(Original air date 03/08/18)
One of the first questions a member of a jury often asks in a sex trafficking case is, “if the girl is being treated so badly, then why don’t the run? Why don’t they do whatever they have to do to get out?”
Truthfully, this is a complex subject. It often has to do with layers of trauma. I sometimes refer to this as the “Chain of Shame.” Research indicates at least 70% of sex trafficking victims were previously sexually exploited. There is an element of “self-incrimination” as the victim is slowly groomed to accept the blame for his/her weaknesses and need.
Often the victims are highly drugged making them controlled and dependent. Many of the female victims are recruited and controlled by a bottom girl blurring perceptions of trust and friendship and vulnerable to feelings of failure. Most victims experience “perceived” rejection of their families and they know there are hundreds of pornographic photo and videos of them on the internet so they feel they are in the bondage of shame forever.
Victims experience layers of trauma, especially when they have been forced to watch videos of themselves being sexually violated, and experience shame vicariously in a secondary situation that adds a layer of self judgement to shame. Many of the victims experience repeated outbreaks of oral/anal herpes and feel they will never be “ok.”
And finally, most of the victims are controlled by severe violence beyond comprehension, which destroys the soul and spirit, and they believe they are going to die if they try to break free. Many victims are threatened with their family being harmed or killed and are made to believe that if they comply it will not happen.
(Special Rebroadcast 05/10/18 | Original air date 06/15/17)
Recently, I was having a dinner table discussion about commercial sex and exploitation when a family member suddenly made a statement, “sex buyers are all Caucasian men in suits and are Republicans.” Well certainly this person is young and uninformed and I found it all quite amusing. And, perhaps she just saw a rerun of the movie “Pretty Woman.”
But it occurred to me that ALL of us have prejudices and preconditioning on the subject of sex buying. Certainly prostitution is the world’s oldest profession. We have all heard that ad nauseam. But, because of gangs and social media, commercial sex is not the casual activity we once thought it was.
There is a critical need to educate men and women that sex buying in a world of sex trafficking is not a victimless event. More important, if a cartel will violate a child for commercial gain, they will think nothing of violating and exploiting the sex buyer. This is one episode that should be heard and shared with men and women around the globe.
Join us as we explore the phenomena of sex buying and the demographics of the perpetrators.
(Original air date 04/26/18)
This week host, Opal Singleton, will be interviewing Captain Craig Poulson, Director of the Los Angeles Fire Department Leadership Academy.
Often fire department personnel are the first on a crime scene. It is critical they are trained to identify crimes of human exploitation. Million Kids serves as the Human Trafficking Instructor for the LAFD Leadership Academy and provides training on sex and labor trafficking, sextortion, social media exploitation and combating child pornography.
The LAFD Leadership Academy is the premier leadership training academy in the nation for developing leadership skills for first responders, community, and civic leaders. The Leadership Academy accepts students from across the nation (and internationally) and is an intensive graduate level course. The foundation for the Leadership program was developed at the United States Military Academy at West Point and was adapted to the leadership concerns of the fire service today.
Captain Poulson is an exemplary role model and administrator for the academy. In this interview he shares some of the aspects of leadership skills required for first responders. He is engaging and informative. You are sure to enjoy this show!
(Original air date 04/19/18)
Recently,anti sex trafficking advocates seemingly experienced a great victory when Backpage.com’s top executives were arrested and the assets of the company seized. Theoretically, these sex traffickers were put out of business. There were celebrations in the streets!
However, now that the dust has settled and balloons have lost their air, WHAT DOES IT REALLY MEAN?
Human Trafficking & Child Pornography expert, Opal Singleton, has educated tens of thousands of first responders, government agencies, civic leaders, school administrators, medical personnel, faith-based organizations, parents & grand-parents about how predators operate and how to prevent young people from
(Original air date 05/17/18)
The three primary legal requirements to define sex trafficking in the U.S. are Force, Fraud and Coercion. What do these terms mean and how do predators use them to lure in their victims for sex trafficking, sextortion and social media exploitation?
Join us as we look at case studies to help you understand the differences between force, fraud and coercion and how to identify if someone you know may be a victim of exploitation.
(Original air date 03/22/18)
This is a controversial show where we examine the unintended consequences of creating legislation and enforcing the "Rule of Law" when combating crimes of sexual exploitation. This show is not meant to have a political focus, but rather to examine unintended consequences of the law.
Recently, media giants announced that Facebook had provided the Trump campaign with personal data on their users prior to the election which started a movement to shutdown Facebook. The Washington Post responded by pointing out that ALL candidates purchase this data and most social media marketers track user data and sell it. This is called “marketing research.” Additionally, no one seems to notice that Facebook does not charge a fee to use their site. They make their money by collecting users every search, every click, and location, and then selling this information to millions of companies, including politicians. This is called artificial intelligence (AI).
This week we will examine the issue of how creating legislation to punish websites such as Backpage and Facebook may have unintended consequences for law enforcement. We will explore how new legislation, currently approved by the US Congress and winding its way through the Senate, could have far reaching effects by possibly creating massive Class Action Suits and resulting in the creation of road blocks for law enforcement whereby victims will receive a very small amount of compensation. We will also examine the intent of the new legislation and the good parts of it, as well as considering possible fall out that is not being addressed.
Additionally, we will look at cases where laws were put into effect, such as California SB1322 that has crippled law enforcement's ability to assist and protect minor victims. And, we will look at the effects of California Proposition 57 that was passed and approved by voters, but is so undefined that it could end up releasing over 10,000 convicted felony sex offenders early from prison and right back into the communities where the victims testified and believably received justice.
The purpose of this show is to encourage all of us to consider the possible consequences of creating legislation and to think through the entire process in order to truly make a difference and, most importantly, enforce the rule of law that is on the books.
(Original air date 03/15/18)
It’s easy to believe that because we don’t see a mob of gang members in our neighborhoods that our kids will not be exposed to gangs. Did you know that gangs have I.T. guys, webmasters and social media experts?
Today we will explore how gangs and cartels are maximizing technologies to access, groom, recruit and exploit our young people. Social media allows gangs to form cliques. They have dispersed management so as not to be obvious to the public. They use Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and other apps and sites to meet young girls to groom them into sex trafficking. They use social media for money laundering, buying and selling of drugs, guns and commercial sex, and to announce hit lists. And yes, they use social media to lure in sex buyers in order to blackmail, beat and, in some instances, murder them.
(Original air date 03/29/18)
This week we examine three of the most popular internet video chat rooms, how they work, the hidden (and not so hidden) dangers, and why parents should be wary.
OMEGLE: “Talk With Strangers” (on random chat) is available on desktop and mobile devices. Users are connected to random strangers around the globe. Users can apply the GPS-based algorithm so they can recognize the distance between users.
Omegle has other more specific chat rooms such as, “Dorm Chat” for college students to socialize online with strangers, and Lady Zone, which requires a fee and has VERY strong usage terms including:
“The sexually explicit material I am viewing is for my own personal use”
“I desire to receive/view sexually explicit material”
“I believe as an adult it is my inalienable constitutional right to receive/view sexually explict material”
“I believe sexual acts between consenting adults are neither offensive or obscene”
Omegle Lady Zone had over 91,000 users online during the time of research. Their website suggests that there are about 216,000 unique visitors each day.
Omegle makes millions of dollars selling ads on these sites for services such as “Talk with Philippine Girls Live” and “Start Chatting… Video Dating Over 5000 Girls Online.”
This site carries a disclaimer that this service is not for those who want a real relationship. “This zone is generally for watching females and males.”
SKYPE: This is one of the first and most successful video chat rooms. In itself, Skype provides a professional service for users of all kinds. However, the technology is available to everyone and it is well known that pedophiles and predators use Skype to exploit young people (and some not so young). There is a fine line for a service to monitor for illicit behavior and still provide private conversations between the users. During this session, we will explore how pedophiles have used Skype to make and distribute child pornography, how predators have used it to lure teens, and how it can be the perfect grooming tool.
DISCORD: Discord is the “all-in-one” voice and text chat for gamers that’s free, secure and works on both your desktop and phone. It is perfect for chatting with team members, seeing who is playing online, and catching up on text conversations. Many parents are not even aware that their teen may be using Discord within the context of their video game. Like all gaming chat rooms, there are dangers. The very nature of a game is that your acceptance and rejection by those in the chat room is determined by your score and your aggressiveness in the game. The challenge being that any public chatroom exposes minors to unknown adults around the world, some with nefarious intentions. The child is challenged to “prove him/herself,” and they are acutely aware that they are in a world where their parents will not go so they become more adventurous believing they won’t get caught. The world of online gaming is a fantasy world with NO real life consequences. Kids are willing to take risks with strangers without being able to foresee the end consequences of their choices.
(Original air date 05/24/18)
This week we will explore the difference between human smuggling and human trafficking. We will examine the financial ramifications of paying a coyote to cross over into the U.S. We will also talk about debt bondage and the challenges to undocumented immigrants when they arrive in the U.S.
Finally, we will analyze the cycle of revenue from human trafficking including labor trafficking, sex trafficking and drug trafficking. And, we will discuss the impact of a more secure border and increased risk factors for individuals living in the shadows.
(Special Rebroadcast 04/12/18 | Original air date 05/25/17)
Many government agency personnel, law enforcement, non-profit organizations, and faith-based communities have asked us to outline the signs to look for in evaluating if a person might be a victim of human trafficking.
Human Exploitation is a complex subject and is difficult to define in a concrete 1-2-3- outline. In this show we will continue to discuss possible indicators that a person is in danger of becoming a victim of sex or labor trafficking or may be currently being exploited.
We will look at:
• Early signs of grooming
• Changes in behavior
• Signs of grooming through online video gaming
• Signs that a person is being exploited or sex trafficked
• Signs for Law Enforcement to consider in a traffic stop
• Signs that the person is a being exploited through labor trafficking
This is where you will find upcoming show information with links to the cases that will be discussed.
Also, if you miss a live show, you will find it here in our archives of past episodes in easy-to-access segments.
(Original air date 03/01/18)
Several times a week I am contacted by distressed parents of 8-9-10-11 year old girls and boys, who have been exploited through someone they met on social media. It is heartbreaking for all concerned. The parent (especially dads) are experiencing deep loss when they find out their innocent little girl has sent vile sexual photos of herself to a pedophile she met in a Roblox or Minecraft game or through Kik or Facebook. The child, whether boy or girl, is trapped and being threatened by the predator.
Take the case of John Peter Byrns, who drove from his home in Illinois because he lured an 11-year-old Florida girl to sneak out in the middle of night. By the time her family went in to wake her up for church the next morning, she was missing. They later found her in a motel with Byrns in Georgia. Her parents knew she was talking to a guy in Illinois on a video game but they did not recognize the danger she was in.
The psychological impact of sextortion on children who have not yet developed their sexual and moral identity is enormous. One of the challenges is that the child does not have the physical equipment or the intellectual capacity to understand why a pedophile wants their photos.
In many online video games SEX IS A WEAPON for which you receive points. No love, no respect, just points. When sex is used by predators to trap kids, they experience multiple levels of shame and depression. Today, predators define our kids sexuality BEFORE parents have "The Talk.”
Parents also process loss, blame, and shame. They must seek counseling. Parents must come together in this situation or children will experience more rejection and shame than they did with the pedophile. And parents will blame each other.
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(Special Rebroadcast 04/05/18 | Original air date 05/18/17)
Parents, grandparents, school staff, and counselors often ask us how to tell if a teen (girl or boy) is being “groomed” or recruited into sex trafficking. This week’s show will look at the most obvious and some not so obvious signs to look for when a teen is being lured into “the life” by a pimp or predator.
Join us this week as we explore the challenges of working with individuals who are vulnerable and may be being led down a path of exploitation.
(Original air date 05/03/18)
Is life even worth living? That’s the gut-wrenching question Tyson Dever had to ask himself after an unexpected tragedy stripped away his lifelong dream, his most important relationship and even his ability to walk. Once he decided to live, he didn’t want to simply survive–he wanted to thrive.
By sharing the details of tragedy that no one talks about, Tyson offers an action plan for both those enduring personal tragedy, and the loved ones who long to help. Through vivid storytelling, he holds nothing back, explaining how the aftershocks of a moment’s collateral damage ripple well beyond the person at the center of the crisis.
Learn from Tyson’s front row seat in the ICU and rehab, and gain powerful tools tested through his decade of experience as a motivational speaker, to help you overcome the most difficult moments, as well as the everyday obstacles that threaten to hold you back.
Trauma doesn’t have to be an emotional death sentence. Let Tyson’s inspirational message provide the playbook you need to set and crush new goals, even in the midst of excruciating change.
Tyson Dever, in collaboration with author Sarah Paulk, released a new book, Trauma Is a Team Sport: How to Turn Tragedy into Goal-Crushing Motivation today. Through vivid storytelling, Tyson shares the details of tragedy that no one talks about and offers a peek behind the curtain of trauma, in an effort to help others navigate their own personal obstacles.
Looking for more information about sex trafficking, labor trafficking, sextortion, child pornography, social media grooming & recruitment? Here is where you will find loads of resources from our parent organization, Million Kids!
"EXPLOITED - Crimes Against Humanity" is a FREE global internet training program about human trafficking and exploitation that includes a powerful weekly podcast that reaches 170 countries and corresponding blog with links to the cases and stories discussed on the show.