St. Ambrose to Host The Child Next Door: Quad-City Human Trafficking Conference November 15th Event to feature former victims, startling details about the world’s fastest-growing crime. CEU credits available.
When Tina Frundt was 14-years-old she accepted a ride from an older man who had befriended her. She was taken from her home in Chicago to Cleveland, OH, where she was forced into sex slavery. Today Frundt, now an adult, runs Courtney’s House, a Washington DC shelter for women who are escaping sex trafficking. Frundt will be among the presenters at The Child Next Door Quad-Cities Human Trafficking Conference, Thursday, November 15th 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. at St. Ambrose University’s Rogalski Center in Davenport, IA. Frundt’s story of survival from a brutal life as a sex slave is a shocking example of what the US Department of Health and Human Services’ Rescue and Restore campaign calls the “fastest growing criminal activity in the world.” Cathy O’Keeffe, Executive Director of Braking Traffik, one of eleven groups organizing the conference hopes the event will help open many eyes. “Many don’t yet realize the problem of sex trafficking has reached our backyards. It’s a very real threat to American children, not just in major cities.”
The Child Next Door QC Human Trafficking Conference is seeking to promote networking and dialogue on this emerging threat. Parents, members of law enforcement, social services and healthcare workers, legal personnel and clergy are among those encouraged to attend. Organizers are seeking to promote greater awareness about the markers for human trafficking, while exploring barriers to effective interventions and discussing solutions to helping victims escape a life of bondage, brutality, destruction and death. This conference has been approved for continuing education credits for nurses and other health care professionals, social workers, IOVA-CP Certified Providers as well as qualifying for 1.5 CLE credits for attorneys (including ethics hours). To register for The Child Next Door Conference, or learn more, go to http://www.brakingtraffik.org. Space is limited to 250 attendees. A free kick-off event will be held Wednesday, November 14th from 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. at John Deere Planetarium on the campus of Augustana College. The kick-off event is open to the public and requires no registration.
Also presenting at The Child Next Door Human Trafficking Conference, Ruth Buckels, adoptive mother of Brittany Phillips, who was lured from a Cedar Rapids grocery store at the age of 14 by a man offering a modeling opportunity. She was marketed for sex on a popular online website, before it shut down its adult services section. Online escort sites remain a major pipeline for sex traffickers. One survey conducted by Braking Traffik this fall found 19 different females tracked to the same phone number, a possible indicator that they were being trafficked. Several of the posts included known indicators or ‘code words’ that some of the females were being marketed as minors. Recent FBI stings in Cedar Rapids and Coralville, IA netted scores of adults and one 16-year-old girl forced to sell sex for money. This past September, three adults were arrested in Iowa City under suspicion of trafficking three minors.
The Child Next Door QC Human Trafficking Conference is being presented by a coalition of Quad-Cities organizations that include Braking Traffik (formerly the Quad-Cities Human Trafficking Project), Attacking Trafficking, The Catholic Diocese of Davenport, Community Partnerships for Protecting Children, Scott County Kids, Family Resources, Iowa State Patrol, Child Abuse Council, CASA, Building Forever Families, The Place2b Youth Center, St. Alban’s Episcopal Church Jubilee Ministry, the Christian Church Disciples Women’s Ministry and Augustana College.
To register for The Child Next Door Conference, or learn more, go to http://www.brakingtraffik.org.