What’s going on in Phoenix this February?
Yesterday I went to a luncheon to learn about and raise money for victims of human trafficking.
The stats are truly horrifying. The presentation was by The Dream Center, a facility that rescues and rehabilitates young women and men who have been trafficked.
The speakers were Shauna Sexton, Human Trafficking Programs Director, and JoAnna Shipe, Corporate Initiatives Director. They gave us a powerful and gut wrenching presentation.
Did you know?
• That in Phoenix there is the Super Bowl and a major golf tournament going on in February? That five percent of the men attending will be buying sex? That equals more than 30,000 men looking for trafficked girls and boys.
• The number one prospects are boys from eight to 12 years old.
• Human trafficking is the number two enterprise worldwide.
• In 2020, there was a 98% increase in online attempts by human traffickers. Why? Because of the COVID shutdowns, kids spent more time on their computers at home. Computers were no longer placed in the kitchen, but in their bedrooms. That was because parents were working from home and kids taking online classes.
• There was a 40% increase in human trafficking after COVID.
• Most kids are groomed into human trafficking over a six-month to two-year period. Often it’s online, on social media, by someone who is a friend of a friend.
• Traffickers hire good looking guys to befriend quiet, shy or vulnerable girls. They are usually 19 to 20 years old but look 14 or 15.
• Less than 1% of trafficked kids are rescued.
• Girls and boys are trafficked an average of 10 to 12 times per day.
• The Dream Center in Phoenix has a 92% success rate of rehabilitating these kids and they transition into school or careers. They have 5,400 survivors since its inception in 2002. It’s the largest facility serving this community in the nation and the second largest in the world.
From the Dream Center website:
Our nonprofit (City Help Inc of Phoenix dba Phoenix Dream Center) was founded in 2002 as a Christ Centered Outreach Ministry.
We’re on a mission to stop human trafficking, end childhood hunger and educate tomorrows leaders. We do this through residential life recovery programs and community engagement outreach services.https://phoenixdreamcenter.org/story/
I wrote a story after my first meeting with this organization HERE.
Do these stats change how you view human trafficking? What organizations in your area provide services for human trafficking?