“Awareness is Key to Setting them Free” Reposting, Repeating and Sharing: Forced underage prostitution on rise in Metro Detroit and beyond, Troy panel sayshttp://www.mlive.com/news/detroit/index.ssf/2013/06/forced_underage_prostitution_o.html The evening opened with the showing of a iEmpathize documentary (watch here) about Shari, who was 15 when she and her 14-year-old cousin were abducted while walking to Wendy's in Toledo, Ohio for a Frosty. "We cannot quantify the problem," Maitland said at a forum on the topic in Troy Monday evening. "But here's what we do know: It's the second-largest-growing activity in our country and that includes Michigan." Oakland County Sheriff Lt. Wendy Reyes, another speaker on the panel, said she witnessed the impact of human trafficking on southeast Michigan. She described several local cases, including: Four teens, between 15 and 16 suspected to be stripping and possibly prostituting at a Pontiac bar, who were discovered when deputies responded to a shooting. "What a lot of people don't know is what happens behind the scenes," Reyes said. "These girls are being raped, beaten, brutalized on a daily basis. They're taken from their work location to a house and locked up." "It's not a self-reporting crime," said Reyes, and the necessary resources to root it out in Oakland County is nonexistent. "If we had more manpower we would have a unit assigned to do this ... and we could get online daily and find these victims." According to the lieutenant, who is working on a training program to educate 1,000 Oakland County deputies, trafficking is often linked to online and street prostitution, ethnic restaurants, masseuse businesses, pornography and nail salons. The faith-based town hall meeting, hosted by Embassy Covenant Church International at the Troy Community Center, drew nearly 200 attendees Monday. State Sen. Judy Emmons, R-Sheridan; iEmpathize founder Brad Riley and Dr. Bonita Laudeman also sat on the panel. “Awareness is Key to Setting them Free” Reposting, Repeating and Sharing: Truckers Against Trafficking Training Film http://vimeo.com/37154506 (condensed 12min) Truckers Against Trafficking in partnership with iEmpathize engages the trucking industry in the fight against child sex trafficking and exploitation. This initiative exists to inspire and enlist the over 3 million US truckers to become watchmen/woman for trafficked children along the US highways and truck stops. The media is paired with TAT training materials and wallet cards for the truckers. The media is featured by trucking companies, safety directors, at driving schools, trucking shows and expos, etc. National hot-line is 1-888-373-7888. iEmpathize.orgtruckersagainsttrafficking.com
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