Sex trafficking has been confirmed in all 50 states. While some experiences may contribute to vulnerability to exploitation, children of all socio-economic classes have been victimized. Right now, school-age youth are spending an unprecedented amount of time on devices connected to the internet. The FBI has warned parents, educators, caregivers, and children about the dangers of online sexual exploitation and signs of child abuse during this time.
Did you know that 1 in 3 sex trafficking survivors says that this technology was used as part of their sex trafficking victimization?
Online safety and privacy are important for adults and youth alike. It is important to practice healthy online behavior in your home. Over 70% of 9-17 year olds will encounter nudity or content of a sexual nature online. Additionally, the FBI has warned that there is a threat of individuals posing as minors on popular social media or social networks to lure victims in lieu of immediate, in person ruse with the intent to abduct. There are steps you can take now to be safe and keep predators out.
Check with your children to see if their social media and online accounts are private.
Set parental controls on phones, apps, and websites.
Be aware of possession of a cell phone not provided by you, the parent/guardian.
Make sure you know what your children are doing online and check on them if they are in their rooms for long interrupted periods of time
Remind children to never give out their full name, address, phone number, school name or other personal identifying information to people on the internet.
Talk about what is appropriate to post online and what is not. Do not post nude, partially nude, or revealing photos. Once an image is online, it can be saved, used, and shared beyond your control.
Ask your children about who they are talking to online. Encourage caution when talking to people online. Unfortunately, sometimes an online personality can be a predator.
Pay attention to the use of trafficking-related terms like “Trick,” “The Life,” or “The Game.”
Children about clicking on online ads or pursuing a purchase through an ad. Some ads are used to trick the user into sharing personal information.
Visit the Hawaii Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force Website for more tips and information: https://ag.hawaii.gov/hicac/
The key to practicing safety is by having face-to-face, open conversations with your children. Once you have created a safe virtual space, empower your child(ren) to talk with you if they see or hear something that is a red flag. Keeping virtual conversations safe is a key part of protecting youth and we can do this by being involved and engaged (not helicopter) parents.
We recommend the webinar Online Safety Training for Parents, Caregivers, and Community Members.
Ho‘ōla Nā Pua believes that every child should have a clear path to their bright future. To prevent a threat to that path, we provide educational presentations to students during school-time. Additionally we train the adults in their lives to intervene and respond, including teachers, parents, caregivers, custodians, and frontline workers.
School settings provide the opportunity to promote and support the healthy development of children. Ho‘ōla Nā Pua delivers presentations as part of a class curriculum about th dangers of sex trafficking.
Presentations fulfill two goals:
As teachers, you promote academic success and nurture the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of your students.
By providing educational presentations, which encourage safe and healthy behaviors, youth are more likely to be safe and less likely to experience academic difficulties.
After attending presentations, 89% of students stated confidence they can recognize warning signs; 91% understood people can be recruited off of social media and gaming, and 91% now know who to contact for help.
We have curriculum available for 5th grade through 12th grade.
To request a presentation for your students or school community, please contact:
Tim Hitchens, MSW, Education Program Manager at [email protected].
Professionals who work with youth are uniquely positioned to intervene and create safe spaces for youth. Outside of school, there are multiple professionals that may come into contact with high-risk youth who are being trafficked or are currently experiencing exploitation. There are many layers of training and policy to navigate and intervene in keeping youth safe. Ho‘ōla Nā Pua provides professional training to a broad range of adults who interface with youth at critical points of intervention. These include healthcare workers, law enforcement, military personnel, social workers, and tourism industry professionals.
Each of these professionals may have the opportunity to intervene at a critical juncture; a healthcare worker seeing a child with injuries sustained from abuse and exploitation; an officer who is called to a scene where an adult speaks on behalf of a child that may be a victim; a front desk hotel employee who books a room for a guest who pays cash and seems to be controlling a youth who looks scared.
Each training is customized and provides foundational understanding of the issue and appropriate trauma-informed response. The training material, although all thoroughly rooted in research and best practices, is adapted to fit the audience members’ role in helping to stop trafficking.
Trainings are developed so trainees understand their sector’s role in the community response. Ho‘ōla Nā Pua works closely with law enforcement partners to provide these professional trainings. We believe it is important to equip individuals with knowledge and practical skills to appropriately take action when they suspect trafficking in the community. Everyone in our community plays a role in ending the exploitation of our children.
We also recommend webinars Trauma-Informed Care, and Understanding CSEC Trauma
As a part of Ho’ola Na Pua’s Awareness and Prevention Education, we are hosting weekly free, public webinars.
1st Wednesday of the month – Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children: An Overview. Learn the laws, vulnerabilities and risk factors, red flags and warning signs, local information, and ways to keep our keiki safe.
2nd Wednesdays of the month – Commercial Sexual Exploitation: Trauma-Informed Response. Trauma is a significant risk factor for trafficking, and trafficking leads to a unique kind of trauma. Learn about how this works and how you can serve the young people around you with a trauma informed response.
As a part of Ho’ōla Nā Pua’s Education & Training Program, we host weekly free, public webinars every Wednesday from 4:00pm-5:30pm.
Every 1st Wednesday of the month, CSEC: An Overview. What is sex trafficking? What does it look like in Hawaii? What are the risk factors and protective factors? What else do I need to know to keep my keiki and my community safe?
Every 2nd Wednesday of the month, CSEC: Trauma Informed Response. Trauma is a significant risk factor for trafficking, and trafficking leads to a unique kind of trauma. Learn how to create safe, trauma-informed spaces to protect against trafficking and respond to survivors.
Every 3rd, 4th, and 5th Wednesdays of the month we rotate among several specialty topics:
Guy Talk. This is a shame-free and non-judgmental space where we’ll talk about the guy side of trafficking: boys and men are trafficked, boys and men contribute to trafficking, and boys and men have important roles in the prevention and response to trafficking. (Note, this webinar is not just for men, nor do we want to suggest that there is only one kind of male expression. We do want to make sure we’re bringing these conversations to everyone in a manner that meets all people where they are.)
Online Safety. What you need to know about the internet, social media, and apps; how our young people are connecting with the world wide web; and what you can do to help keep them safe online.
10 Actions to Fight Trafficking Today. You probably can’t end trafficking today, but you can take meaningful actions to fight it right now. Here are 10 ideas you can try today, this weekend, or any time you have 20-90 minutes to spare.
Lived Experience Expert Interviews. Nothing can take the place of hearing from somebody who has lived the experience of being trafficked. These are rare but incredibly insightful opportunities to support survivors while hearing their stories.
Each webinar is intended to last about an hour with about half an hour at the end for Q&A. Anyone may attend, but the content is rated about PG-13.
As these are free, public sessions, we do not provide certificates or training credits. We do not charge for these, but we welcome donations of any size to support our efforts to educate and train children, youth, adults, and communities across Hawaii and beyond.
We do offer two workshops that have been approved by the Hawaii Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers for 2 credit-hours each: “Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children: An Overview for Social Workers” and “Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children: Trauma Informed Response.” We offer these quarterly and intend to do so again in January during National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. Keep an eye on http://hoolanapua.org/education for updates.
Help us keep children
safe and healthy.