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What will you do new this year?

Do you make New Year’s resolutions? I don’t. I tend to make smaller short-term goals throughout the year that still get me to larger goals. I do not do them because they tend to be goals that are not realistically sustainable for the long haul. Smaller short-term goals are easier to complete and help me feel like I am making accomplishments. We do set annual goals for The Red Cord at our annual board retreat that we hold in September.

I encourage you to make goals to be involved in anti-trafficking this year. Here are some ways you can do that:

  1. Attend a human trafficking educational class held by The Red Cord. We list those each month in our monthly newsletter http://theredcord.org/newsletter/ and on our website http://theredcord.org/upcoming/
  2. 2. Schedule a human trafficking educational class for your workplace, church, school, employment. Information is available on our homepage.
  3. Give to The Red Cord monthly to help us continue to bring quality education around Oklahoma. Consider becoming a monthly donor to provide help, resources, and training throughout 2022.
  4. Provide donations to The Red Cord for survivor support supplies.
  5. Pray daily! We have a prayer calendar each month you can use! http://theredcord.org/prayer/

Everyone needs to be involved in the work of anti-trafficking because it is happening everywhere. There is not a town or city big or small where human trafficking is not happening. But the bigger issue is that this crime targets our most vulnerable–our kids—who are our future. When a person is trafficked, it will forever change them. The trauma that is endured can be overcome but will have lasting effects that can impact our society as a whole. More help to attain mental, physical, and spiritual health is needed for survivors to heal.

 

Lead your family, church, or community groups to help end human trafficking locally and globally in 2022. What can one person do to make a difference with such a BIG issue? You can:

 

  1. Talk with local and state lawmakers about changing laws regarding sex buyers, child pornography use, sexual exploitation, and prostitution.
  2. Get educated about human trafficking and educate those around you.
  3. Talk with your kids about grooming tactics, exposure to pornography, sexting, etc.
  4. Look at where you are buying goods and services. Are the items you buy being made by slaves around the world? Here is a good website to help– https://respect.international/products-of-slavery/
  5. Display awareness posters in your place of employment. We have them available upon request.
  6. SPEAK ABOUT IT! Bring light to the dark topic.

 

All of us at The Red Cord wish you a happy, joyful, and blessed New Year!

 

 

What gifts do you treasure the most? I am most grateful for gifts that are intangible like the gifts of salvation from Jesus Christ; the life of my children; my marriage; and friendships. I tend to be a sentimental person so any gift that has or adds meaning to my life is a treasure.

I like to give gifts that the person may never buy for themselves or a service that they may want but not have extra funds to purchase. For those in my life that seem to have everything, I have purchased animals from World Vision, Compassion International, or Heifer International. We have always done this for our kids each year to show them the needs around the world and how to help others.

I suggest that you give yourself and others the gift of understanding the issues related to human trafficking.

Click our Get Help tab, http://theredcord.org/get-help-hotlines/ to view a list of resources I recommend that you read or give to others. We have also provided for you on the Get Help tab a list of gifts that you can give (fair trade, etc.) that are responsible and thoughtful gifts for people to purchase for Christmas this year.

We are grateful this year for people and organizations that have helped The Red Cord in these ways: 

  • The opportunity to speak at their locations and educate about human trafficking, the harms of pornography, and parenting seminars. The Red Cord board, trainers, and volunteers give of their time and talent to educate across the state.
  • We have had local businesses gift us their location, time, and business platform to bring awareness to their customers. We have been given access to display Human Trafficking 101 awareness posters in their bathrooms and leave our information cards for community members to take.
  • We have many prayer warriors that pray behind the scene when we encounter a victim or need prayer for the team.
  • Lawton/Ft. Sill has always been very responsive and giving when we have requested their help to support survivors.

 

We have amazing supporters and followers like you that keep us going when it gets tough! Thank you for your gifts you have offered in so many ways. We wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year.

 

Blessings,

Ahsha

This is why PORN is The Gateway Drug

Pornography is the gateway drug to “prostitution/human trafficking. Researchers conducted a study that interviewed 900 women across nine countries. (https://everaccountable.com/blog/the-link-between-pornography-and-human-trafficking/ ) It conclude that there is a direct correlation to the epidemic of pornography and its impact on prostitution. Some of the findings showed:

  • Over half of the sample group were used to make pornography films.
  • 80% of them that were freed from human trafficking were forced to re-enact specific acts of pornography by the people who enslaved them.
  • The majority of them were forced to watch porn to learn how to “perform” the required sexual acts. It was used as a training ground for those not familiar or too young to understand the sex acts.
  • Human traffickers can “double dip” on making money off victims. They can charge for the selling of physical sex, and then for the “virtual” or pornography of the victim.

Pornography is a big money maker — $35.17 billion in 2019. It is expected to grow 15.12%  from here forward. The COVID lock down of 2020 did not help this situation. https://www.absolutemarketsinsights.com/reports/Online-Porn-Market-2019-2027-551.

 

Society implies that it is acceptable to engage in pornography. Yet, pornography doesn’t represent “real sex.” Research has found that pornography often depicts a power imbalance – control, degradation, and violence is usually directed at women by men. Mainstream pornography doesn’t depict emotional intimacy. People have a disconnect from human dignity during porn watching. When someone watches porn it tells the producer (Pornhub, etc) to keep making more. Keep violating, raping, exploiting people for the viewer’s pleasure.

In reality, porn viewers do not know what is happening behind the screen. The majority of the those in porn are human trafficking victims, not actors. Here is the connection — By watching and increasing the demand for more porn to be made, it is not much different than purchasing a real human. The viewer could still be considered a “John.” *

What do we do about it? TALK and get some help.

In the church: Pastors — do not fear talking about it. The average age of a child being exposed to pornography right now is age 8 years old.  It is not a matter of “if” but “when” they see it. Discuss the topic it in a biblical way. The reality is, 1 in 4 youth pastors are addicted to porn and 1 in 5 pastors are addicted as well. Get some help immediately. It’s your job to set a godly example.  

In the home: Parents —  Discuss sex education at home, including pornography. Here are some resources for you: http://theredcord.org/get-help-hotlines/ The Red Cord offers Parenting Seminars and will talk with any child about this issue when a parent requests it. Parents also need to discuss “sexting”* with their kids before they even get a phone. Sexting is rampant in the public schools. By participating, kids are producing and distributing child pornography which is a federal crime. Kids and their parents could be at risk for law enforcement involvement. Sexting can also lead into “sextortion”* and parents need to know that sextortion can have devastating effects on young victims from all walks of life, and it is easy to become a victim.

There are parents that watch porn regularly or even addicted (1 in 5 women, and 1 in 4 men). Please seek help to stop watching now. http://theredcord.org/get-help-hotlines/

Not everyone who watches porn will purchase a human for sexual pleasure. Yet, every person arrested or interviewed for purchasing sex or arrested for child porn, admit that they are addicted to a level they never thought possible. No one just wakes up one day and decides to purchase an adult or child for sex….. it’s a slow fade.

 

*Understand the terms herehttp://theredcord.org/get-help-hotlines/

Call it what it is – Pure Evil: Let’s bring light to block the darkness

Spiritual warfare and human trafficking. Two heavy topics that most people avoid.

But as the seasons change and the days grow dark quicker, and our culture thinks about ghosts and goblins, our attention turns to the weighty issue of spiritual warfare. Why do we want to address this issue?

The truth is, we are fighting a spiritual battle. We aren’t just fighting against the people who cause human trafficking. It is an evil that lurks unseen in the darkness. Satan would like nothing more than for us to be distracted with “sensationalism” of human trafficking. We can watch movies like “Taken” or get caught up in misguided social media posts that blind us to the true nature of this insidious crime.

The evil one even uses the disguise of religion to lure people into trafficking. Some survivors have grown up in cults or “cult like” situations and have been groomed as small children. They believe that what they are being forced to do is out of “obedience” for their faith. Using faith as a means for force, fraud, and coercion to exploit someone is one of the biggest human and spiritual atrocities The Red Cord, and all human trafficking organizations, are currently fighting against. We need to fully understand the connection to be able to “see it” to “fight it”. The mind cannot fight what the eye cannot, or is not willing, to see. It is why The Red Cord dedicates a month to discussing both hard topics –human trafficking and spiritual warfare. It is imperative that we connect the two.

Being against human trafficking is a black and white issue. You are either “for it” or “against it. You either hate it, or participate in the darkness. Once people are educated, they must make a choice what side they are on. Understand that fighting this is as simple as to start praying about it. Start bringing light to block the darkness!

We prepare with the best gift ever given and that is the blood of Jesus! He has given us the power to fight darkness. We prepare by being educated about the true nature of human trafficking and how traffickers work. We use scripture to pray our way through this battle and to call out the evil that it is! Join us in prayer by receiving text messages for specific prayer. Learn more here: Coming Soon

Join us this month as we push back the darkness at our “Piercing the Darkness” Awareness Walk. Learn more and register here: https://secure.processdonation.org/theredcord/events.aspx?eventRefID=1HJ27E7DFF538AH

Blessings,

Ahsha, The Red Cord President

When most people think of a trafficker, they envision the “Gorilla Pimp.” This is someone who keeps their girls locked in basements with chains. In reality (though some have been kept in chains in basements) the majority of trafficking victims walk around “free” and “hidden in plain sight.” That is why The Red Cord exists…. to bring light and clarity to the true nature of human trafficking. In reality, a pimp/trafficker can look like anyone. Male or female, from all walks of life, social, economic, and education status. The one thing that trafficking does not have is discrimination. The world of trafficking does not discriminate regarding gender, socioeconomic status, color of your hair or skin, or even what side of town you live on or if you attend church.

Traffickers can:

  • Work alone or be part of extensive criminal networks, with the common thread of exploiting people for profit.
  • Be foreign nationals or S. citizens, males and females, family members, intimate partners, acquaintances, and strangers.
  • Share the same national, ethnic, or cultural background with their victims which allows the trafficker to better understand and exploit the vulnerabilities of their victims.
  • Come out of nowhere, with no ties to others in your community.
  • Be jealous, controlling, violent.
  • Be significantly older than the intended victim and those already in their grasp.
  • Make promises that are too good to be true.
  • Encourages victims to achieve their goals by engaging in illegal activities.
  • Buys expensive
  • Be vague about their profession.
  • Be pushy or demanding about sex.
  • Encourages inappropriate sexual behavior.
  • Talks openly about financial matters. Makes their victim feel responsible for their financial instability.

Download and print this free graphic to understand more about what human trafficking is and who human traffickers are:

https://sharedhope.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/What-is-Sex-Trafficking-Printable-Handout.pdf

Blessings,

August BLOG: Truth or Lie?

  1. Good church kids are not at risk for trafficking. They will know better.

                Lie.

Ahsha, Red Cord President says, “Every child is 100% susceptible to being groomed online. ALL children are vulnerable. Parents must educate themselves as well as their children as early as the age of five.”

  1. Children are at risk throughout the year.

                Truth.

But, at the beginning of school every year, there are more social media posts from parents, grandparents, and teachers that give specific information about the children. Also, online learning during school hours makes children more susceptible to predators. Ahsha says, “Traffickers are a step ahead of where kids hang out, where they are learning online and how they create friendships through specific apps.”

  1. Only older students need to hear about human trafficking safety.

                False.

There are age-appropriate ways to discuss the topic with children of all ages:

  • K – 5th. Explain the difference between “good touch, bad touch.” Empower them to speak up when they see something that makes them uncomfortable. Teach them the power to learn ‘NO.” Use the resource “Good Pictures, Bad Pictures.”
  • 6th-8th. Give human trafficking awareness and education. Explain the dangers of porn addiction, and how to respond to requests for nude photos. Show them how to report suspected human trafficking.
  • 9th-12th. In addition to guidelines given for 6th-8th, make sure high school students know ways traffickers will attempt to groom them in college. Encourage students to be a voice for human trafficking awareness in their schools, churches, and communities.

 

Watch the interview with The Red Cord and Free the Slaves:

Start a Free the Slaves student chapter; download free resources; follow on social media; plan a fundraising event.

Learn more here: Students Ending Slavery

  • College. Help them understand the dangers of how traffickers target them through the vulnerability of college debt. Also, advise them of the dangers of traffickers in strip clubs. Inform them about survival prostitution, weekend prostitution, and escort services.

 

QUESTIONS about any of these suggestions? Contact the Red Cord and make plans to attend a training.

We know it can be overwhelming to raise safe children with so many threats from so many sources. Please click on The Red Cord Safety Survival Kit link at the Get Help tab on our website http://theredcord.org/get-help-hotlines/. We’ve gathered reliable links and resources to equip you on your journey to keep your children safe.

EVENTS and Training Opportunities

ALL Month – Supplies Needed for The Demand Project

We are accepting clothing, hair care items, and feminine hygiene products for sex trafficking survivors. These girls are between the ages of 11 and 17 years old, and need basic “girl things” as they begin their road to healing. Items needed: Modest, one-piece bathing suits (all sizes); Bras, sports, t-shirt bras (all sizes); Underwear (all sizes); Haircare products for specific hair types (i.e. African American hair, heat damaged hair, etc.) Drop off items at Buffalo Grove Coffee Co. Lawton Oklahoma; August 29th, 2021, 12-5 PM. Contact us for more info: Email us at redcord@theredcord.org or call (405)294-2727

Unlock Freedom Youth Training, Sunday, August 22nd, 4:00 p.m., St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, 910 NW 38th St, Lawton, OK.

FREE Community Training, Wednesday, August 25th, 6:00 p.m., First Baptist Duncan, 901 Ash Ave, Duncan, OK.

Parenting seminar – more information coming SOON!

GET HELP

Safety Survival Kit 

 

Children Resources

Teen Resources

  • Top 10 safety list for teens and parents

http://theredcord.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/10Safetytips-parents.pdf

Free the Slaves/Students https://www.freetheslaves.net/take-action/students-ending-slavery/

Parent Resources

U.S. Government Resources

July: This is what slavery looks like here

Do you know who is free and who is not? Media and movies have given the false image of someone being tied up with chains or ropes to represent human trafficking. The truth is, a slavery victim is walking though Walmart right next to you hidden in plain sight. He or she goes to the same school your kids do, to the same church, to the same emergency room. They appear to be free, but they are really being controlled and watched every second of the day. Even when a victim is rescued and is doing the hard work of recovery, he or she may still suffer the bondage from constant nightmares, unrelenting Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and long-lasting trauma. True freedom from trafficking is possible but it comes from much support and therapy. Mental, physical, spiritual , and emotional therapy is required to gain a life full of joy and happiness again

Slavery looks like any skin color, any gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, age, and education level. Slavery in southwest Oklahoma looks like a mother who can’t pay rent and sells her daughter to the landlord in exchange for the overdue payment. Slavery here looks like a senior in high school selling his freshman girlfriend to his buddies for sex at a party when he is too intoxicated to fight. Slavery in your neighborhood looks like a business owner who has a house cleaning business, extorts a family from Mexico and holds them in debt bondage. They must work until their debt is paid, but the debt keeps adding up. You will find slavery in many nail salons and massage parlors.

The Red Cord encourages you to be informed and learn how to recognize the signs of human trafficking and be equipped to report the situation to authorities. You can learn how to do that in our training seminars. 

Learn more and sign up!

June Blog: What happened to this bill?

Education about human trafficking is the best form of safety and prevention.  Knowing the warning signs of grooming, force, fraud, coercion, and the tactics of traffickers is key to staying safe. Educating parents and employers about the signs of human trafficking and online safety need to be part of everyone’s yearly protocol update in the home and workplace.

Oklahoma was on track to allow nonprofits, like The Red Cord, to provide anti-trafficking awareness and prevention training in the public schools for all middle school and high school students which includes our most vulnerable population – 12-16-year-olds. But somewhere along the way, the final bill only included college-age students. We are in process of finding out what happened to this bill and why younger students were not included in this final approved legislation.

You can read the current anti-trafficking bill here: https://www.okhouse.gov/Media/ShowStory.aspx?MediaNewsID=8152

We urge you to contact your state legislators to revisit this bill to include children 12 years old through college age as was originally intended.     

The Red Cord is still on a mission to provide this invaluable information to school systems. Letters of information and an invitation to enlist The Red Cord to present this information in schools will be sent out to all school districts in Southwest Oklahoma beginning first with the Lawton School District.

We urge school leaders to take advantage of this opportunity to bring vital awareness and prevention training to students. It is ultimately the responsibility of parents to keep their children safe. However, we feel like this is an opportunity for the community and families to work together to keep our children safe.

We urge school leaders to take advantage of this opportunity to bring vital awareness and prevention training to students. It is ultimately the responsibility of parents to keep their children safe. However, we feel like this is an opportunity for the community and families to work together to keep our children safe.

Will you join us on our mission?

Learn more about our specific training opportunities here: http://theredcord.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Human-Trafficking-Trainings-13290.pdf

We would love to see you at our next free scheduled training event, Thursday, June 17, 5:30 p.m. Buffalo Grove Coffee Company, 605 SW E Ave, Lawton. Contact us for more information:

Debbie’s* Story Continued…

It’s a common occurrence. Sad, but true. Debbie, 14, is a victim of sex trafficking. (The common age for trafficking victims is 12-14.) Before that, Debbie had been placed in the foster care system. She was there because her mother ended up in jail for selling drugs. And her father, well, no one knows where he is. He disappeared the day after she was born.

Debbie arrived at the foster home already traumatized, neglected, and possibly abused. And while she was there, a young woman, a recruiter who knew what to look for, found Debbie and offered her a “better” life. Including gifting her with a new cell phone.

Traffickers will often send one of their loyal girls, known as a recruiter, into different group homes to target new girls and convince them to leave or run away from the foster home. The recruiter, coached by the trafficker, will encourage girls to leave by honing in on the youth’s desire for a stable family. They will often speak of the luxuries their trafficker provides them, such as manicures and clothing, and the “family” unit who will care for them. https://www.speakupnow.org/foster-care-and-human-trafficking/

Words to describe Debbie? Vulnerable. Manipulated. Coerced. And she is only one, on any given day, of nearly 428,000 children are in the U.S. foster care system. (https://www.kvc.org/blog/foster-care-human-trafficking/)

What do we do together to help her and the thousands of children to no longer be targeted?

The Red Cord May Update

Human Trafficking Oklahoma

May Focus

At the Intersection of Foster Care and Human Trafficking

May Blog – Moving Toward Prevention

To move beyond rescuing children from danger to preventing the problem in the first place, consider this ancient story:

                One summer in the village, the people in the town gathered for a picnic. As they leisurely shared food and conversation, someone noticed a baby in the river, struggling and crying. The baby was going to drown!

                Someone rushed to save the baby. Then, they noticed another screaming baby in the river, and they pulled that baby out. Soon, more babies were seen drowning in the river, and the townspeople were pulling them out as fast as they could. It took great effort, and they began to organize their activities to save the babies as they came down the river. As everyone else was busy in the rescue efforts to save the babies, two of the townspeople started to run away along the shore of the river.

                “Where are you going?” shouted one of the rescuers. “We need you here to help us save these babies!”

                “We are going upstream to stop whoever is throwing them in.”

               

                How do we prevent girls like Debbie in foster homes from becoming a human trafficking victim? How do we keep Debbie out of the foster care system in the first place? Because the truth is, 60% of all child sex trafficking victims have histories in the child welfare system. Without intervention, Debbie is destined to a life of abuse, violence, and prostitution.

                The Foster Care system was created to provide a safe place for children to live while temporary problems were worked out in the home. While many foster homes and families are kind and loving and seek to provide well for the needs of children, we know that not all families have the best interest of the children at heart. Some sinister motives entice people to become foster families – money, control, power.

                The National Center of Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) found that of the more than 18,5000 endangered runaways reported in 2016, one in six were likely victims of child sex trafficking. Of those, 86% were in the care of social services when they went missing.

(https://pjmedia.com/parenting/megan-fox/2018/12/27/is-child-protective-services-trafficking-children-n114037)

                So, where do we begin to get to the source of the Foster Care system problems?

                Let’s start with us and get to the heart of the matter. Why should people in Southwest Oklahoma care about what happens to foster care children in our area?

                Ahsha Morin, President of the Red Cord says, “We need to care simply because they are children. Children are the future of our city and country as a whole. The mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual abuse that the children endure can take a lifetime of healing even when they can receive needed life skills.”

                How do we go “upstream to prevent” the problem from happening in the first place?

Ahsha offers these specific steps to prevent foster care children from being trafficked:

  1. Train foster care staff, caregivers, and the youth on how to be protected. Contact the Red Cord to receive training to recognize the signs of trafficking. Request the FREE training here:     https://forms.gle/dwatRUTot8XDHZSG8
  2. Identify priorities and inform system leaders to improve the policies. Those with experience in child warfare should actively advocate for change.
  3. Be a voice. Educate policymakers about the true current conditions within the system and how children are being affected.

Concerning trafficking, Ahsha says, “First, stop labeling the victims of child sex trafficking as prostitutes. They are survivors of child rape.” She urges law enforcement to:

  1. Actively pursue pimps and traffickers.
  2. Concentrate on eliminating the demand for prostitution by arresting the buyers.
  3. Identify the victims as children in need of rescue and not criminals.

YOU can help today:

http://theredcord.org/prayer/

  • PLAN to attend or host a Red Cord training event. Click here for info:

http://theredcord.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Human-Trafficking-Trainings-13290.pdf

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