Sex Trafficking & Social Media Exploitation

The Reality of Sex Trafficking and Social Media Exploitation

By Million Kids dot Org

 

Online enticement:

This is when someone purposely communicates with someone believed to be a child via the internet with the intent to commit a sexual offense like sextortion (blackmail over a naked image), sexual exploitation including child porn, or abduction possibly leading to sex trafficking.

Note: In California, if you are engaged in commercial sex/prostitution and are under the age of 18 it is called sex trafficking.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) received 37,872 reports of online enticement in the U.S. in 2020 (up from 19,174 in 2019) and 98% of victims said they did not know the offender offline. NCMEC also registered 17,000 reports of possible child sex trafficking. One in six of the kids reported as missing or runaways were likely victims of sex trafficking.  Sex trafficking is the fastest growing crime in the U.S. California is usually the number one state for it, and three out of four victims are U.S. citizens.

Sex Trafficking:

Almost never does sex trafficking involve direct kidnapping like you may see in the movies, although that can happen (especially in familial incidents), but for 99% of local sex trafficking cases it is usually a girl being lured (“groomed”) into an online fantasy relationship. The victim messages and chats with the offender on the internet. The offender builds a rapport and relationship. Eventually the victim may sneak out to meet the offender in person and then poof the victim is missing.

For the girl it often starts out looking like a boyfriend and she may plan a future with him. Then it leads to sexual exploitation:  The trafficker may say, “I just need you to do this for my friend,” or “I’m short of money.” It escalates and he will start beating her up, and she is given a daily quota – often up to $1,000 a day or more.  If the girl doesn’t make enough money she may not get to eat. He will cut her off from her family and friends. She will find out she may just be one of three or four other girls he is controlling. If the pimp is part of a gang, she may get traded within the gang, and she may be traded between other gangs.

They will move her around, from motel to motel to motel. She will be advertised online and won’t know what name she is being sold under, or even what town she is in.

She will be locked in a motel room, monitored continuously, waiting for her next sex buyer, and threatened with violence or death against her or or family members or other loved ones if she tries to escape.

All the money she was forced to make is turned over to the pimp. She is feeling degraded and embarrassed. The situation is shame-based and it is similar to domestic violence in that the offender makes the girl feel that any violence is her fault, “if you had made your quota I wouldn’t have to beat you up” they will say. The girl blames herself and believes there is no one she can turn to for help.

Sextortion:

Another example of online enticement is sextortion. Kids will meet someone on the internet who asks for a naked photo. It is amazing how many will actually send out a photo. From there the offender begins to threaten and blackmail them for more sexually explicit photos and videos and in some cases even money.  It is important for teens to know, with sexting so prevalent, that having explicit or naked images of anyone under the age of eighteen is illegal – even if the image was taken or given with consent.

The CDC has said that 18,000 kids a day are sending a naked photo online. The University of Florida’s research shows 9,000 kids a day are being blackmailed, and the University of Toledo, Ohio said that 58% of them will go out and meet up with the blackmailer to try to get their image back (without telling their mom and dad) where they often get further violated or assaulted.

Prevention:

How do you prevent this happening to your kids? Start with honest communication from an early age. Talk about technology. It isn’t good or bad, but there are people who use it for bad things. Importantly we have to talk about sex before giving them access. Ask who owns the Internet and help them to understand it isn’t private. Talk about if they have ever thought where naked photos go when they hit send or who is watching their provocative dance on TikTok.  Do they understand anything posted or sent can end up being seen by anyone – even predators? They can.  Do they know what to do when they get a comment/message from a stranger telling them how beautiful or sexy they are? They should know to immediately delete it.  Even with privacy settings on, most social media apps still have ways for strangers to interface with children.

Stay on top of the video games they are playing, who they are chatting with and what apps they are using. Limit access to social media until age appropriate. Keep electronic devices where everyone can see them (no bedrooms), and no access to phones after bedtime. You may seem like the “mean” parent but when you consider the alternatives, you have to protect and stay on top of it for them.

What to Watch For:

Parents should watch for changes in behavior – you know your kids better than anyone else. Are they starting to cut themselves?  Or they can’t sleep or are always tired?  Maybe they become withdrawn, change their friends, their clothing or quit their extracurricular activities. Or they are missing school. You may walk into the room and they quickly close their device or put it away. They may quit eating for no reason. Maybe they start to run away. Don’t assume it is teen rebellion and spend the time to dig deeper. Sit down with them, you can calmly ask them if they have a naked photo on the internet or something more. It may be a tough conversation but much less tough than having your child disappear or be exploited.

What To Do:

If your child has been enticed or is being groomed, what parents need to understand is you aren’t arguing with your child or the offender, you are arguing with a fantasy the offender is creating. And when parents go to war with a fantasy they will lose. Remove your child’s blinders by asking questions that will lead them to realize they don’t know who this person is really.

If you think there is online enticement, even if you aren’t sure, it is important to contact local law enforcement (what is happening to your child may be part of a larger investigation). Report it to the app or video game company, and report it to NCMEC at 1.800.843.5678 or at www.cybertipline.org (they can also help get explicit images off the web). Your child (and you as parents) may need counseling to deal with the trauma. Don’t be afraid to get additional support.

Parents should understand their kids are connected to the entire world and the entire world is connected to them. They live in a world where they could have one million followers with 24/7 access. We all have to step from behind a veil of denial and educate and empower them to live in a world without borders and in homes without walls.

View our website at MillionKids.org where we offer much more information and educational training. Or feel free to reach out to us via the website or be emailing info@millionkids.org.

This page is (c) 2021, Million Kids dot Org. Provided with kind courtesy to The Hollywood Sentinel.

Paxil: The Risk to Children & Adults

The Medication-Induced Suicide Prevention and Education Foundation in Memory of Stewart Dolin (MISSD) was founded after Stewart Dolin died 10 years ago today while suffering from akathisia. Stewart had taken a generic form of Paxil for six days prior to his sudden death. Paxil, which is made by GlaxoSmithKline, is the drug paroxetine. It is also marketed in the UK under the brand name of Seroxat.

“Akathisia is a disorder, induced as a side effect of medications, which can cause a person to experience such intense inner restlessness that the sufferer is driven to violence, self-harm and/or suicide,” said Wendy Dolin, founder of MISSD. “It can occur when stopping, starting, or changing the dosage or type of certain medications. Akathisia can lead to iatrogenic suicide. Iatrogenic means caused by medication or medical treatment.”

Many pharmaceutical products can induce psychiatric adverse effects that are tragically misdiagnosed as symptoms of possible illnesses printed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

Psychiatric adverse effects can occur upon drug withdrawal, drug intoxication, and at what is advertised by drug makers as therapeutic doses.

“COVID-19 has increased public awareness of drug risks. Given that some drugs being explored as COVID-19 treatments can cause akathisia, now more than ever, it is time to talk about akathisia so that lives can be saved,” said Dolin.

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are one class of drugs that carry the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) black box warning of increased risks of suicidality for ages 24 and under, however, people of all ages can develop akathisia. The FDA black box warning is the most serious product warning any drug can carry. Commonly marketed as antidepressants, SSRIs that have FDA black box warnings include Prozac, Zoloft, and Paxil. Other pharmaceutical products that can cause akathisia are various drugs prescribed for acne, malaria, asthma, and high blood pressure.

“It is important that health care consumers and caregivers carefully read all patient information leaflets and be aware of serious adverse drug effects,” said Dolin. “If you or a loved one may be experiencing symptoms of akathisia, go to the nearest emergency room or contact your doctor and specifically mention the word “akathisia” as a diagnostic possibility.”

MISSD, a 501c3 non-profit organization, honors the memory of akathisia victims through awareness and education and aims to ensure people suffering from akathisia are accurately diagnosed so that needless deaths are prevented. The foundation accepts no funding from the pharmaceutical industry. All MISSD educational resources are free and include an accredited, one-hour, online course, two public health videos, and an Akathisia Stories podcast series featuring experts by experience.

Ghislaine Maxwell: Trafficker Busted

We applaud the arrest and prosecution of Jeffrey Epstein cohort; alleged child rapist / trafficker Ghislaine Maxwell

Another one of the reported leaders of one of the main, global, satanic child trafficking rings has been caught and busted; Ghislaine Maxwell, the vile creature who allegedly lured children into the lair of child rapist and trafficker Jefferey Epstein, so they could both abuse them and pimp them out to many of the rich, famous, and powerful–has been arrested.

Those that think the global network of evil child abusers and traffickers is now down or gone–think again. There are many less famous and not known, just as powerful.  Think of it as busting one of the worlds largest heroin or cocaine dealers. Does the supply and demand dry up and delivery stop when the top dealer is busted? No. Of course not. The drugs simply trickle over to other dealers and other sources of power.

Make no mistake about it–this is a great thing that Maxwell is busted. Presuming she is not suicided beforehand, she will hopefully be forced to name names before she is sentenced. This will send a message to many of the sick, demented scum that would pay for children, and make them think twice in the future about doing it again.

 

Concerns Raised Over School Mental Health Screening and Psychotropic Drugs

Harmful mental health assessments, evaluations, and programs in  schools can lead to increase in psychiatric drug use linked to causing—not preventing—suicide and violence, rising evidence shows. Parents can protect children however, using federal law.

Citizens Commission on Human Rights International have discovered that harmful mental health assessments, evaluations, and programs in  schools can lead to increase in psychiatric drug use linked to causing suicide and violence.

“Psychotropic drugs are increasingly prescribed for children who show nothing more than children’s typical rambunctious behavior. Many children have suffered harmful effects from these drugs.” — Ron Paul, Former U.S. Congressman

Invasive, subjective mental health screening of schoolchildren is sweeping the nation with governments ignoring the potential harmful impact of this, the Citizens Commission on Human Rights International (CCHR) has documented. Behavioral screening can often lead to children being prescribed psychotropic drugs that can drive them to suicide, not prevent it. One program, TeenScreen, was stopped after it was found to have an 84% false positive rate that could lead to teens being put on antidepressants. Yet it is now making a comeback.[1]

The push for more school-based mental health intervention has increased following a spate of high profile school shootings. But there’s no guarantee that screening can identify those who may become potentially violent or suicidal. CCHR urges parents to be aware of their rights under the Federal Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (also known as the Hatch Amendment) that requires parental notice and consent before a child can be subjected to behavioral screening.[2] To assist parents, CCHR produced a form letter that parents can use.

CCHR says that governments or agencies such as Medicaid do not investigate the role of behavioral screening in increasing psychiatric drug prescriptions and how these drugs cause suicide and other adverse effects.

A former clinical director of Kingsboro Psychiatric Center in New York described the “mental health screening program” created by the 2003 US New Freedom Commission on Mental Health as “a colossal fraud.” Further, “It is presented as a way of ferreting out hidden ‘mental illness,’ first in schoolchildren, so they can then get ‘appropriate treatment’—medications. It is actually a brazen attempt to hide the injuries caused by 50 years of peddling increasingly harmful and increasingly costly psychiatric drugs….The greatest fraud underlying the program is that ‘mental illness’ is best treated by drugs. The sad fact is that, as a group, psychiatric drugs impair brain function, thus producing or aggravating mental illness.”[3]

It is “just a way to put more people on prescription drugs,” said Marcia Angell, a medical ethics lecturer at Harvard Medical School and author of The Truth About Drug Companies.[4] Based on the estimates given by TeenScreen on the number of students screened that could be potentially prescribed drugs, the pharmaceutical industry stood to make an additional $30 billion a year in drug sales.

Feeding that is the Medicaid Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment (EPSDT) law, which requires states to provide Medicaid-eligible children regular mental health screenings.[5] The impact is telling, CCHR says. A JAMA Pediatrics study published in 2018 assessed patterns of psychotropic drug use in children insured by Medicaid, finding that by age 8 years, 10.2% of the children had received a psychotropic drug, 16.4% were prescribed two drug classes concomitantly, while 4.3% received three or more classes concomitantly for 60 days or more.[6]

According to IQvia, 7.2 million 0-17 year olds in the U.S., including the non-Medicaid population, are on psychiatric drugs, with 1,194,805 prescribed antipsychotics. Over 3.6 million are prescribed psychostimulants and 1.4 million are given anti-anxiety (sedative hypnotic) drugs.[7]

Antidepressants were prescribed to 2.1 million, despite a Food and Drug Administration Black Box warning that the drugs may induce suicidal reactions in this age group.

With psychiatrists estimating that antidepressants are unlikely to “work” in 30% of those taking them that could generate 630,000 candidates for electroshock treatment, the passage of up to 460 volts of electricity through children’s developing brains, permanently damaging them.

An analysis of 70 trials of the most common antidepressants—involving more than 18,000 people—found the drugs doubled the risk of suicide and aggressive behavior in under 18s.[8]

CCHR breaks down IQVia’s statistics on its Fight For Kids website:
0-1 Years 125,361
2-3 Years 202,319
4-5 Years 306,079
6-12 Years 3,259,955
13-17 Years 3,419,633 [9]

With this drug usage, it is not surprising, CCHR says, that the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that the fastest-growing sector for completed suicides nationwide is among children 10 to 14 years old. Suicide rates tripled for that age group, from 2007 to 2017 to 2.5 deaths per 100,000 children.[10]

However, data collection on how many were taking a psychiatric drug or going through withdrawal at the time of ending their life—regardless of the method used—is not publicly reported. CCHR says this is important information to record.

A study published in Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology in June 2014 found that psychotropic drugs could make people nearly six times more likely to kill themselves, while having spent time in the previous year in a psychiatric hospital makes them over 44 times more likely to kill themselves.[11]

Former U.S. Congressman Ron Paul, a practicing physician for more than 30 years, denounced the mental health screening program as a pipeline for putting more children on psychotropic drugs, stating: “[P]sychotropic drugs are increasingly prescribed for children who show nothing more than children’s typical rambunctious behavior. Many children have suffered harmful effects from these drugs.” Additionally, “The federal government should not promote national mental-health screening programs that will force the use of these psychotropic drugs….”[12]

Visit: www.CCHR.org 

References:

[1] Karen R. Effrem, M.D., “Dangerously Flawed ‘TeenScreen’ Mental Health Program Returning to Schools,” The National Pulse, 4 Dec. 2018, thenationalpulse.com/commentary/dangerously-flawed-teenscreen-mental-health-program-returning-schools/; www.cchrint.org/2012/11/27/teenscreen-shuts-down/
[2] www2.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/ppra/parents.html
[3] “The Dangers or Mental Health Screening,” 23 Sept. 2005, psychrights.org/Issues/Screening/LehrmanDangersofScreening.pdf
[4] nypost.com/2004/12/05/pill-pushers-in-hs-suicide-screening-program/
[5] www.nami.org/learn-more/public-policy/mental-health-screening
[6] www.uspharmacist.com/article/many-young-children-insured-by-medicaid-are-prescribed-psychotropic-drugs
[7] www.cchrint.org/2019/11/13/new-fight-for-kids-site-launched-to-inform-parents-and-protect-children-from-documented-psychotropic-drug-risks/
[8] “Antidepressants can raise the risk of suicide, biggest ever review finds,” The Telegraph (UK), 27 Jan. 2016, www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2016/03/14/antidepressants-can-raise-the-risk-of-suicide-biggest-ever-revie/
[9] www.fightforkids.org/number-of-children-taking-psychiatric-drugs
[10] “On the cutting edge of preventing child suicide: Universal screening,” The Gazette, 8 Dec. 2019, gazette.com/premium/on-the-cutting-edge-of-preventing-child-suicide-universal-screening/article_b3bb81c6-0ca5-11ea-9129-cfcda7508d71.html
[11] Matthew M. Large, Christopher J. Ryan, “Disturbing findings about the risk of suicide and psychiatric hospitals,” Soc. Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiology (2014), 49: 1353-1355, link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007%2Fs00127-014-0912-2.pdf.
[12] “Mandatory Mental Health Screening Threatens Privacy, Parental Rights,” Fox News, 17 Sept. 2004

Keeping Kids Safe: Lead by Example

As a parent or guardian of a child, you need to understand many things about how kids think.

1, The more you tell a child that they can’t do something, generally, the more they will want to do it. The story of Eve in the Garden of Eden in the Bible comes to mind as a good example. Even though there may be countless choices that are permitted, the so-called “forbidden fruit” is often most appealing to many.  Why is it forbidden? Why is it illegal? Why is it something Mom or Dad forbids? It MUST be good!

2, Telling a child NO is not the answer and not enough. You need to teach them and show them why you feel the way you do, and logically lead THEM to decide no, of their own accord.  In order to do this, you have to be a friend to your child.

3, You can’t “instill the fear of God” in them, verbally abuse them, scream at them, or literally beat them into submission, and expect them to respect you or follow your wishes, under most circumstances. 

This approach may work on the surface temporarily, but eventually, most children treated in such a matter will rebel, and rebel with a vengeance. And, they will hate you for the abuse.

While there is no parenting handbook or class you are required to pass before having a child, a good idea would be to simply treat your child as you yourself would like to be treated. We’ve all heard of something similar to that one,  right? After all, children ARE human beings, correct? Just because they are little people, does not mean they deserve any less respect or less  humane treatment.

4, Do NOT hit your child. Do not scream at or yell at your child. And do not expect your child to listen to you if you don’t follow your own advise to them. 

For example, if you tell your child not to have pre-marital sex, but they can hear you and your significant other screaming and carrying on in the bedroom, chances are, that’s not a good example. Or, if you tell your child they cannot see nudity, while meanwhile you send them upstairs while you watch something overtly sexual, that’s not going to work with them too well either.

Or if you tell a child not to drink or smoke, but you send them to the store to buy your cigarettes, or upstairs to fetch your beers because you are too lazy to get it yourself, that’s also probably not the best example.

5, Lead by example. Your child’s mind is like a sponge, and in their eyes, you–the parent, are like a god to them. In the child’s eyes, a parent is generally always right, and can do no wrong. If Mom and Dad does it, then that’s the way it must be.

If your lifestyle is NOT the one that you want your child to grow up and have, then you should do two things,

A, hide your lifestyle from your child, and 

B, change your lifestyle as fast as you can 

Live a life you are proud of, and that you would want your child to have. Lead by example.

When you do this, then you can truly communicate openly and honestly with your kids about why you feel they should or should not do certain things, and give them logical reasons why.

6, “Because I said so” is not enough. A child deserves a reason why or why not. Tell them the truth. 

–Because I am afraid you will die of you do that

–Because many people die taking that drug

–Because it will deeply hurt your parents if you do this, and we will cry

–Because this could ruin your life forever, and you will not be able to take those pictures back

–Because I know people who got addicted and died and I don’t want that to happen to you

–Because you could go to jail and get raped and murdered there

7, Tell your child the truth. Don’t try to soften or sugar-coat reality, when it comes to a child’s safety. They will find out eventually one way or another, from the streets, from their friends, or from you. It is much better if it comes from YOU, the parent.

The more you are honest, open, and have natural and healthy communication with your child, the more apt they will be to tell you what is going on with their life.

–If they got a weird text from some older man

–If their best friend started doing cocaine

–If they are walking home and someone is asking them to get in the car

 8. Don’t make your child afraid of you.  If you forbid your child from things with no logic, and are abusive to them, they will flee you, and indulge in that thing away from you, with their friends. 

And that path will lead them to a life of self-abuse and abuse by others through sex, drugs, and alcohol.

 Be there for your kids. Be a friend to them. Explain to them your logic. Lead by example. Live a life you are proud of. 

The Office of Bruce Edwin provide the free service to parents, of checking out any person or company, to see if they appear to be safe for you and your child to do business with. 

For any specific questions on keeping your child safe in Hollywood, you may contact Bruce Edwin at 310-226-7176. Your question with the answer just might even be published, for the world to hear.

(c) 2019, Bruce Edwin