The facts of human trafficking in Arizona.
In honor of Human Trafficking Awareness Month, I wanted to mention a few facts about this topic to bring awareness to it.
- The average age of a victim is between 12 and 14 years old.
- The abuse that happens to these young people makes it extremely difficult to leave or get help.
- Arizona is part of what is called The Circuit. We are in close proximity to two other major cities (Las Angeles and Las Vegas), which have a rotation of major events that come through all three cities. This provides an easy trip for criminals to sell sex at these events.
This final fact stresses the importance and urgency to recognize and advocate for victims of this crime here in our own state. Let’s stand together to continue to bring awareness of the horrific crime. Let’s continue to be voice for those who cannot be their own.
Dawn is here to help.
I have been honored over the past six years to be a part of an amazing team that is bringing awareness about sex trafficking of minors to law enforcement, specifically officers who make roadside stops. Let me explain.
Police officers are trained to know when crime may be happening. This is a great thing as it keeps our communities safe because many of these crimes are found at simple roadside stops. Someone fails to signal or complete a stop when the officer finds out there is a lot more going on in that vehicle than a simple traffic infraction. There are many crimes that they have learned to detect even with the slightest subtleties. I once heard an officer say is so well, “We are trained to look for the drugs, and in the process, we look right over the child sitting in the back seat.”
Officer training is making a difference.
Over the past 6 years, we have trained hundreds of Arizona’s officers how to look for crimes against children and how to work with child victims if a crime is suspected. In Arizona, child rescues have has gone up three times since this course has been offered. Thank you to the officers who are on the frontline intervening for our children.
It has been exciting to see the wonderful organizations who have also stepped up to work with those who have been victimized by sex trafficking and for those who were once seen as criminals are now being recognized as the victims of the crime. Thank you all of you who work with victims of sex trafficking to find healing.
Finally, I wanted to take a moment to acknowledge these organizations. These amazing resources are available if you or someone you know needs help:
Phoenix Dream Center- https://phoenixdreamcenter.org/human-trafficking/
Governor’s Office of Youth, Faith and Family- https://goyff.az.gov/humantrafficking
Trust AZ- https://trustaz.org/
Southern Arizona Against Sexual Assault- https://www.sacasa.org/trafficking/
Sold No More- https://soldnomore.org/
Coalition Against Human Trafficking – https://caht-naz.org/
Safe Action Project- https://safeactionproject.org/
Arizona Anti-Trafficking Network- https://aatnaz.org/
Cease Arizona- https://ceasearizona.org/
Community Schools Initiative- https://csiaz.org/
Just Men Arizona- https://justmenaz.org/