by Holly Cushing
Welcome back to our crucial conversation about internet safety with kids! Last week, we talked about introducing the topic of internet safety at a young age, and making it a frequent topic of conversation in your home. This week, we have 3 more tips on how to talk to your kids about internet safety.
3. Practice empathy and compassion
“Shame needs three things to grow exponentially in our lives: secrecy, silence and judgement.” - Brene Brown
Shame leads people to struggle in private. If someone is struggling with pornography (or anything, for that matter) and feels that they will be judged for sharing, it will only lead to deeper secrecy and shame. Creating a compassionate and empathetic space for your children to share plays an instrumental role in fighting against issues such as cyberbullying, pornography addiction, trafficking and more. Not shaming your child doesn’t mean there won’t be any consequences for inappropriate internet use, but it does help create a relationship where your kids feel safe telling you things. If your child is shamed after opening up and sharing with you, they will be less likely to share things with you in the future. If you show empathy and compassion, you’re reminding your child that it’s you and them against the dangers of the internet - together on the same team.
By Holly Cushing
According to a recent article, most children are exposed to pornography by the age of 13, with some being exposed as young as 7. A national survey in the United States estimated that in youth ages 14-18, 84.4% of males and 57% of females have been exposed to pornography. The Human Trafficking Institute’s 2020 report indicated that 83% of active sex trafficking cases involved socilitation online, primarily through social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat.
By Emma Elshaw
I had the opportunity to interview Chantal Huinink, Coordinator of Organizational and Spiritual Life at Christian Horizons, Dr. Neil Cudney, President of Emmanuel Bible College, as well as Holly Lobbezoo, Office Manager and Program Facilitator at Dramaway, for this two-part blog post. We are thankful for their input into this important topic.
Last week, we looked at how both dependency and isolation can be factors in creating vulnerability amongst those who experience a disability. Today, let’s look at two more factors, and how we can help to reduce the risk of exploitation for those in our circles.
By Emma Elshaw
I had the opportunity to interview Chantal Huinink, Coordinator of Organizational and Spiritual Life at Christian Horizons, Dr. Neil Cudney, President of Emmanuel Bible College, as well as Holly Lobbezoo, Office Manager and Program Facilitator at Dramaway, for the following two-part blog post. We are thankful for their input into this important topic.
When it comes to human trafficking, we know, sadly, that traffickers will take advantage of the vulnerabilities of those they seek to exploit. For those experiencing a disability, there can be a number of vulnerabilities they have in living out their daily lives. This can cause them to be susceptible to the luring tactics of traffickers seeking to exploit them. Statistically, a person with a disability is four times more likely to experience violent or sexual crimes, which includes traffficking. This, of course, is data from reports, and as with other trafficking situations, the number is likely higher when one factors in the non-reported cases as well.
By Emma Dovgalev
Every vice comes with its own set of risks. If you drink too much red wine on a Friday night, you might find yourself with a headache on Saturday morning at your son’s little league game. If you go to the casino with some friends for a guy's weekend, you could be coming home the next day with a significant dent in your bank account. If you splurge on that pair of high end shoes, you may find yourself struggling to make your bill payments a couple of weeks later. Each vice has a cause and a corresponding effect, each with consequences that range in severity and in scope.
by Emma Elshaw
Large crowds. Screaming fans. Loud cheers. These are all common elements at sporting events, and a an unfortunate opportunity for traffickers to take advantage of the loud noises and the mass collection of strangers to kidnap a young person for the purposes of sex trafficking.
Trafficking at sporting events is, unfortunately, not a rare occurrence. While many go to have an evening of fun with friends or family, it can turn into someone’s worst nightmare in the blink of an eye. At a recent NBA game, a 15-year-old girl was kidnapped while taking a trip to the washroom. After days of no results in finding her, the family launched their own private investigation and she was located within a day, after discovering pictures of her online where she was listed for sale.
by Emma Elshaw
At this year’s annual Freedom Fighter’s Conference in April, we heard from Jesus Bondo on the intersectionality of human trafficking and the political world. He stated that 71% of victims of human trafficking say they were forced to have sex with doctors, 60% with judges and 80% with police. Those are some staggering numbers, particularly as they are from professions that we might assume would be fighting against human trafficking, and not engaging in it. The reality that traffickers and purchasers of sex are already part of the political sphere in one form or another is clear.
We may feel that there is nothing that can be done to fight human trafficking if those who are in some of the most powerful professions are engaging in its continuance. However, there is still a lot that can be done. There are still those in the political sphere who desire to see an end to human trafficking, like Jesus Bondo and Joy Smith. There are MPs who are fighting to pass bills in an effort to slowly see the discontinuation of sex trafficking.
by Emma Elshaw
Last week, we looked at how the war in Ukraine has caused an increase of trafficking among the refugees who are fleeing their war-torn country into neighbouring countries. Today, we will delve further into the effects of the war in Ukraine as it relates to human trafficking.
We know that women are vulnerable to trafficking as they are in the midst of fleeing Ukraine for safe, neighbouring countries. But it’s not just women who are vulnerable to trafficking - the children are as well. In many cases, children have been separated from their families amidst the chaos at the border of Ukraine. “More than 500 unaccompanied children were identified crossing from Ukraine into Romania from 24 February to 17 March. The true number of separated children who have fled Ukraine to neighbouring countries is likely much higher. Separated children are especially vulnerable to trafficking and exploitation.”
by Emma Elshaw
The news stories covering the war in Ukraine depict the crisis and devastation that is being felt throughout the country and its inhabitants. However, there is another crisis that emerges as millions of refugees flee Ukraine into neighbouring countries, looking for a safe place for themselves and their families: “An avalanche of conflict-scarred women and children bursting out of Ukraine means that exploitation and abuse cases escalate.”
by Emma Elshaw
With the start of a new year, there is a sense that the troubles and worries of the old year fade away, replaced with hope as people look to new things that are on the horizon. But some things are not fading away, and human trafficking is one of them.
Human trafficking continues to be an ongoing issue, and sadly, many Canadians are unaware of the signs of human trafficking. James McLean, Director of Research and Policy at The Canadian Centre to End Human Trafficking, said that “Canadians are shockingly unaware of the realities of human trafficking or how to make a difference.” Two surveys were conducted on behalf of The Canadian Centre to End Human Trafficking, which showed that that 77% of Canadians would not be able to tell if someone is being exploited by trafficking, despite the fact that 73% said that they recognize that human trafficking is a significant issue in Canada.