What Is Human Trafficking?

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Human Trafficking is slavery in which traffickers use force, fraud, or coercion to control victims for the purpose of engaging in commercial sex acts or labor services against his/her will.

HUMAN TRAFFICKING SIGNIFICANTLY IMPACTS AFRICAN AMERICAN 

CHILDREN AND YOUTH, BOTH BOYS AND GIRLS. 


  • 20.9 million adults and children are bought and sold worldwide. 
  • According to the National Center for Victims of Crimes, “Compared with other segments of the population, victimization rates for African American children and youths are even higher."
  • “Evidence suggests that Black youths ages 12 to 19 are victims of violent crime at significantly higher rates than their white peers.​​ 
  • Black  youths are three times more likely to be victims of reported child abuse  or neglect, three times more likely to be victims of robbery and five times more likely to be victims of homicide.

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Sex trafficking is a lucrative industry making an estimated $99 billion a year. Sex trafficking has been found in a wide variety of venues within the sex industry, including residential brothels, escort services, fake massage businesses, strip clubs, and street prostitution. Labor trafficking has been found in diverse labor settings including, domestic work, small businesses, large farms, and factories.

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SHOPPING SEASON IS THE TIME WHEN EXPLOITERS AND PIMPS RECRUIT. THEY WILL FIND THEIR VICTIMS ON THE STREET, IN THEIR OWN HOMES, OR THROUGH THE INTERNET.

SHOPPING SEASON HAPPENS WHEN YOUTH ARE MOST LIKELY UNSUPERVISED, HOME ALONE, OR WHEN THERE IS A HIGH DEMAND FOR SEX WORKERS OR HUMAN ORGANS. KEEP A CLOSE EYE ON YOUR CHILDREN AND CHECK THEIR ACTIVITY ON SOCIAL MEDIA,  ESPECIALLY AT THESE TIMES: 

  • HALLOWEEN
  • SPRING BREAK
  • LENT SEASON
  • SUPER BOWL
  • NBA ALL-STAR WEEKEND
  • SUMMER RECESS
  • HOLIDAY BREAKS  

Our Survivors & Educational ADVOCATES

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Toni D. Rivera

Toni D. Rivera, Sex Trafficking Survivor and Activist's childhood forced her to confront the toxicity of sexual abuse and the destructive cycles of trauma that followed as a direct result of profound betrayal.


According to the National Child Traumatic Stress Network, “child sexual abuse is [unfortunately] not rare. Retrospective research indicates that as many as 1 out of 4 girls and 1 out of 6 boys will experience some form of sexual abuse before the age of 18. 1 However, because child sexual abuse is by its very nature secretive, many of these cases are never reported.”  


Although Rivera’s trauma first lead to years of hopelessness, insurmountable grief, drug-addiction, and sexual exploitation she hit rock bottom after being kidnapped. 


Rivera, now a mother, wife, and a proud medical professional, has surpassed recovery, having become a pillar of support for kids and women in crisis battling similar circumstances, and, sadly, sometimes worse. Rivera debunked the myth survivors never recover. 


Rivera launched Helping Hand Youth and Adult Services helps, “to establish housing, establish jobs, help to find a safe place for at-risk teens. Giving a safe place for battered women and abused kids who the system has pushed out due to age.”


Toni has taken her painful experiences of being molested and sex and human trafficking and turned them into fuel for her mission as New York’s one-woman army taking on the streets of New York in an attempt to save the youth. Inform the public and community on whats lurking in their backyards for our children. 


Toni Rivera is the Founder/ CEO of Helping Hand Youth and Adult Services. Her book, Silent Screams retells the riveting accounts of Toni's life as Sex-Trafficker.  It's a guide to keeping our children safe, a person who went from being abused as a kid and a teen through adulthood and mother of five. This is a story of pain sex trafficking and so much more of life issues, including situations that included being homeless, not have a penny living in a car eating out of the trash. She brings you in with a horrific beating and rape she went through that nearly took her life. The reader goes deep into her life growing up in Calhoun Falls SC. These events planted a seed in Toni that grew into the desire to empower other people the youth especially , but empowering herself mostly. 


Leading with empathy and emotional intelligence, Rivera  invests in supporting her victims and survivors to foster healing. In 2017, Toni D. Rivera launched, Saving Our Sisters (S.o.S.) which offers  phenomenal guidance and mediation services when you or the ones you love are in a crisis. 


In 2018, Toni lead the campaign to raise awareness around human trafficking by promoting the Mountain Retreat Thriller 'Traffik' starring Hollywood stars Paula Patton and Omar Epps in U.S. theaters in April 27, 2018.  

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Dawn Shawnt'e Blackman

Dawn Shawnt'e Blackman , Sex trafficking Survivor, and Domestic Violence Activist Against Human trafficking. Dawn's life work is to educate communities on the dangers of Sex-Trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation of children. As a survivor, she is committed to using her personal journey out of "the life," to empower  young women around the world. Her message to the trafficked community is, " WE ARE NOT VICTIMS. WE ARE SURVIVORS. WE ARE MORE THAN SURVIVORS. WE ARE WARRIORS." 

Parent Advocates & Surviors

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Jonesy

Jonesy is a brave mother of a sex trafficking survivor. As a parent who has witnessed the horrors of sex trafficking, she has turned her pain into power, by speaking publicly about her experience. 


Jonesy, has traveled to Washington, D.C. urging Congress to support both FOFSTA, and SESTA legislations banning sex advertisements on Backpages.com. She currently is active in her community by attending the NYPD community and safety meetings and spreading awareness about trafficking. Most importantly, she was invited to be the only parent advocate on the New York Mayors Traffic-Free NYC, which meets monthly with various providers to combat human sex trafficking in New York City. 


Last year, NYC lost 2300 children to trafficking, Jonesy hopes to lower the number of children exposed by collaborating strategies with Traffic Free NYC.  She had extensive experience working with children and was a previously mandated reporter for Administrative Services For Children. 


Besides, serving as Parent Advocate, Jonesy is the Manhattan Borough Director of Not On My Watch, Inc. NOMW is the only service organization made up of survivors of domestic violence and sex and human trafficking.


During her spare time, she is an Advisory Board Member and volunteers to many community service organizations that serve children including: Not On My Watch, Inc., The Harlem Childrens Zone, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., The African American Day Parade, The Parentjobnet, The Grassroots Aspen Experience, Children For Children, Kids Who Cook, Inc., The YMCA Teen Action Program, SANKOFA, Inc., the NAACP 

ACT-SO, The March of Dimes, Gladiators Sports, The Wendy Hilliard Foundation, The Stay Strong Foundation, FC Harlem Youth Soccer, The Ludacris Foundation, People United For Children, Inc., Future Leaders Institute, and Women In Need, Inc.


She resides in New York with her 19-year old twins who have appeared on CNN, New York Times and in the Daily News with President Barack Obama and with Soccer star, David Beckham.



Training & Professional Development

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Tonya Turner, Project Director

  

Tonya Turner served as the National Training and Technical Assistance Director during her tenure at GEMS (Girls Educational and Mentoring services). GEMS is the only organization in New York State designed to serve girls and young women who have experienced commercial sexual exploitation and domestic trafficking.


With extensive prior experience working within Fortune 500 companies at all

organizational levels, where she created, promoted and delivered solutions designed for large scale growth. Tonya is considered a master trainer and business strategist leader. 


During her recent tenure at GEMS she led a team to conduct hundreds of trainings and to provide technical assistance across the country for legal professionals, law enforcement, and social service directors, start-ups on the issue of commercial sexual exploitation and domestic trafficking. 


Notable past participants include the Administration for Children’s Services, Department of Education, New York’s’ Police Task Force, and various government agencies.


Ms. Turner is a highly sought keynote speaker, and strategist focusing on assisting organizations in defining program gaps, restraints and drivers, and develop business plans to achieve overall goals in alignment with their missions.

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IN THE NEWS

NEW YORK POST INVESTIGATION - PART I OF III

By Yoav Gonen, Shawn Cohen, Gabrielle Fonrouge and Ruth Brown

April 16, 2018 | 2:50am | Updated


"This is going on everywhere.  Down the street, in the rich neighborhood, the poor -- whether you're white, yellow, green, blue.  It cuts across different ethnicities, religious backgrounds, economic backgrounds."  Laura Riso, an FBI Victims Specialist in New York City

SCOURGE OF SEX TRAFFICKING

INSIDE NEW YORK'S SEX TRAFFICKING EPIDEMIC 


Predators lurking in your kids' friend list. 

Click To Read More
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IN THE NEWS

NEW YORK POST INVESTIGATION - PART II OF III

By Gabrielle Fonrouge, Shawn Cohen and Yoav Gonen

April 16, 2018 | 9:59pm | Updated


"I'm getting beat, but I have a place to stay.  I'm not always eating, but I have underwear," says Shanifa Bennett (Survivor)


Such a combination of abuse and "care-taking" creates a bond between a victim and captor, a psychological effect called Stockholm syndrome.  That loyalty makes cases hard to prosecute.  "Normal and average" people just don't understand this phenomenon", said Queens Assistant District Attorney Jessica Melton, Chief of Human Trafficking Unit

SCOURGE OF SEX TRAFFICKING

SEX TRAFFICKING SURVIVORS AND UNSUNG HEROES


Texted Threats Torment Teen.

Click to Read More
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IN THE NEWS

NEW YORK POST INVESTIGATION - PART III OF III

By Yoav Gonen, Shawn Cohen and Ruth Brown

April 17, 2018 | 10:08pm | Updated


"We can bring other charges -- we can bring promoting prostitution charges -- but if it's your first arrest and you're looking at one to three years on that charge, you can end up with probation for what is essentially child rape for profit," said Laura Edidin, Chief of the Brooklyn District Attorney's Office's Human Trafficking Unit



SCOURGE OF SEX TRAFFICKING

FEARLESS ADVOCATES AID SEX-TRAFFIC VICTIMS


Offering a way out of 'the life'

Click to read more
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January Is Human Trafficking Awareness Month

Whoever told you, “You Teach People The Way You Want To Be Treated!” may be well-intentioned, uneducated, inexperienced, and uninformed. Be aware of erroneous one-liners masked to empower one to take action and take control of over one’s own life. These kinds of statements can have a dangerous spiraling effect! 


Stop blindfolding your ears! Be more responsible with your words! Your well-intentioned words can be what stands in the way of non- judgmental, compassion, empathy, healing and truth! 


"People treat you the way they have been treated!"


The only one who can stop the abuse is the abuser! The only way an abuser stops abusing is if they come to terms with the psychological impacts of their own abuse and violence and they take the necessary steps to heal! 


Although law enforcement may be a deterrent, it is not the abusers greatest threat. Their greatest danger is being forced to face their own abuse and their abuser! The abuser knows they lose their power when the abused and the ones who genuinely love them are no longer afraid of judgment and shame!  During this stage, the abuse will more than likely intensify because they are fearful of losing their power and control over the ones they abuse! 


Pray for the ones who are still being held captive and are being captivated by the fear, threat, and intimidation of losing love, support, and painfully letting go of their fairy tale or their ultimate goals and unrealized dream! 


Abusers can hide in plain sight because they twist your well-intentioned words to justify their harmful actions! Vilifying an abuser can actually strengthen the trauma bond, and it leaves the abused feeling more isolated and dependent on their abuser. Instead of the abused escaping their captor they feel they have no choice but to stay because to face your displaced moral judgment is far worse than staying with the abuser who initially accepted them with all their wounds and flaws. 


Abusers don’t shame the actions of those they abuse! They praise them for love, loyalty, and forgiveness! Abusers seek what they lack! Trust, innocence, unconditional love, and self-worth praise! Here’s the sick twist! They know they are only able to lure their victims on a said condition, which by the way they profoundly resent! In the abuser's eyes the relationship is purely transactional, and in their eyes, they have more to give and more to lose. Fulfilling the promises of those they abuse they risk being left, abandoned, and feeling used. This is another way they are able to unload guilt and shame on those they abuse. 


This is the unaddressed, unhealed trauma game! We must unlearn to learn! 


#gottostopvictimblaming #gottostopvictimshaming
#gottostophumantrafficking
#gottostopsextrafficking
#gottostopcommercialsexualexploitationofchildren
#survingrkelly


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OCTOBER IS Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Got To Stop LLC Partners With Junie Bee Nails For Domestic Violence Awareness Month

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Photo: Mecca, Junie Bee Nails, Manager and Erika L Ewing, Got To Stop LLC, CEO 


We are proud and honored to participate in Domestic Violence Awareness Month beginning October 1 thru October 31st.


Got To Stop LLC has partnered with Junie Bee Nails in Harlem, NYC owned by American recording artist, actress, dancer, 

and model Teyana Taylor to raise awareness for Domestic Violence Month. 


Any Junie Bee Nails patron that comes in for services and chooses “Purple” polish or acrylic will be issued a 

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Find out more

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Got To Stop Domestic Violence!

Let’s work together to STOP 
Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, 
and Human Trafficking.

Let’s work together to STOP 

Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, 

and Human Trafficking. 


Thank you in advance for 

your support! 

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