The Riverside County Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force has done an outstanding job of putting together a collaboration of agencies working together to: 1) Identify and rescue victims of human trafficking, 2) Proactively investigate, identify, apprehend, and prosecute those engaged in human trafficking, 3) Promote greater public awareness through marketing, trainings and understanding of the nature and scope of human trafficking within the County of Riverside. At this link is the calendar for their public meetings: http://rcaht.org/calendar/ Their education partner is Million Kids who has actively raised awareness throughout Riverside County and the world. https://www.millionkids.org/calendar.html While all these efforts are working to reduce human trafficking, we need more participation by the faith community to prevent this crime because in the U.S. 51% of people attend some type of faith community so clearly that is where the manpower is.
So how do we work as a faith community to prevent human trafficking? 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%. So Cal Faith Coalitions against human trafficking is currently meeting with local Riverside faith leaders to talk about how we can use the resources that already exist in Riverside to establish more local faith community collaboration so faith communities can learn from each other. Once these meetings are established, we will list them on this page. When people in the faith community 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 an use and resources like flyers by "clicking" on the resource button.
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 Riverside area.
Murrieta -The Justice Ministry at Calvary Murrieta began around 2010. We support and work with our local Riverside County Human Trafficking task force, as well as partner with many organizations that work both locally and abroad. We believe that everyone can do something, so our main goal is to help people understand how they can use their gifts and talents to engage in the fight. We have monthly meetings to help create awareness about trafficking, as well as allow organizations to present what they do and show others how they can get involved. We also have a yearly conference in January to help spread awareness in our community, which includes great speakers, various workshops, and survivors’ testimonies. We hope to further educate and empower the body of Christ in any way we can. For more information go to calvarymurrieta.com and click on Justice Ministry or email Kelly Bell at email@example.com
Opal Singleton is a national leader in the fight against human trafficking. She is the President and CEO of Million Kids, a 501(c)3 organization dedicated to keeping kids safe from predators. Million Kids serves as the Training and Outreach Coordinator for the Riverside County Anti Human Trafficking Task Force and works with the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department through a Department of Justice Grant. Opal has trained more than 250,000 government and individual leaders about labor trafficking, child sex trafficking, sextortion, child pornography and social media exploitation. She is the author of Seduced: The Grooming of America’s Teenagers (2015) and Societal Shift: A World Without Borders... A Home Without Walls (2019). She often appears on television and radio talk shows across the United States. To find the meetings and events that A Million Kids offers throughout Riverside county, please go to this link: https://www.millionkids.org/calendar.html
Aug 19th, Task Force Meeting "Protect and Prevent" 1 to 2:30 P.M. Please use this link. https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82576411422