On the grooming and trafficking of minors

On the grooming and trafficking of minors

In the last two months, three powerful men—billionaire Jeffrey Epstein, R&B singer/songwriter R. Kelly, and megachurch founder Naasón Joaquín García—have been arrested and charged with various crimes surrounding the sexual abuse, creation or possession of child pornography, and trafficking of minors.

When they go back to the streets, so do we.

When they go back to the streets, so do we.

In April of 2018, the federal government seized and shut down Backpage. In a blog earlier this year, we wrote about the unintended consequences of the shutdown—and among them was a resurgence in sex trade activity on the streets.

That’s why we recently relaunched our Street Outreach Team.

Homelessness & Sex Trafficking

Homelessness & Sex Trafficking

Today in Seattle, local media outlets are collaborating on a project called Day of Homelessness, focusing on the homelessness crisis in our city. It has been a little over a two and a half years since a state of emergency on homelessness was declared in Seattle and King County. As of January, it is estimated that there were over 12,100 people experiencing homelessness in King County—and just over 2,200 shelter beds.

When Backpage Disappears

When Backpage Disappears

Before its shutdown, Backpage was estimated to account for 80% of the sex trade in the US. In the anti-trafficking movement, there was cause for celebration that Backpage and other website providers could be held accountable for their role in facilitating sex trafficking. At the same time here at REST, however, we have seen an influx of individuals seeking help because of unintended consequences from the shutdown of these sites.

Sex trafficking beyond the Super Bowl

 Sex trafficking beyond the Super Bowl

Every year, as we draw near to the Super Bowl, news cycles and our social media feeds see an increase in articles about sex trafficking. If you look at Google Trends for the terms “sex trafficking” and “human trafficking”, you’ll see searches for those terms take a sharp uptick in late January and February.

Human Trafficking Awareness Month: Remember the Men & Boys

Human Trafficking Awareness Month: Remember the Men & Boys

“In cases in our office, and in cases from service providers who work with youth, consistently many of the people affected are girls. Not only, though. There are many boys—and consistently we see in the data there are ten, to thirty, to fifty percent boys who are exploited.”

Human Trafficking Awareness Month: #MeToo

Human Trafficking Awareness Month: #MeToo

Here in January of 2018—National Human Trafficking Awareness Month—that definition seems more relevant than ever. The last few months of 2017 were marked with the hashtag #MeToo, bringing light to the pandemic abuses that stem from culturally embedded misogyny and abusive power dynamics.

Decide to Put Slacktivism to Death

Decide to Put Slacktivism to Death

There is a lot of talk in recent years about the rise of “slacktivism.” As social media has grown and become an awareness-raising machine, this idea of “slacktivism” has emerged. In short, it is being willing to post/share/comment/like—but be unengaged otherwise. Slacktivism is talking big game about your feelings about issues—but ultimately doing nothing. It is akin to a boat that is ashore. It has potential, but it needs to be brought back into the water to really make the difference that it was intended to.