Woman’s Club hosts speaker on human trafficking

Human trafficking (child trafficking, in particular) was the presentation by Diane Brant at Woman’s Club of Warren on Monday, Nov. 6.

Brant, a CPA by profession, told of her journey into facing the call to do something about this often unseen and unnoticed crime happening right here in Warren County, in Pennsylvania and in the entire USA. Seminars, online training, books and Youtube videos gave her substantial background in this issue often denied and unaware to most citizens.

The U.S. Department of Justice says that approximately 200,000 children (50 percent of all traffickings) are victims of sex trafficking annually with most born in the USA and US citizens (75 percent); 90 percent of those children have been sexually abused prior to being trafficked by unscrupulous pimps; 98 percent of persons trafficked are female many starting at ages 12 to 14.

Due to the abuse, most are dead within seven years due to AIDS, drug overdoses, beatings and suicide; 99 percent of the traffickers are men — being pimps, slave traders, Mafia, porn users, johns, etc.

The girls (women) are often runaways with low self-esteem escaping abuse of some kind in the home and unable to return. The traffickers spot these vulnerable ones and “befriend” them, feed and house them and eventually begin to sell them over and over again. Their trafficker claims “ownership” among the pimping community even some tattooing their name on the person. Threats and violence are a way of life for these females. Often drugs keep them compliant.

Child trafficking is a lucrative crime because the “john” is seldom arrested and the female is often the one to pay with incarceration.

It is a growing crime due to the proliferation of pornography on the Internet and the under-developed teenage brain is malleable so this lifestyle makes permanent changes to their brains.

Children and women seldom leave this forced criminal life-style because they don’t trust the local and state police, they are isolated having no trusted adult to return to, they are victims of the Stockholm syndrome, they have no money or untracked phone, they may be addicted to drugs given them or are being told they or their families will be killed if they don’t comply.

Moving from location to location is a common method used to traffic. Pimps have been known to befriend social workers and learn which persons are being aged out of programs so they may be taken advantage of.

Where might these children be found? Look to truck stops, bus stations, large sporting events, hotels, gas stations, massage parlors, strip joints, brothels, vacation spots and casinos. Some are boldly advertising on Craigslist and a formerly, notorious site called Backpage.

How can these vulnerable people be spotted? There is usually a controlling person with them and speaking for them at all times. They often are silent, won’t answer questions, react rudely and shut you off quickly. Many are bruised or tattooed appearing frightened.

The good news -there is an active Buffalo, N.Y. trafficking policing push and the Warren County and City police have had training in this criminal activity as well.

What can you do if you have suspicions of trafficking? Diane passed out stickers from the

NATIONAL HUMAN TRAFFICKING

RESOURCE CENTER

1-888-3737-888

She indicated that they are very willing to take all calls with suspicions. They’d prefer 99 unfounded calls with only one turning up a perpetrator and trafficking crime. Put this into your phone contacts.

Carolyn Worley, president of Woman’s Club, thanked Alice Kellogg and Laurie Curren, hostesses for the autumn luncheon. Silver and gold pineapples, pumpkins and gourds were arranged down the tables along with candles of many sorts.

A final rundown of the preparations for the What’s New for the Holidays event Nov. 11th was given by event chair, Karen Davis. Judy Champlin informed members and guests of the raffle items on display in the ballroom. Mrs. Worley told of plans for the annual Christmas dinner and January Bridge Marathon.

The next Club luncheon will be Monday, Nov. 20, when Rick Allen, CEO of the Warren General Hospital, returns for an update on local healthcare since he undertook this position in his hometown of Warren.

Susie Spangler and Nancy Clark will hostess. The next Needle Arts gathering will be Monday, Nov. 13, at Peggy Morgan’s home at 1 p.m.

Check out the website for Woman’s Club at www.warrenwomansclub.org for more information.

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