. The book "How You Can Fight Human Trafficking, Over 100 Ways to Make a Difference" offers many more actions.
Social scientists tell us that once we reach a critical mass of awareness and people taking action, the social issue will be resolved. Until that critical mass of 10% is reached, it is like rolling a rock uphill and there isn't enough traction so groups often fall apart. Once critical mass is reached, there is velocity. If it took 10 years to reach 10%, it only takes 2 to 3 years to reach 20%. In Orange County, about 2% of faith communities are taking action in the fight against human trafficking. There is another 7% to 8% who are thinking of doing something, so they meet and think about it and it takes time. When they can come to a meeting to find out how to act and only have to simply duplicate what others are doing they quickly move into action. At these coalition meetings, faith communities inspire and encourage each other and report on what they are doing. Then during the second half of the meeting people meet with those groups they are interested in collaborating with. This model will have us quickly reach the 10%. You can find actions for faith communities as well as presentations you can use and resources like flyers by "clicking" on the resource button.
The purpose of the coalition meetings are to educate each other on how to take action in the fight against human trafficking as a faith community. This is not a public event. This is a networking event for the purpose of empowering people who are pastors or ministry/ committee leaders, staff members, youth pastors, bible study teachers, etc. who feel called to take a leadership role in the fight against human trafficking. Whether you are already taking action or want to take action in the fight against Human Trafficking, this meeting is for you. Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org for meeting locations.
Saturday, Nov. 9th, 2019 from 9 to 11:30 A.M. in Irvine, Ca. This coalition includes all the cities in Orange County.
The only real advantage the human traffickers have over the faith community is that they are organized and networked together to build their "business," while the faith community tends to have isolated efforts. The purpose of identifying churches who have stand alone ministries that meet on a regular basis, is so that people who want to start something at their church know who to contact locally. The anchor churches understand this issue and can guide new churches with regard to what works and doesn't work to build efforts to fight human trafficking. By networking churches together, we can powerfully build our efforts in the fight against human trafficking. Below are the churches with the most active ministries in the Orange County area.
Saddleback - Anaheim
Christ Pacific Church
Saddleback- Lake Forest
San Clemente has their own city coalition made up of faith communities and non-profits. This coalition birthed the I-5 Freedom Network that passed a resolution with the city of San Clemente to create community awareness with great success. This model can be duplicated by any city. For more information you can email them info@ I5FreedomNetwork.org or go to their website: I5FreedomNetwork.org
The Lighthouse is a program for survivors of sex trafficking in Orange County. The Lighthouse is looking for volunteers and you can find more information on this at https://orangewoodfoundation.org/volunteer/
This group is hosted by Saddleback church. Please email LocalHumanTrafficking@Saddleback.com for meeting dates and location.
4th Wednesday of the month - 10:30 - 11:30 A.M. Please go the link at the end of this section to confirm that the task force is meeting that month. The Orange County Human Trafficking Task Force (OCHTTF) General Meeting is held at Waymakers (formerly CSP Community Service Programs) every 4th Wednesday of the month. This meeting is for all task force collaborative partners and community members. It is also open to the public. This meeting provides updates by law enforcement and speakers from non-profits. The Wayfinders Corporate Office is located at 1221 East Dyer Road Suite 120, Santa Ana. For more information please contact Linh Tran at email@example.com or 714-765-7938. OCHTTF Volunteer Training/Meetings will be every 3rd Tuesday of the month, 6:00 - 8:00 PM at Wayfinders. You need to email Linh Tran to get a parking pass for all meetings so your car won't be towed. For more information please go to https://www.egovlink.com/ochumantrafficking
Jan 11th- 8 A.M. to 4 P.M.-Advanced Human Trafficking Symposium: The Role of Evolving Technologies in a Globally Connected World hosted by Harvest Christian Fellowship, 8880 Magnolia, Riverside. THIS WILL BE ONE OF THE MOST POWERFUL, PROFESSIONAL HUMAN TRAFFICKING EVENTS OF THE YEAR.
January 15th - 6 to 8 P.M. Community Forum: Legalizing/Decriminalization of Prostitution and Efforts to Protect Victims You may have heard a lot of conversations about addressing prostitution as a solution to minimize exploitation. Come hear from a survivor, law enforcement and legal representatives on the potential impacts. The event will take place in San Clemente. For more information or to register go here
January 25th-5 to 8 P.M. Join us for our 4th annual Be A Big Cheese at the Cellar in San Clemente!. We will have a line up of powerful speakers, share updates on what is the latest with our effort to end human trafficking and how you can help make an impact
We will feature wine tasting and gourmet food offerings, live and silent auction, and a wine pull! You do not want to miss it, limited seats available! More information and tickets here
Feb. 8th- St. Irenaeus Bridge of Light: Human Trafficking to Human Triumph if hosting their Third Annual Solidarity Walk and Prayer Vigil to Honor HT Survivors.
March 6 & 7th - Conference at Vanguard University, Costa Mesa. "Where We’ve Been… Where We Are… Where We Are Going" The Ensure Justice Conference is a two-day event focused on equipping teachers, victim service providers, law enforcement, students, and community members to protect and intervene for women and children at high-risk of exploitation and violence. Understanding the contributing factors of human trafficking that run deep will inform innovative strategies for future prevention. Please go to this link for details https://www.gcwj.org/events/
Nola Brantley is a survivor of human trafficking who has trained thousands in law enforcement , service care providers. and the general public. Her trainings are geared towards those who want to be leaders in the fight like speakers, church staff etc. She offers 17 different trainings. You can find her trainings at http://www.nolabrantleyspeaks.org/
Care 68 Network A website/resource for churches in Southern California who want to be connected with what is happening in the area of Human Trafficking locally and globally.
C- Connection and Collaboration opportunities and calendars
A- Awareness events, suggestions and assistance
E- Educational opportunities