A Note from Our Executive Director, Jarrett Luckett
In Southeastern Wisconsin, news stories of creepy guys asking odd and invasive questions to women and kids have been in the news and on social media a lot more lately, along with stories of attempted abductions. Thankfully in most of the situations, no one was harmed. These articles have been portrayed as possible attempts to abduct someone for human trafficking. Yes, abductions happen for multiple reasons, including human trafficking. However, in Southeast Wisconsin and throughout the United States, abduction isn’t the common way that someone is forced into selling their body.
Individuals are typically forced into selling their body by someone that they know. I know it is hard to believe but it’s true. A woman or young girl is often pursed by someone within their family or someone they may enter into a romantic relationship or friendship with. In this relationship, the perpetrator works to gain trust and find vulnerabilities. Vulnerabilities can include lack of basic needs (food, clothing, shelter), the need to make more money, lack of love, lack of a father’s love and engagement in their life, insecurities, promised a job, and the list goes on.
While the recent stories of attempted abductions and creepy guys asking weird and invasive questions is alarming, it is important to not miss out on how human trafficking victims are usually groomed and tricked. I have taught personal defense classes for over 4 years to thousands of people, so please be aware and stay vigilant however, don’t let what is shocking cause for us to miss out on the subtle tactics most traffickers use.
For more information:
Psychology Today - Human Trafficking: Psychology of Recruitment
Written by: Annie Olson | Freedom Fighter
Of the 27 million people living in slavery today, its estimated that only one percent will be rescued. Our fight against modern-day slavery must begin with prayer.
Here are 10 key things you can be praying for this coming year:
For misconceptions about human trafficking to be changed
It is often times assumed that slavery only takes place in foreign countries, when in reality it is also occurring in our own backyard. It is also assumed that every victim is in physical bondage. As a result of these misconceptions and others, countless victims go unrecognized.
Human trafficking has been defined as “the exploitation of vulnerability”. These vulnerabilities come in many forms- whether it be age, the desire to be accepted, a drug addiction, or a lack of basic resources. When these areas are protected, the risk of being trafficking decreases significantly.
For the legal system
Currently, only 1% of traffickers face any sentence for their crimes. At the same time, sex trafficking victims face incarceration for prostitution. Though our laws have come a long way in protecting survivors, there is still a desperate need for policy change.
For Unity of the Church
While it is important to include the government in the fight, the greatest force should be the Church. Though the impact of one church is limited, the efforts of all will bring about change.
“So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.” Ephesians 4:11-13
When a person escapes trafficking, they carry many wounds. Beyond just the physical abuse, the manipulation often leaves feelings of distrust, a lack of self-worth, and bitterness in its wake. The healing one must go through is dependent not just upon the spiritual restoration, but the physical and mental as well. Through both faith-based and natural methods, survivors can be restored to the calling God has for their life.
For the families of trafficking victims
Often times, survivors of human trafficking come from broken homes. Reconnecting with one’s family, even a loving one, can be a challenge. Pray for family ties to be strengthened, for parents to be guided in the healing process, and for healthy relationships to replace unhealthy ones. For those without a family, pray for other individuals to step into that role.
For Exploit No More’s Work
This year, ENM will be opening the first survivor home for girls in Milwaukee. We greatly appreciate your prayers for resources, that we are able to proceed in a timely manner, and for the girls we will be serving.
For those who fuel the industry
As hard as it can be, we need to recognize that the johns, the pimps, the traffickers, and the pornography industry all need our prayers too. When the demand stops, the selling stops.
For knowledge, understanding, and awareness of human trafficking to spread
Every thirty seconds, another person is sold into slavery. We want awareness to spread faster than people are bought. Pray that words are given to convey the truth, for conversations to be opened, and for people to seek answers for themselves.
For how you can be the hands and feet of Jesus.
Each one of us has specific talents and circumstances that can be used in the fight against trafficking. Whether its educating your classroom on human trafficking, making a financial commitment, or creating legal change, we all have a role.
“Seek His will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take.” Proverbs 3:6
We are excited to announce that we have a new Executive Director, Jarrett Luckett! As you may recall, former Executive Director, Katie Linn moved across the country due to her husband’s career. With this departure, we are lucky to have Luckett join us for our next growth phase.
He is a native of Milwaukee and comes equipped with experience raising awareness and increasing philanthropic activity for this cause. Most recently with Aurora Health Care, Luckett also has over seven years of experience in healthcare from Activity Director to focusing on organizational development. He is also a member of a global group of top leaders called, “The Global Shapers” – an initiative of the World Economic Forum.
“We are excited to have Luckett on board. His business experience and leadership skills will propel our organization into the next phase,” says Jason Butler, ENM President and Lead Pastor at Transformation City Church.
Luckett’s experience will come in handy as ENM continues working towards providing a residential aftercare house, one of only three in Milwaukee and a handful in the nation. Exploit No More will provide housing, services, and support to aid in freeing young women from the grips of sexual exploitation, to give them a second chance at their childhood and life.
Luckett’s new role will focus on three areas:
We have some exciting news coming up, so be sure to “like” our Facebook page and stay connected!
In Wisconsin, there is more work to be done than there are people to do the work. There have been many organizations and leaders in Milwaukee and throughout the state who have recognized the trafficking that is happening in our own communities, however in order to end the commercial sex industry in Wisconsin for good, more people need to be aware of the issue and do their part to fight it. Exploit No More has had the opportunity to partner with a number of strong organizations that share our same passion to end trafficking and who work collaboratively with us to bring awareness to the issue and services to victims.
In 2015, there were a few highlights of Exploit No More’s work and partnerships that are taking steps to accomplishing those goals, as well as that provide opportunities for volunteers and donors to become more actively involved in fighting trafficking.
Throughout the summer of 2015, Exploit No More brought on an intern passionate about reaching at-risk youth to share warning signs and information about sex trafficking. She worked to create a well-researched presentation explaining general information about labor and sex trafficking, then focusing specifically on the recruitment, grooming, and exploitation phases of sex trafficking. During her presentations to a middle-school aged group in the city of Milwaukee, there were many deep and thought provoking questions and conversations that were brought up as the young teenagers listened and learned about trafficking. Exploit No More plans to use this presentation to continue to educate school classes and youth groups about the realities and dangers of sex trafficking, as well as to use other longer-term programs to specifically reach girls at a higher risk of trafficking.
In fall 2015, Exploit No More partnered with Wisconsin Safe Families, SaintA, La Causa, and Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin to host an informational meeting about fostering at-risk youth. Launching a program entitled “Finding Home”, the event consisted of a panel discussion around the topic of fostering youth who has been trafficked or who are at a high risk of being trafficked. Each of Exploit No More’s participating partners provided additional foster care training specifically geared towards trauma informed care while also providing additional assistance and guidance throughout the course of fostering.
In November 2015, four survivors in the Milwaukee area joined Exploit No More staff for a national conference in Washington D.C. for service providers and survivors of sex trafficking. The women were able to join other survivors from around the nation in survivor-only sessions and networking times, as well as network with other service providers, hear other survivor’s stories, and gain a vision for how they can use their own experience to help others. While not every part of the conference was easy, the conversations and dreams these women have had since the conference have been inspiring, and it will be exciting to see the work that they do in the coming years.
Exploit No More hosted a training for volunteers who wish to reach out to hotels in the Metro-Milwaukee area. The training included tips on how to discuss the topic of sex trafficking with a hotel manager, signs that hotel management and staff should watch for, and steps that should be taken if suspected trafficking is occurring within a hotel. Volunteers also passed out brochures with trafficking information as well as posters of missing girls from the Milwaukee area. Exploit No More’s hotel outreach training is a yearly event that has led to leads on missing girls.
These four areas are just a few of the exciting ways that Exploit No More has been working to fight sex trafficking in Milwaukee and the surrounding areas. As we move in 2016, we look forward to continuing to grow these programs, as well as to begin new and more in depth aftercare.
If you have an interest in volunteering, giving presentations, fostering at-risk youth, or sponsoring survivors for future conferences, please contact us at email@example.com.
In just my short time as Executive Director of Exploit No more, I have seen the heart our community stirring. While much work is left to be done to end the industrialized sexual exploitation of children in our neighborhoods, momentum is building to end this tragedy in and around Milwaukee. Legal advocates are joining together to address gaps in the justice system, the media is bringing much needed attention to the issue, and many of you have reached out to learn how you can take action. (As an example, nearly 200 people attended our Awareness + Advocacy Workshop in October!)
In my first few weeks as chief relationship and strategy builder for our coalition, my work has been two-fold: First, I’ve set out to listen. Listen to the stories of survivors. Glean from the experiences and best practices of clinicians. Understand the work of political leaders in this arena. This strategy has better equipped me to propel our vision forward and partner with others to address the systemic issues that have kept our community from adequately combating the evil of child rape
Second, I’ve hit the ground running with our vision for a place of healing and safety for juvenile victims. I’ve started work on licensing and have begun scouting properties. It is an exciting time of strategic planning for our leadership team! For more updates on where we’ve been and where we’re headed with the safehouse, please be sure to join us at Elmbrook Church on November 21.
Along the way, I have partnered with organizations, news outlets, and advocates to shed light on the plight of victims in Milwaukee. The more we inform ourselves and our friends about the truths surrounding this issue— no matter how difficult or disturbing the facts may be— the better equipped we will be to address all of the moving parts of this deeply imbedded system of injustice.
Hope to see you on November 21st.
Grateful to have you with us in this work,