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January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month

January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month

Each year thousands of children, mostly minor girls, are trafficked in the United States. The sex trafficking of minors is NOT excluded from our region in rural Pennsylvania. Human trafficking is the fastest growing criminal enterprise in the world, and in our area, we are seeing family members selling others within the family for commercial sex acts. By actual definition, sex trafficking is the exchange of any sex acts for an item of value. Items of value can include but are not limited to money, drugs, transportation, food, or shelter.Many times, these young girls and boys are lured into “the life” by false promises of precisely those things.Minor girls are especially vulnerable to someone who poses as a father figure or an older boyfriend.At first, they will give lavish gifts and treat them to an unbelievable trip. But once the trafficker feels they have their grip on them, the actual criminal behind the fake caring disguise is revealed a…

Survivors Among Us

Survivors Among UsBy: Rachel Farrow, Education Specialist

"Beware, there are monsters among us." The headlines warn, blaring out in big bold letters from every screen we encounter.
The well-meaning 'likes' and 'shares' of those urging us for vigilance -- the rally cry of danger becomes our second nature.

When you were the victim -- the prey, the stalked, the violated -- you are acutely aware of every rustle of danger.

"Fool me once," you promise, staring at yourself in the mirror.

When you were once a victim, you suddenly begin to try and analyze all of your perceived flaws -- your soft underbelly -- that made you a target.

Was it your willingness to trust? You question your upbringing, the way your voice used to lilt when asked a question. You think about all the times your parents and teachers taught you to 'be kind,' but was that kindness simply a fulcrum point for that monster to sink its teeth in?

Was it the curvature of your body? You …