Do you want to report suspicious activity? Are you at risk of human trafficking? Call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline.

Curriculum for Teachers & Parents

» Click to Download

Warning Signs That Someone Is Being Trafficked

Human trafficking is a problem in every state, and in every community.

If you believe that someone is being trafficked or exploited, call the The National Human Trafficking Resource Center to report your suspicions and seek help. All calls are treated anonymously:

1-888-3737-888

Here are some of the warning signs to look out for.

Common Work/Living Conditions

Lack of Control

Abnormal Behavior in Public

Poor Physical Health

HUMAN TRAFFICKING: ABDUCTING, FORCING, DECEIVING OR RECRUITING SOMEONE INTO WORKING AGAINST THEIR WILL. MOST COMMONLY FOR THE PURPOSES OF SEXUAL EXPLOITATION.

TRATA DE PERSONAS: RAPTAR O FORZAR, ENGAÑAR O RECRUTAR A PERSONAS PARA TRABAJAR EN CONTRA DE SU VOLUNTAD. COMUNMENTE CON EL PROPÓSITO DE USAR PARA EXPLOTACIÓN SEXUAL.

SEE FULL DEFINITION

"Trafficking in persons" shall mean the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs...

  • 1000x563
MORE VIDEOS

DOWNLOAD "RAPE FOR PROFIT"
THE NEW DOCUMENTARY FROM EXECUTIVE PRODUCER JADA PINKETT SMITH

Download "Rape For Profit" from iTunes

83% OF CONFIRMED TRAFFICKING CASES IN THE UNITED STATES ARE AMERICAN BORN CITIZENS

It's hard to believe, but more humans are being used as slaves than ever before.

Between 700,000 and 4 million women and children will be trafficked this year, with the majority being forced to work in the sex trade. In America, there are an estimated 40,000 men, women and children enslaved at this very moment. If everyone who cares takes action, we can end slavery once and for all.

It's time.

MORE FACTS
CHILD SEX SLAVERY IN AMERICA
VICTIMS
NOT CRIMINALS
DISABLED CHILDREN TARGETED
is the international symbol for currency. We use it in our design to emphasize that no human being should be anyone else's property.

Join our cause - stay updated:

Resources

These modern day abolitionists are fighting slavery across the globe. Here's how you can join them.*
These resources are listed here as a public service. Inclusion on our website does not constitute an endorsement by Don’t Sell Bodies, Overbrook Entertainment or
Jada Pinkett Smith.

LONG-TERM SURVIVOR SUPPORT

The Coalition to Abolish Slavery & TraffickingThe Coalition to Abolish Slavery & Trafficking (CAST) is a multi-ethnic, multi-lingual human rights organization providing comprehensive case management, services, and advocacy to survivors healing from the violence endured during slavery. CAST provides comprehensive long-term services through a three-pronged empowerment approach which includes Social Services, Legal Services, and Outreach and Training. The organization also operates the first shelter in the nation solely dedicated to serving victims of trafficking and established the first partnership of its kind with Saban Free Clinic – a family clinic in Los Angeles trained to address the health and mental health needs of trafficking victims.

FREEDOM THROUGH SOCIAL ENTERPRISE

Not For SaleNot For Sale uses the power of business and social enterprise to create viable alternatives to slavery. By empowering vulnerable communities, and engaging business, government and the grassroots, Not For Sale has created a modern day abolitionist movement in countries across the Globe. On November 1st and 2nd 2012, Not For Sale will be hosting Justice for the Bottom Billion - a Global Forum on stemming the tide of human trafficking.

PUSHING FOR LEGISLATIVE CHANGE

Polaris ProjectNamed after the North Star which guided slaves to freedom on the underground railroad, Polaris Project is one of the largest anti- trafficking organizations in the United States and Japan. The organization is active in lobbying for legislative change - including the current push for the CASE Act - and provides direct support to victims of trafficking. Polaris has been instrumental in providing training on human trafficking for law enforcement, social services and other public sector employees.

SUPPORTING SURVIVORS

GemsFounded by Rachel Lloyd, GEMS works with women and girls who have been trafficked and sexually exploited. The organization helps young girls transition out of the sex industry and get back to their full potential. GEMS was also instrumental in lobbying for passage of the Safe Harbor Act for Sexually Exploited Youth, which provides that girls under the age of 16, who are arrested in New York for prostitution will be treated as victims, rather than criminals.

HOLDING CALIFORNIA ACCOUNTABLE

GemsCalifornia harbors three of FBI's 13 highest child sex trafficking areas in the nation (Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego), and it has received an F rating from leading anti-trafficking organizations. California Against Slavery has already coordinated the successful push for THE CASE ACT - a groundbreaking ballot initiative that will increase penalties for human trafficking, ensure increased support for survivors, and mandate training for law enforcement and other officials.

EMPOWERING CONSUMERS

Slavery FootprintThe Slavery Footprint website shows consumers how their consumption habits are connected to modern-day slavery, showing them just how many slaves it takes to support their lifestyle. Through the "Free World" mobile app and online action center, Slavery Footprint provides consumers with an outlet to voice their demand for products made without slave labor.

RESCUING AND RESTORING VICTIMS

Shared HopeShared Hope International is a leading light in the worldwide effort to prevent and eradicate sex trafficking and slavery. The organization uses every means possible to alert the vulnerable to the dangers of trafficking, and partners with local organizations to offer victims of the sex trade safe shelter, therapy, spiritual and physical healing, education and vocational training. Shared Hope International also campaigns for fundamental cultural and legislative change to ensure the just treatment of victims and the prosecution of perpetrators alike.

24-HOUR ANTI-TRAFFICKING HOTLINE

Shared HopeThe National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC) is a national, toll-free hotline, available to answer calls from anywhere in the country, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every day of the year. It exists to help people to report tips/suspicious activity; connect with anti-trafficking services in their area, or to request training, technical assistance or anti-trafficking resources. The NHTRC is a program of Polaris Project, a non-profit, non-governmental organization working exclusively on the issue of human trafficking. NHTRC is not a government entity, law enforcement or an immigration authority. It can be reached at 1-888-3737-888

THE GOVERNMENT ANTI-SLAVERY EFFORT

Justice DepartmentThe fight to end slavery must include a robust response from Government. Every year, the Department of Justice publishes an overview of government efforts to and the trafficking of people. Covering everything from law enforcement and prosecutions to training and grant funding, this is a vital resource for anti-trafficking activists.

PROVIDING SAFE REFUGE

Courtney's HouseTina Frundt was “freed” from sex trafficking as a teen, only to be forced into the juvenile detention system. She founded Courtney's House as an alternative – funding a group residential home for survivors where they could heal, recover and move beyond their experiences without criminalization. Their first group home was forced to close due to lack of funding, but they are actively working toward a new home. In the meantime, they are providing drop-in services, outreach and law enforcement training.

INTERNATIONAL EMPOWERMENT

FAIR GirlsFAIR Girls provides education, outreach and empowerment to girls who have been, or are at risk of being, sexually exploited. With programs in Bosnia, Montenegro, Serbia, Russia, Uganda, and the United States, the organization creates opportunities for girls to become confident, happy, healthy young women. From emergency response through individual care to group empowerment workshops and prevention education, FAIR Girls works toward a world where all young women can live free from exploitation.

FIGHTING TRAFFICKERS IN JAPAN

Polaris Project JapanPolaris Project Japan is the only organization in Japan solely dedicated to combating all forms of human trafficking. They are a leading voice for victims of human trafficking and for calling attention to this human rights issue. Polaris runs case management services for survivors, a nationwide hotline for reporting trafficking, national education and awareness-raising efforts, policy advocacy, corporate outreach, and prevention programs.

SUPPORTING SURVIVORS IN SPAIN

Proyecto EsperanzaProyecto Esperanza (Project HOPE) is the response of the Congregation of the Sisters Adorers to the problem of trafficking in women in Spain. Since 1999, the group has offered a comprehensive support program for women who are victims of human trafficking for the purposes of exploitation. The Project has a multidisciplinary team who consider trafficking-in-persons to be a violation of human rights. The team consists of lawyers, educators, social workers, intercultural mediators, psychologists and other professionals.

COMBATING VIOLENCE AGAINST GIRLS

HUMAN RIGHTS FOR GIRLSGirls in the United States are subject to violence with horrifying frequency. One in four American girls will experience sexual violence by the age of 18. Girls aged 16 to 19 are four times more likely than others to be victims of rape, attempted rape, or sexual assault. And, nearly one in five women reports being subject to rape in her lifetime.

Violence against girls in the US is a human rights issue. Human Rights Project For Girls works to ensure it is viewed as such, and that ending this epidemic becomes a priority for our society.

KRISTI HOUSE

Kristi HouseKristi House's Project GOLD program assists commercially sexually exploited children by offering coordinated service to the victims and through training and awareness building in Miami Dade County. Kristi House, as the Miami Dade County CAC, strives to create local model programs that are easily replicated in other communities and continuously works to recognize this population of child sexual abuse victims as just that - victims - not criminals. Project GOLD is led by Trudy Novicki, Executive Director and author of the Florida Safe Harbor Act and by Sandy Skelaney, Program Manager.

FROM VICTIMS TO LEADERS

MISSSEYMotivating, Inspiring, Supporting, and Serving Sexually Exploited Youth (MISSSEY) advocates and facilitates the empowerment and inner transformation of sexually exploited youth by holistically addressing their specific needs. MISSSEY collaborates to bring about systemic and community change to prevent the sexual exploitation of children and youth through raising awareness, education and policy development. MISSSEY embodies a peer and survivor led model that recognizes the value of young people empowering other young people and the crucial voices of survivors in facilitating healing in victims of commercial sexual exploitation. MISSSEY seeks to partner with youth in their transition from victim to survivor to leader, encouraging their long-term stability and success in whatever path they choose.

PROTECTING THE VULNERABLE

International Justice MissionInternational Justice Mission is a human rights agency that brings rescue to victims of slavery, sexual exploitation and other forms of violent oppression. IJM lawyers, investigators and aftercare professionals work with local officials to secure immediate victim rescue and aftercare, to prosecute perpetrators and to ensure that public justice systems - police, courts and laws - effectively protect the poor. IJM's justice professionals work in their communities in 15 field offices in Asia, Africa and Latin America to secure tangible and sustainable protection of national laws through local court systems.

BUILDING TRUSTING RELATIONSHIPS

4 Sarah - Intervention - Outreach - Prevention4Sarah builds trusting and non-judgmental relationships with women and girls working in the life as strippers, prostitutes, escorts or victims of sexual exploitation through outreach into their work environment.

PROVIDING QUALITY AFTERCARE

Abolition InternationalThe vision for Abolition International surfaced in 2005 when Natalie Grant founded the Home Foundation to support aftercare programs for victims of sex trafficking around the world. The Home Foundation later evolved into Abolition International, combating sex trafficking through accreditation, advocacy and restoration.

MOBILIZING THE CHURCH

Araminta Freedom InitiativeAraminta Freedom Initiative exists to awaken, equip and mobilize the church and wider community to end human trafficking in the Baltimore area.

BREAKING CYCLES OF POVERTY

Araminta Freedom InitiativeThe Atlanta Women’s Foundation is dedicated to breaking the generational cycle of poverty for women and girls that often lead to trafficking. The organization aims to be a catalyst for change in the lives of individuals.

PROTECTING VULNERABLE CHILDREN

Children of the Night - Rescuing America's Children from ProstitutionChildren of the Night is dedicated to assisting children between the ages of eleven and seventeen who are being commercially sexually exploited. All programs are provided through the support of private donations.

HOUSING HOMELESS YOUTH

Covenant House - Opening Doors for Homeless YouthCovenant House Georgia & Washington are part of the International Covenant House movement, the largest privately funded agency in the Americas serving homeless, runaway and at-risk youth.

PREVENTING JUVENILE CRIME

Crosswalk Ministries USAThe mission for Crosswalk Ministries USA, Inc. is to reduce juvenile crime and address its causes by providing Christ-centered preventive and aftercare programs for at-risk youth and juvenile offenders.

COMBATING A GLOBAL PROBLEM

ECPAT InternationalECPAT International is a global network of organisations working together for the elimination of child prostitution, child pornography and the trafficking of children for sexual purposes. It seeks to ensure that children everywhere enjoy their fundamental rights free and secure from all forms of commercial sexual exploitation.

FAITH-BASED COLLABORATION

Faith Alliance Against Slavery and TraffickingFAAST is a Christian alliance working in collaboration to end human trafficking and restore survivors.

EMPOWERING WOMEN

Foundation for the Advancement of Women NowFFAWN’s mission is to empower and encourage women by shaping and supporting programs that foster education, career development, strong self-esteem and personal growth.

SPEAKING OUT FOR EQUAL RIGHTS

Georgia Women for a ChangeGeorgia Women for a Change is a non-profit, non-partisan organization that stands on the front lines of progressive change for Georgia’s women and girls. Together with its non-profit allies and diverse constituents from throughout Georgia, Georgia Women for a Change speaks with a unified voice on issues of economic security, equal rights and freedom from violence.

CARING FOR SURVIVORS

Gracehaven HouseGracehaven is the only organization in Ohio focusing on domestic minor sex trafficking, offering care for sexually exploited children by providing comprehensive client centered services.

SAFETY AND SUPPORT

Interact of Wake - Safety - Support - AwarenessInterAct is a private, non-profit, United Way agency that provides safety, support, and awareness to victims and survivors of domestic violence and rape/sexual assault in Wake County, NC. InterAct fulfills this mission through the support of its volunteers and community.

LONG-TERM CARE

Generate Hope - Empowering and Restoring LivesGenerateHope provides a safe place for victims of sex trafficking to be restored through long-term housing, healing, and education. Since recovery from sexual exploitation is a long-term process, GenerateHope provides individualized support to work through past trauma.

ENDING CHILD TRAFFICKING

Love 146 - End Child Sex Slavery & ExploitationLove146 is an international human rights organization working to end child trafficking and exploitation through survivor care, prevention education, professional training and empowering movement.

WORKING WITH LAW ENFORCEMENT

Million KidsMillion Kids works with local law enforcement and concerned citizens, businesses, and organizations to end human trafficking domestically, helping activists and communities develop effective anti-trafficking programs in their locales.

ENDING DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

Promise Place - Where Domestic Violence EndsPromise Place exists to prevent domestic violence through awareness programs, educational training and providing safe environments for the victims and their families, utilizing legal advocacy, emergency shelters and transitional housing.

RESCUING CHILDREN

RaphaHouse - Love Rescue HealRapha House is a public benefit 501©3 nonprofit committed to ending the trafficking and sexual exploitation of children. Founded in 2003, Rapha House continues to rescue and rehabilitate children, while bringing them to lasting freedom.

HELPING VULNERABLE YOUTH

Sasha Bruce Youthwork - Improving the Lives of Vulnerable YouthSasha Bruce Youthwork (SBY) improves the lives of homeless, runaway, abused and neglected youth and their families in the Washington DC area.

SERVING VICTIMS OF ABUSE

Saving Our Children and FamilesSaving Our Children and Families (SOCAF), Inc. is a Georgia-based nonprofit organization committed to providing intervention services for children that have been sexually abused. Through education and mentoring, SOCAF will put these children on a pathway to success.

ERADICATING CHILD SEX SLAVERY

Streetlight USA - Eradicating Child Sex SlaveryStreetlight’s vision is to eradicate child sex slavery through increased awareness by creating nationwide, community-based collaborations and safe houses.

BREAKING THE SILENCE

Voice Today - Breaking the SilenceVOICE Today is breaking the silence and cycle of child sexual abuse worldwide through Awareness, Prevention and Healing.

RESCUE AND RECOVERY

The Well HouseThe WellHouse is a nonprofit, faith-based and Christ centered organization devoted to the rescue and recovery of women who are being sexually exploited. Based in Birmingham, Alabama, The WellHouse reaches out to victims of sex trafficking across the southeastern United States.

MORE RESOURCES
  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  6. 6
  7. 7
  8. 8
  9. 9
  10. 10
  11. 11
  12. 12
  13. 13
Minh Dang
Executive Producer Jada Pinkett Smith brings you “Rape For Profit”, a powerful documentary the Huffington Post calls, “Disturbing and Provocative”. Set against the backdrop of Seattle’s downtown city lights, “Rape For Profit” takes the audience undercover for an up-close look at the true nature of the sex trade. There is a growing problem in major U.S. cities where girls as young as 12 years old are bought and sold as many as 15 times a night to service the desires of men. Experience the shocking truth and follow several heroes as they fight this modern-day slavery and stop the next generation of buyers.
Watch the trailer here.

Executive Producer Jada Pinkett Smith brings you “Rape For Profit”, a powerful documentary the Huffington Post calls, “Disturbing and Provocative”. Set against the backdrop of Seattle’s downtown city lights, “Rape For Profit” takes the audience undercover for an up-close look at the true nature of the sex trade. There is a growing problem in major U.S. cities where girls as young as 12 years old are bought and sold as many as 15 times a night to service the desires of men. Experience the shocking truth and follow several heroes as they fight this modern-day slavery and stop the next generation of buyers.

Watch the trailer here.

Minh Dang
Following on from our successful tweet chats on responsible communication, and effective support, our next will be on the role of men in the movement. 
- How can men help end demand for human trafficking?
- How do we better support male survivors? 
- Do programs tailored to men need to be structured differently? How? 
Come discuss these hot topics and more on June 24th at 12p/3e. And if you know of successful male-focused initiatives and/or male survivor voices who need to be heard, please drop us a line or pass on the info.

Following on from our successful tweet chats on responsible communication, and effective support, our next will be on the role of men in the movement. 

- How can men help end demand for human trafficking?

- How do we better support male survivors? 

- Do programs tailored to men need to be structured differently? How? 

Come discuss these hot topics and more on June 24th at 12p/3e. And if you know of successful male-focused initiatives and/or male survivor voices who need to be heard, please drop us a line or pass on the info.

Minh Dang

WHAT DOES SUCCESSFUL SURVIVOR SUPPORT LOOK LIKE?

A RECAP OF THE SECOND #DSBCHAT

Following on from our successful inaugural #DSBChat exploring responsible communication in the anti-trafficking movement, the second installment of this ongoing series of tweet chat’s explored another topic that is crucial to our cause: 

- What does successful survivor support look like, and how can the movement better facilitate survivor leadership? 

We started by asking what an ideal survivor support program would look like. 

Survivor Support or Survivor Leadership?
Rachel Lloyd of GEMS Girls weighed in with the observation that ownership is a big part of the puzzle: 

image

LCHT argued that while allies play a crucial role in survivor support, organizations not lead by survivors should be pro-active in seeking (and listening to) input from survivors:

image

Survivors As Whole People
Touching on a common theme brought up in the previous communication chat, Rachel argued that this should result in a more inclusive, empowering, dignified and holistic role for survivors than has so far been presented in much of the movement:

image

image

Not For Sale echoed this notion, suggesting that restoration of survivors’ dignity is a much broader challenge than is often recognized - sharing how this insight is put into practice in their programs. 

image

image

image

Structuring Programs to Prioritize Empowerment
For GEMS too, it was clear that the conceptualization and structure of the program is key to shaping how it actually meets its goals.

We asked Rachel to share the organization’s core values: 

image

Another theme that reemerged from the previous chat was the desire for survivors to be adequately compensated for their work. 

Re-Exploiting the Exploited?
There is a feeling among many that survivors are sometimes re-exploitedin terms of a lack of compensation: 

image

image

imageimage

This exploitation also extends to how survivors are sometimes “used” simply for their stories, argued Alex Sajben and Holly Smith:

image

image

Practical Support is Crucial
Access to health care, education and (appropriate) mental health services were also key priorities for many, as well as the need to expunge criminal records that are a result of survivors being trafficked:

 

image

imageimage

Domestic Versus International/Labor Trafficking
There was also some discussion of the challenges that are presented by the split between addressing domestic sex trafficking and other forms, such as international sex trafficking and/or labor trafficking: 

image

image

image

image

Sustainable Long-Term Funding
The discussion moved to a consensus that there is not enough funding for survivor support, and the survivor support that does exist focuses too much on “rescue”, and not enough on long-term, strategic support and empowerment: 

image

image

image

Reframing the Movement
Part of the challenge, suggested Rachel, is in reframing the very nature of what the movement is and does: 

image

image

image

image

image

A Survivor Track at Conferences?
Finally, the discussion concluded with a concrete suggestion our Executive Director which seemed to strike a nerve:

image

Stay tuned for the next #DSBChat topic, and if anyone is interested in pursuing the idea of survivor tracks at conferences, please do reach out. 

Minh Dang

SURE, I’M WITH LINCOLN (BUT WHAT DOES THAT REALLY MEAN?)

The first time I watched the I’m With Lincoln Video, I was mostly numb.

The second time, I squinted and shed some tears.

The third, I got the chills, felt close to vomiting, and could barely watch until the end. 

The image that got to me is when the females are marched up the stairs in a line. My mind flashed to images of people chained up and marched to slave auctions during the transatlantic slave trade.

I wondered what it is like for other people to watch this video. I wondered what it is like for survivors of slavery, for non-survivors, and for anti-slavery activists. I also wondered how many times the average person watched this video.

Just another trafficking video?

For me, my first viewing was somewhat cursory. A colleague told me about the video and asked me what I thought of it. I hadn’t seen the full video so I went online to find it. I didn’t have high expectations. I assumed I was going to see a young woman beaten and raped, and maybe in chains. I wasn’t sure what to expect about how Lincoln was going to be tied into the video.

When I was done watching it, I felt no differently. I didn’t really learn or see anything new. I was worried that this was yet another video that could glorify violence, that overemphasized sex trafficking over labor trafficking, and that focused on the physical and sexual violence of slavery. 

I did however, appreciate that somebody was using the release of the Lincoln movie to say, “hey everybody, slavery still exists!”

Leveraging the Zeitgeist

Made in a Free World capitalized beautifully on a mainstream event that reached millions of people. They are using a cultural event that lots of people are talking about to shift the conversation to something many not as many people are talking about.

I think they are playing on the hope and inspiration that people can feel after seeing the Lincoln movie. They are saying, “So you feel good about how Lincoln ended slavery? and how you would stand on his side in history? Well…you can stand on his side now. Help us end slavery today and sign this petition.”  

Highlighting  Government Underfunding

I also think the petition for doubling the U.S. federal budget to end human trafficking is a bold request. Organizations usually ask for a little bit more funding, hoping for crumbs. Why not ask for what might really make a difference? The comparisons between the anti-human trafficking budget to other budgetary expenses is also a unique way of thinking about things. While I understand that the federal government has many priorities to address, seeing the comparisons helps us consider what we are saying our priorities are, compared to what actions we are taking on those priorities.

Do We “See” the Same Thing?

And this brings me to my third viewing of the I’m With Lincoln video. As I was watching, I paid attention to eyes of the females in the film.  I paid attention to their body language and how their emotions were portrayed. I thought that in fact, the violence portrayed was pretty real. It was accurate in a way that maybe the public can shy away from.

It was painful to imagine myself having gone through similar horrors. Imagining seeing resignation in my eyes – seeing hopelessness in how I carried my body. 

I wondered – does “the public” see this? Or are people so desensitized now to these videos? To violence in general? Are people numb to this, just as I was the first time around?

If not – if a viewer watched this and actually feels what I felt, if even a little bit, and then wants to make sure no one ever feels this way, then maybe the use of violence in the video was worth it?

But if a viewer watched this video and says nothing, does nothing, validates the violence, or writes it off as an everyday thing…then was the video worth it? 

Who knows? What I do know is that this video warrants conversation around what is controversial. Here are some things to consider:

- Psychological violence. Did you notice the exploitation of the female’s desire for love in the beginning? This is just as crucial as the physical and sexual violence. 

- I keep calling them females. Why? Do we know if they are girls or women or transgender people? These are important differences. Girls are often portrayed as vague in age so that people who rape them can feel less guilty because they thought she was “of age.” What does it mean to be enslaved as a child vs. an adult? Transgender youth can be exploited and discriminated in ways that straight girls and women aren’t.

- Did you notice the accomplices/perpetrators who are just sitting there while people are violated? This is why human trafficking is also considered an organized crime, not just a crime of some evil bad pimp. 

- The people in the video appear mostly brown and Latino. How does the video impact stereotypes about people without U.S citizenship papers?  How might it accurately portray that children/people of color are targeted as victims? Contrary to videos that might highlight the issue as important only because it also affects suburban white girls?

 - Did Lincoln really end slavery? Of course not. Members of the Underground Railroad, people who were enslaved, allies and abolitionists, and so many people contributed to ending slavery. What does this mean for how we eradicate slavery now?

Can we eradicate slavery?

Join the Discussion
We’ve been talking a lot about communication, stereotypes, violence and exploitation at Don’t Sell Bodies. As our movement matures, it’s crucial we turn a critical eye on our own communications to make sure we are not subconsciously perpetuating the problems we seek to fight.

Please follow us on twitter @dontsellbodies and join in on our twitter chat this upcoming Monday, April 29th, 11amPST/2pmEST for our first Freedom Chat on Responsible Communication in the Anti-Slavery Movement.

Use the hashtag #DSBchat to join the conversation!

Minh Dang

Freedom is…

Freedom is today.
Freedom is precious.
Freedom knows no boundaries.
Freedom is a state of existence and a process. 
Freedom is physical, emotional, and spiritual.
Freedom is worth fighting for.
Freedom must be fought for individually and collectively.
Freedom is achieved with and beside comrades. It is not fought for alone.
Freedom is quiet.
Freedom is loud.
Freedom is just.
Freedom is love.
Freedom is not a world without pain.
Freedom is grief. Grief that is so deep that it brings relief, joy, and a sense of the world expanding.
Freedom is not taken for granted by everyone.
Freedom is poetry.
Freedom is sitting with feelings of shame while knowing you’re okay just as you are.
Freedom is growing.
Freedom is learning.
Freedom is so much more than this list.
Freedom is instinctive, natural, and fundamental.
Freedom is a basic human right!
Freedom a basic human need!


7 Years in Freedom!
Freedom and what it means to me has been on my mind a lot this week. This past Tuesday (April 16th), I celebrated the end of my 7th year living in freedom and the start of my 8th year.

I thought a lot about how this was an important day for me to mark and to celebrate. This was the first year I even came up with a specific date that I call my “Freedom Day.”

Kind of like how we in the U.S. call April “Sexual Assault Awareness Month,” or we call the 4th of July, Independence Day, a dear friend and mentor of mine suggested that I pick a date to mark my entrance into the world of freedom. She suggested this to me one day when I was on the phone with her, sobbing about how difficult life can still be, even though my life is SO much better than it once was. I mean, unbelievably better.

And yet as I have mentioned before, the impact of my trauma is something that I deal with quite regularly. And by regularly, I mean more than daily…And this is an improvement from managing my trauma symptoms from minute to minute, as it once was… 

So, my friend reminded me of the relative newness of my freedom and the fact that my days in freedom have not out-numbered my days in slavery yet. The idea of quantifying this gave me something to hold on to. It gave me a date – April 16, 2026 – when my days in freedom will finally match my days in slavery.

That means, on April 17, 2026, my brain/mind/heart/body will finally have lived more freely than ever before. The experiences of freedom will finally outweigh the experiences of enslavement.

Until then, it makes perfect sense why I might have hard or super hard days that are about healing my trauma.  In fact, it would even make sense that healing from 20 years of child abuse [via incest, neglect, physical abuse, emotional abuse, and child sex trafficking] would take MORE than 20 years. It takes many people (rightfully so), years to heal from one traumatic event. There is not mathematical equation for how long healing takes.

However, there is one mathematical equation that my brain has calculated:

                      input of evil/trauma > input of love/freedom

Wait. What? Only 7 Years in Freedom?!?!? 
So…while I did have happy/proud feelings about my 7 years of freedom, I also celebrated by feeling really angry. Why? Because I am not 7 years old. Why is it that I am almost 29 years old and only celebrating 7 years of freedom?!?!

This is outrageous to me. I should have almost 29 years of freedom under my belt. And I should, because nature intended it to be so. Nature intends for a human being to become a separate and autonomous, though interdependent, human being.

No child is born a slave. Children are forced into slavery.

No person is born a slave. People are forced into slavery.

If we need any reason to dig deep and to continue our fight against slavery, I hope that my 7-year anniversary of freedom gives us one.

I hope that someday people don’t have to celebrate their anniversary of freedom.

I hope that everyone’s Freedom Date will forever and always be their birth date.

Photo credit: Creative Commons\Jorge


THE AVERAGE VICTIM IS 12 YEARS OLD

At 17, Danielle was forced into prostitution - but she says the average age of girls being forced into sex slavery is just 12.

"It's like being raped over and over and over and over," says Danielle.

Rain is more typical of the average American victim, having entered prostitution at the age of 11.

When asked about the men whom she slept with, she is unequivocal about what they were: child abusers.

"I'm not going to label them Johns," she says.

Take action to support THE CASE ACT.


VICTIMS NOT CRIMINALS

Carissa was 12 years old when she was coerced into prostitution.

"I remember him vividly putting his arm around me and acting like he was my buddy. Within days, he was raping me violently."

With children as young as 11 or 12 being exploited for sex, there is a pressing need to differentiate between pimps and prostitutes. Nearly all prostitutes in the US are victims of child sex trafficking, and activists around the country are pushing for law enforcement to recognize them as victims - while focusing their efforts on the real criminals, the pimps and johns who make this industry possible.

The CASE Act will raise the penalties for human trafficking, forcing sex traffickers to register as sex offenders, and mandating training on human trafficking for law enforcement.

It will also funnel more funds for victim support.

Take action to support THE CASE ACT.


DISABLED CHILDREN TARGETED

When Vicki's 17-year-old daughter went missing, she feared she was dead. When she was found, Vicki discovered that she had been bought and sold for sex.

Vicki's daughter is developmentally disabled, with a mental age of just 11. Targeting of such vulnerable children is a growing trend within the trafficking industry.

Vicki is now helping to push the CASE Act (Californians Against Sexual Exploitation) - a ballot initiative that will raise penalties for trafficking and increase support for survivors.

Take action to support THE CASE ACT.

Don't Sell Bodies was conceived by Jada Pinkett Smith and Overbrook Entertainment. It was designed by The Change Creation and Goroboto.

It is dedicated to the victims and survivors of trafficking, and the heroes who are fighting to eradicate it.

Creative Team:
Jada Pinkett Smith
Chris "CJay" Jordan
Paress Salinas
Sami Grover
Jerry Stifelman
Chelsea Bay Dennis
Rebekah Miel
Tennessee Watson
Rob Biddiscombe