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Chains Interrupted has implemented a Plan of Action in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. While we are postponing “group gatherings” such as presentations and fundraisers, we are working to offer presentations online and through web conferences. If your organization would like a presentation through web conferencing (Zoom), please email me at Teresa@ChainsInterrupted.com.¬†We have presentations specifically targeted for schools, hotels/motels, businesses/organizations, health care institutions/providers and financial institutions.

Unfortunately, it is likely that cases of Human Trafficking will increase due to the pandemic. Issues like boredom, stress, loneliness, pornography and economic crisis will contribute to this increase. You may be wondering how. The answer lies in the fact that people who use other people for sex are not doing it mainly for sex, but for deeper issues like power, addiction, unmet needs and greed. One 15 year old survivor from the Midwest stated this about the 150 men per month who raped her; “Some could be upstanding people in the community. It was mostly people in their 40s, living in the suburbs, who were coming to get the stuff they were missing.”

The former group Teens Against Human Trafficking educated that teachers should watch out for students who were late or absent on Mondays. They went on to state that Sundays were the busiest night for human sex trafficking, due to men spending the weekends with their families. Sadly, this leads me to wonder how much worse this could get if families are quarantined together for weeks or months.

PornHub has offered everyone in Italy, France and Spain free access to their premium site for 30 days while they are stuck at home during the pandemic crisis https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/11217381/pornhub-traffic-spikes-as-free-premium-service-is-offered-to-lonely-people-stuck-in-coronavirus-lockdowns/. It is only a matter of time before they do this in the US. This is terrible with a capital “T.” As a Nurse Practitioner I consider pornography a public health crisis due to the huge link to violence and human trafficking, its use as a weapon, serious infections for performers, “porn impotence” for viewers, etc.. Please see Dr. Gail Dine’s article for more information: https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/ wp/2016/04/08/is-porn-immoral-that-doesnt-matter-its-a-public-health-crisis/. It’s ironic that PornHub is offering yet another public health crisis in the midst of the Coronavirus public health crisis. I encourage everyone to strongly reconsider filling their downtime with pornography. For both men and women, the results can truly be devastating. Instead, check out the website http://www.fighthenewdrug.org. They have lots of information on what porn does to our brains, hearts and world. The following article has ideas people can do besides watching porn during a quarantine: https://fightthenewdrug.org/5-things-you-can-do-while-quarantined-from-coronavirus/

Of course economics play a big role in the exploitation of people. Some people already feel that selling their bodies for sex is their only choice to feed their families. Buyers of sex have no problem exploiting that situation. With people now losing their jobs in droves, how much worse is this likely to get? Traffickers make their living off of exploiting people. Like any other business, Human Trafficking is a supply and demand issue. With the demand likely to increase due to pornography, stress, boredom, unmet needs and loneliness, traffickers will have to increase the supply to keep up. The internet is currently the most common place a trafficker targets their victims. Kids who are stuck at home during any quarantine are likely going to be online a bit more than usual. The following two articles have tips to help keep them safe: https://blog.theexodusroad.com/how-to-keep-your-kids-safe-online and https://endsexualexploitation.org/articles/5-things-you-can-do-to-ensure-your-children-are-safe-online-during-quarantine/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=ncose

It is unfathomable to me that we are already seeing a plethora of scams. While we did see one scam with people going door to door pretending to be the CDC, they are mostly online (and for money) right now due to everyone isolating. I don’t want everyone to live in fear or distrust, but unfortunately in today’s day and age it pays to be vigilant. Chains Interrupted will publicize any scam we learn about that involves the attempt to lure people into a trafficking situation. Please let us know if you hear of any as well. We are all in this together!

Chains Interrupted will be following community mitigation guidelines, but will still be there for anyone who needs us. We are limiting our spending to “essentials” to make sure that we can meet our obligations (Transition Housing, staff, utilities, etc.). Thank you so much for your continued generosity that keeps us in this fight during these trying times!

Stay well,

Teresa

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