Friday, November 20, 2015

FIRST UNITED METHODIST CHURCH:Human Trafficking, A Reality. Are Our Children Safe? A Conversation on Human Trafficking

Human Trafficking, A Reality.

Are Our Children Safe?  A Conversation on Human Trafficking





On October 30th at 7PM It was my honor to speak about human trafficking and share my story of survival as a victim of child sex trafficking at the
First United Methodist Church
420 N Nevada Ave
Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Please join me as we unite together to bring an end to modern day slavery and raise our voices to let every victim and survivor know that they are not alone and that they matter and their story matters always!
Warmest Regards,
Jerome Elam


Human trafficking is a modern day slavery that is occurring internationally, in the U.S., in our city and in our families.  FUMC is honored to host a discussion on human trafficking on October 30 in the sanctuary.  We will have several speakers that will share their own experiences with human trafficking and also give us an opportunity to see how we can advocate for the victims and for those at risk of becoming a victim of trafficking.

Jerome Elam, a survivor of child sex trafficking, will speak of his experience of being abused as a child that led to child pornography and child sex trafficking.  Sargent Simpson and Detective Reid of the CSPD human trafficking unit will share statistics and cases of human trafficking in our city.  Shawna Kemppainen, executive director for Urban Peak, will speak about at risk children in our city and how Urban Peak is working to protect them.

This event is free and open to the public. Childcare will be provided.

Please Visit My New Facebook Page:

I have reached the maximum number of friends Facebook allows. I have created a page so that I can continue to educate and empower as many as possible to help protect our children from sexual predators. Please “like” the page by going here . I am both honored and blessed to have so many courageous and passionate people fighting beside me in the fight to save a child’s innocence! So many of you inspire me and give the strength I need to get through my darkest days and I appreciate you all!
Warmest Regards,
Jerome Elam

Financial and Legal Resources for Victims of Sex Trafficking

Abolitionist William Wilberforce said, “You can choose to look the other way, but you can never say again you did not know.”

For Victims of Sex Trafficking:

 Thistle Farms

Thistle Farms employs almost 60 Magdalene residents or graduates. While working at Thistle Farms, women learn skills in manufacturing, packaging, marketing and sales, and administration. It is a supportive workplace where women acquire the skills they need to earn a living wage. Employees have the opportunity to put a percentage of their earnings in a matched savings account provided by Magdalene. Through Thistle Farms, the women of Magdalene gain much needed job skills, and learn responsibility and cooperation. Thistle Farms is housed in an 11,000 square feet sales and manufacturing facility. Thistle Stop Cafe, and the paper and sewing studios are also in the same building. We are committed to growing in order to employ more women and have greater opportunities to share our stories of healing on a larger scale. 

  Issues Affecting Women Programme (IAW)

In the Issues Affecting Women Programme (IAW), we fund two priority areas (pillars): movement building and ending violence against women. Within the first pillar, we fund initiatives that promote movement building through women's funds, "anchor” women’s organisations and networks. Within the second pillar, we focus more specifically on: human trafficking and exploitation; intra-familial violence; and violence against women that takes place in situations of crisis.


Sabre sets up first-ever educational scholarship program for human trafficking survivors -

 See more at:

University of Michigan Free Legal Services for Human Trafficking Victims:  

The HTC is the first legal clinic solely dedicated to human trafficking in the United States. It offers students at the University of Michigan Law School the opportunity to gain practical skills in the legal fields related to helping victims of human trafficking. The students in the clinic also run community outreach and education initiatives and conduct research about the state of laws relating to human trafficking. Not only do the students gain valuable advocacy skills, they have been and will continue to be instrumental in protecting victims' rights, in shaping the policy conversation, and in drafting the language used in amendments to trafficking laws.  

National Educators to Stop Trafficking


In the United States, the average age of entry into sexual slavery is 13, and about 80% of sex buyers do so for the first time before age 25.

NEST equips teachers and youth leaders with age-appropriate curriculum and resources to educate and empower youth – teaching them how to avoid being trafficked, how to stand up for victims of trafficking, and how to spread the word in their communities so that sexual exploitation and human trafficking become a thing of the past.

How To Identify A Human Trafficking Victim

•     Seems anxious, fearful or paranoid.  Avoids eye contact.
•    Tearfulness or signs of depression.
•    Unexplained bruises or cuts or other signs of physical abuse.
•    Appears to be in a relationship with someone who is dominating.
•    Never is alone and/or always has someone translating or answering questions on their behalf.
•    Not in control of their own finances.
•    Presents with secrecy or unable to answer questions about where they live.
•    Inconsistent details when telling their story.
•    Has no identification such as a license, passport or other ID documents.
    Inability to leave their job or residence.  Says they cannot schedule appointments.
    Being a recent arrival to the United States and does not speak English.
    Is under 18 and providing commercial sex acts.  Or at any age unwillingly providing commercial sex acts.
    Is afraid of law enforcement or receiving help from an outside entity.

If you can find an opportunity to get he/she alone, ask him/her the following screening questions:
     Can you leave your job or house when you want?
    Where did you get those bruises or is anyone hurting you?
    Do you get paid for your employment?  Is it fair?  How many hours do you work?
    (If foreign national) How did you get to the U.S. and is it what you expected?  Are you being forced to do anything you don't want to do?
    Are you or your family being threatened?
    Do you live with or near your employer?  Does your employer provide you housing?  Are there locks on doors or windows from outside?
    Do you owe debt to anyone?

If you suspect they are a victim of human trafficking,take the following actions:
    Ask the person if you can help them find a safe place to go immediately.
     If they need time, create an action plan with them to get to a safe place when they are ready.
     Call and make a report to the human trafficking hotline at 1.888.3737.888.  The hotline has language capabilities, so any individual can call directly if they choose.

The Department of Homeland Security online training about how to spot the signs of and report suspected human trafficking:

The Department of Homeland Security's Blue Campaign is now offering online training about how to spot the signs of and report suspected human trafficking. The training is aimed at the general public, the Federal workforce, first responders, and airline employees and focuses on:
    •    Defining human trafficking
    •    Differentiating between human trafficking and human smuggling
    •    Recognizing populations vulnerable to human trafficking
    •    Recognizing indicators of human trafficking   
A glossary and additional resources also are provided. View the Human Trafficking Awareness Training on the Department of Homeland Security's website:

Jerome Elam
Staff Writer and Columnist for Communities Digital News
Read my column here:
A Heart Without Compromise; Advocating for Children:  

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"The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing." - Albert Einstein

Always remember that you are never alone and that others have walked the healing path before you and are here to lift you up! Also remember that as survivors and victims, alone we may be strong but together we are unbeatable!

An End To Silence Blog is the copyrighted property of Jerome Elam. Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING CONTENT FROM AN END TO SILENCE BLOG OR ANY CONTENT WRITTEN BY JEROME ELAM WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.

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