Human Trafficking Makes a Big Splash in National Media

Christ Reigns!

Begin forwarded message:

From: Polaris Project <>
Date: April 13, 2011 3:40:05 PM CDT
Subject: Human Trafficking Makes a Big Splash in National Media

Wednesday April 13, 2011

Polaris Project Japan Prevents Sexual Violence at Evacuation Centers

A few hours before the Polaris Project Japan board meeting on March 11, I received the following email from Shihoko, the head of our Japan program:

The biggest earthquake in Japanese history hit today.  No one was in the office and I was able to manage to hold TVs and bookshelves.  Things fell on the floor.  Transportation is not functional at all in Tokyo, so there are so many people walking on street. They should stay at the office!  It is freezing tonight!…I will stay at the office today and some of my friends will also use our office as shelter today.

I am grateful that the Polaris Project Japan staff, fellows, and volunteers have all been accounted for and are safe. Over the last couple of weeks, I have been inspired by the stories of community members coming together to rebuild and overcome the challenges created by the recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

Less than a week after the worst natural disaster in Japan’s history, Polaris Project Japan staff and fellows began to conduct outreach and to raise awareness on preventing sexual violence at the sites of earthquake evacuation centers.  Shihoko was concerned because there was already a report of a girl who was molested on her way to the bathroom at the evacuation center in Ofunato City.  In response, the city began to post prevention warnings:

Caution! Be wary of crimes such as theft and assault.

Try to stay in groups whenever possible (especially in the dark). 
Confirm the safety of those around you (“Are you okay? Be careful”). 
If you encounter someone suspicious:
1. Let a nearby adult and/or the main office know.

2.  Ask for help in a loud voice.

Let’s cooperate to make a safe living environment in the evacuation centers!

Polaris Project Japan’s outreach was also prompted by lessons learned from the sexual violence reported immediately after the Kobe earthquake in 1995. Outreach and prevention activities include distributing posters and cards in collaboration with shelter managers and local medical staff at evacuation centers. Click here to support this effort!

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Reaching millions of new advocates through national media attention

Polaris Project was featured in two national media stories on CNN and NBC this month as one of the leading anti-trafficking organizations in the United States. The two pieces highlighted the issue of human trafficking and the National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC) operated by Polaris Project.

In partnership with the CNN Freedom Project, Polaris Project is participating in CNN’s year-long effort to shine the light on human trafficking. The project aims to give victims a voice, to highlight success stories, and to spread knowledge about the complexities of trafficking networks.

Watch the video below to see the NHTRC hotline in action.

Polaris Project and the NHTRC hotline were also featured on an NBC Nightly News piece about Latino sex trafficking networks in the United States, which was seen by 9 million viewers the night it aired. NBC interviewed two survivors whose cases of human trafficking are representative of the large network that the national human trafficking hotline has identified in more than 20 states across the United States.

Polaris Project thanks CNN and NBC for playing a central role in raising awareness of the fact that human trafficking happens in our own backyards.

We hope that you will help us spread the word to your own circles that this issue needs national attention.

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1,231 – National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline highest call volume ever in March 2011

Polaris Project began operating the national human trafficking hotline in December 2007 and we’ve seen tremendous growth in call volume ever since. This means more people who recognize signs of human trafficking and report tips, more referrals to services, more trainings being requested, and more people leaving situations of human trafficking. In March the hotline hit an all time monthly call record – fielding 1,231 calls!

Since December 2007 we’ve fielded more than 28,000 calls. We couldn’t have had this tremendous growth without the help of advocates like you spread the message that human trafficking is happening right here in the United States.

Click on the video below to hear two stories from the hotline.

The national human trafficking hotline serves as the vital link between community members who look for signs of human trafficking in their neighborhoods, law enforcement who investigate potential cases, and organizations who provide services to survivors as they rebuild their lives. We are the only human trafficking hotline in the country that serves as this central hub.

Here are three things that you can do right now to help:

1) Sign up for the NHTRC Monthly Newsletter
2) Click here to learn the top 10 ways to help us continue spreading the word about the hotline
3) Click here to make an investment in ending human trafficking

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About Working4theKingofKings
slave to Christ, husband to one, father of five, wanting Jesus first in your life.

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