Both Santa Barbara and San Louis Obispo county have DA’s who are aggressively combatting human trafficking. In addition to training of law enforcement both counties are pushing for mandatory posters in businesses and supporting the new law regarding training for hotels and motels. Santa Barbara has an interfaith collaborative that works together to raise awareness and support the faith community to take action. You can find their meetings and activities at this link: https://www.interfaithcosb.com/ In San Louis Obispo County, the North County Abolitionists have a Facebook page that lists the public events that different organizations are hosting. http://www.facebook.com/NorthCountyAbolitionists While these efforts are working to reduce human trafficking, 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 Los Angeles, about 1.5% 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.