Blinders attached to a horse's bridle are designed to eliminate distractions. Pseudo blinders on people serve to block out thoughts of disquieting realities.
Texas holds the unflattering distinction of being the hub for sex trafficking according to the U.S. Department of Justice. Contributing factors include:
...Interstate I-10 corridor
...International airports, network of interstate highways, heavy commercial trade via the Gulf of Mexico, its expansive border
...Sexually oriented businesses dotting major highways
...Tourism and sporting events
...Countless bus stations drawing large numbers of runaways and throwaways
A few precautions can divert disaster:
...Parents – Monitor internet activity. Insist on strict curfews, frequent check-ins, the Buddy System (safety in numbers), calling when plans change, wearing modest attire
...Teachers - Intervene if a student’s behavior, grades or attitude changes
...Kids - Avoid conversations with strangers, trust your instincts, scream for help, speak to a trusted adult or the police about a suspicious person, closely guard posts on social sites (pictures from a smart phone gives your exact location)
In 2010, Cheryl Briggs founded Mission at Serenity Ranch (MSR) to provide individualized trauma care for survivors of human sex trafficking. Trained advocates and volunteers work hand-in-hand with law enforcement agencies and other trafficking organizations to educate the public and provide safe accommodations for victims who have either escaped or have been rescued.
“My Daughter’s House” is Phase 1 of a three-phase program MSR will provide, offering survivors secure housing while they transform their lives. Focus is on counseling, social service programs, addiction recovery, GED classes and personal mentoring. Phase 2 focuses on higher education or vocational skills. Phase 3 is transition into obtaining employment, acquiring money management skills, and moving back into the community as confident and contributing members of society.
On Saturday, September 21, 2013, MSR’s “Bound No More” black tie gala will help raise funds for “My Daughter’s House.” Proceeds will help transform the home that will house survivors.
A pre-gala VIP event will be held on September 5, 2013 at Americas in The Woodlands.
For info on either event, visit MSR or call Monica Erickson at 832-868-1534.
The most vulnerable members in our society are the prime targets for traffickers! The collective effort of everyone in the community is imperative. Please do your part!