Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley Hosts Soroptimist-Zonta Event Human Trafficking Highlighted
A Mexican Fiesta, hosted by Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley (SCV) for Soroptimist of Greater SCV and Soroptimist International-Valencia, was enjoyed by 60 women at the Valencia Clubhouse on January 29, 2020! These international organizations mission is to empower women and girls to achieve equality and self-sufficiency; the clubs have different approaches, but similar goal commonality.
After dinner– speaker Vickie McCoy, ZOE International stated – “Human Trafficking is buying and selling children through force, fraud or coercion!! It happens here!” Attention focused on “Human trafficking takes many forms – being sold for labor and especially for sex. Over 40 million are victims of labor/sex trafficking and forced marriages worldwide. Ten million are children, 12 to 14 years average entry age!”
How? Vulnerable LA youth are coerced and tricked through the internet; Traffickers follow youth – school, sports, parties, internet, etc.; Peers selling each other – Internet Apps make payment easy; and Trafficker’s prey on vulnerable youth – those with no friends, crave attention, love or money and lack a sense of value/self-worth – offering a feeling of ‘love and belonging’.
Sex and Labor Trafficking Victims Signs – See Something, Say Something!
Sex Trafficking: Branded with ‘daddy’, ‘cash’, etc.; Changes in dress, behavior, overtired, depressed; Boyfriend or girlfriend noticeably older; Eye contact difficulty – especially with men; Miss school and runaway often; Unable to speak independently, others talk for them; and controlled by other people.
Labor Trafficking: Difficulty making eye contact; Can’t speak independently; May not have possession of identification documents; and Unusually long work hours.
ZOE started 17 years ago in Thailand and expanded to Australia, Japan, Mexico and locally. Headquartered in Newhall, ZOE’s approach to Human Trafficking includes the following – Prevention, Rescue, and Restoration:
Prevention – rescue/ human trafficking awareness campaigns. Zoe has a growing network, including law enforcement officials, teachers, and pastors. Join the effort!
Rescue – ZOE is one of two agencies in the Crisis Response Advocacy Program called by the Sheriff’s Department, Los Angeles Police Department or Department of Children and Family Services when a minor youth is rescued from trafficking.
Restoration – placement in a safe-houses with short-term specialized care. Children who need longer/permanent care may receive ZOE’s aftercare; this program is created to bring healing and wholeness to every child.
ZOE Home for Youth, a place for those rescued from trafficking, is under construction on 50 acres in Acton, CA and is anticipated to be completed by July 1, 2020. A home will serve six girls, as they recover from their traumatic experiences; a multi-purpose building will provide home-based learning, life skills and vocational skills training to prepare them for re-entry into society.
Based upon ZOE’s desire for home furnishings and other needs, event attendees made commitments.
Should anyone in the community wish to help ZOE in their effort to provide a safe environment and increase residents feeling of self-worth at their Acton facility – Call: 661-255-7963; 24270 Walnut St., Newhall, CA 91321 (behind The Junction Restaurant, Main Street) or visit gozoe.org. Information about Zonta www.scvzonta.org.
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