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.

The Importance of Good Sleep

By Moira Cue 

The importance of good sleep can never be underestimated. Lack of proper sleep can lead to obesity, depression, memory and concentration problems, car accidents, poor judgment, disease, and more.

We’ve all heard the recommendations for better sleep: turn off your devices before bed, don’t go to bed until you’re sleepy, avoid caffeinated beverages, don’t drink or eat for a few hours before bed, keep a regular sleep schedule, take a warm bath before bed, and keep your bedroom a cool, comfortable temperature.

What many people who struggle with daytime sleepiness and quality of rest never discover is that they have a sleep apnea.  Case in point: I once worked with a man who would fall asleep at his desk, his head in his hands. I asked him if he had been checked for sleep apnea. He said he had done a sleep study, been diagnosed with sleep apnea, and never bought the CPAP.* He figured the sleep study people would make a profit off of the CPAP and that they had a conflict of interest. (See: sleep deprivation and poor judgement.)  While such instances are rare, mortality rates for untreated sleep apnea are higher than the general public.

If you don’t know what a sleep apnea is, it means that one gets woken up at night because they stop breathing in their sleep. When that happens the heart rate goes up as one struggles for oxygen. Eventually they wake up, briefly, and then fall back asleep. Four hours of non-interrupted sleep are required to go into REM sleep, but if you keep waking up for a few seconds at a time, those cycles are interrupted. The apnea can be caused by weight gain, when there’s too much fat around the throat and it closes up. Or it can be caused by the brain. Or, in children, it can be caused by tonsils or adenoids that are too large.

The crazy thing about sleep apnea is that 90% of people with a sleep apnea will never get treated. That’s millions of Americans each year, and God only knows how many car accidents, ineffective anti-depressant prescriptions, disease, and bad decisions are the result of those millions of untreated sufferers.

You would think that doctors would be proactively screening for apnea and encouraging their patients to do sleep studies. In my experience, it was just the opposite. My insurance company did everything they could to prevent me from getting a sleep study.   I want everyone to know how important it is that we raise awareness of sleep apnea and get the millions of untreated people the help they need. You could save a life!

The CPAP machine forces air through the nasal passageways so that when the pauses in breathing occur, there is still oxygen going into the lungs. Sure, lots of people have a hard time getting used to the devices. There are also dental guards that work too by manually keeping the airway open.

I can’t think of any other physical condition with so many implications on other areas of health that is so under-treated. Symptoms can include fatigue, depression, obesity, snoring during sleep, night terrors and night mares, and a general sense of drowsiness / spaciness.  Even chronic pain can be exacerbated by poor sleep.

If you or someone you love may have a sleep apnea, talk to your doctor! Don’t delay, and don’t give up if they don’t help you. Be your own advocate and stand up for yourself. Spread the word. Ninety percent untreated is unacceptable. But, together, we can change the statistics.

*Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is a form of positive airway pressure (PAP) ventilation in which a constant level of pressure greater than atmospheric pressure is continuously applied to the upper respiratory tract of a person.  (Source: wikipedia)

(c) 2021, Hollywood Sentinel

Chick Corea Film Tribute Out Now

Tribute Special Honoring Jazz Legend Chick Corea Out Now: Watch Below

Celebrating the life and incomparable musical genius of Chick Corea, Scientology Network presents a 3-hour tribute special, including two full-length documentaries, chronicling his legacy with highlights of his storied career and a never-before-seen performance.

The Chick Corea Tribute Special is streaming now on Scientology Network, seen here below.

Chick Corea, the iconic instrumentalist, composer and bandleader, won 23 Grammy Awards and was known for his awe-inspiring command of the piano. Having pioneered the category of jazz fusion, Chick was an astonishingly prolific composer whose ingeniousness influenced a wide range of top musicians across all genres, from Herbie Hancock and Gary Burton to Bobby McFerrin.

My mission has always been to bring the joy of creating anywhere I could, and to have done so with all the artists that I admire so dearly—this has been the richness of my life.” —Chick Corea

The 3-hour tribute special features:

Chick Corea: In the Mind of a MasterA one-of-a-kind experience documenting the creative process of Chick Corea as he writes, arranges and records Antidote, the album that earned him his 23rd Grammy Award.

The Musician—A feature-length documentary exploring Chick Corea’s legendary month-long set of performances in the epicenter of the jazz universe, the Blue Note Jazz Club in New York City. The film captures the essence of the maestro and Chick’s profound influence on some of the musical giants who join him onstage.

“Future Sweet”—Chick Corea teams up with instrumental virtuosos Béla Fleck on banjo, Vinnie Colaiuta on drums and Carlitos Del Puerto on bass on his never-before-released song, “Future Sweet.” In his inimitable style, Chick takes us on a musical journey where the final destination is impossible to predict but always a delightful adventure to experience when the maestro leads the way. Watch it here:

Both Chick’s approach to creating music and how he handled life left an indelible mark on his friends and fellow musicians he performed with.

Spanish jazz musician Jorge Pardo says in The Musician, “He’s always eliminated barriers. I think he’s a little bit like Miles [Davis] in that regard, that, you know, it’s just music. His energy is amazing. And it’s like this momentum.”

“The thing that I like, working with Chick, probably the most is how music unfolds before our eyes and before our ears, you know? We’re all experiencing this music at the same time, simultaneously. Everyone, whether you’re participating in the music, if you’re just a passive listener and listening to it, we’re all discovering this music at the same time,” said Bobby McFerrin in the documentary.

Grammy Award winner Rubén Blades thanked Chick Corea in an interview after recording and collaborating on Antidote, “Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to learn and to leave my comfort zone and come to a different area of music. Thank you for the respect and for all your kindness, actually.”

Watch the Chick Corea Tribute Special at chickcoreatribute.tv

Broadcast from Scientology Media Productions, the Church’s global media center in Los Angeles, the Scientology Network is available on DIRECTV Channel 320 and can be streamed at scientology.tv, on mobile apps and via the Roku, Amazon Fire and Apple TV platforms.

Photographic, motion picture, and textual contents on this page are © 2021, Church of Scientology International. All rights reserved.  Used with kind courtesy of the Scientology Network and the Church of Scientology International.