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Posts Tagged ‘Victim’

NC (North Carolina) Stop Human Trafficking!

June 3, 2011 Comments off

NC Stop Human Trafficking is a statewide organization whose mission is to eradicate modern day slavery in all its forms. NC Stop Human Trafficking works to fight human trafficking on multiple levels following the P.A.V.E. model: Prevention, Advocacy, Victim Services and Education/awareness.  NC Stop works through connecting and supporting individuals, community-based and faith-based organizations, non-governmental and governmental organizations. We focus on collaboration and communication between all groups to be efficient and effective. NC Stop strives to create opportunities for community members to become involved in the fight to stop human trafficking that are fulfilling and appropriate for each member.

We have active member groups in Wilmington, Greenville, Fayetteville, Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, Burlington, Greensboro, Charlotte and Asheville. We also have members who are students at NC State, UNC-Chapel Hill, Duke University, UNC- Greensboro, and UNC-Charlotte. Email ncstophumantrafficking@gmail.com if you live near these areas and would like to meet with groups in your area and learn how to be involved.

Perceived factors leading to human trafficking:

– Non-identification of trafficking situations by law enforcement and community members

– Lack of awareness and education in the general public and direct service providers

– Vulnerability to exploitation due to isolation, abuse/neglect, low self esteem, poverty

– Victims have little to no knowledge of, or access to, alternatives and resources available

– Normalization of degradation and violence against women and children

– Normalization of exploitation and devaluation of human life

– Little deterrence on the demand side – lack of adequate consequences for offenders

– Lack of follow up programs, effective counseling and alternative placement for victims

– Broken foster care and social work system – runaway/throwaway and homeless youth are the highest risk group

– Lack of collaboration and communication between government, NGO, faith- and community-based groups

NC Stop Human Trafficking’s core areas of focus of Prevention, Advocacy, Victim Services, and Education/Awareness (P.A.V.E. model) are designed to address these problems. We seek to work through existing organizations first through providing training on issues and program development, then plan to fill in gaps as needed. In this way we choose to collaborate and effect communication across all borders for the common purpose of ending human trafficking.

Prevention

Protect and educate the vulnerable to reduce risk of exploitation

Work to reduce and eliminate contributing factors of isolation, abuse/neglect, low self-esteem and poverty through mentorships, capacity building, life-skills education, parenting training, etc.

Ensure access to resources and options in life.

Work to expose and reduce normalization of degradation, violence, exploitation and devaluation.

Education/Awareness focus will also help with prevention – education to at-risk population

Educate young people on what a healthy relationship looks like, how to spot exploitation, who to turn to for help, technology and bullying – how to cope, education for boys as well as girls

Address foster care/social work system

Advocacy-

Advocate for tougher penalties for traffickers and end users – Washington state law – cars impounded/ $5000 fine, john school

Support legislation that funds programs for victims – shelter, education, food, therapy, etc

Raise awareness that there is no such thing as a child prostitute – anyone under 18 is a victim – consent is off the table

Advocate for reduced penalties (or none – based on Sweden model) for prostitutes and FUNDED alternative programs in exchange for lesser sentences

Change prostitution laws in NC

Prostitution charges acquired before age 18 can be struck off record – NY state law

Victim Services –

Shelter – security

Health Care

Food

Clothing

Personal Hygiene

Therapy

Life coaching

Legal Services – including immigration processing if needed

Alternative life choices – training and support needed

Long term support system and reintegration into society – love and support – effective follow up and follow through

Education/Awareness –

Civic organizations and associations with a service mission

NGO/Non profits with a service mission – esp focusing on women and children’s health, safety, welfare, etc

Faith based organizations and churches

Schools

Anyone in contact with at risk youth – social workers, guidance counselors, school nurses, teachers existing mentorship programs such as Boys and Girls Club etc, Planned Parenthood, foster parents, adoption/fostering networks, malls, movie theaters, social media, etc –

Law Enforcement

Media

Celebrity

Legislators

General Public

You can get connected to the coalition through our Google group, where members can communicate with each other and share information, and also through our Facebook group.

  • Want to find out how you can be a part of North Carolina’s abolitionist movement? Email us at ncstophumantrafficking@gmail.com, tell us where you’re from, and we’ll see how we can get you hooked in!
  • Know something that you think should be shared on this blog? Email us!

RALEIGH – U.S. National Committee for UN Women – 2011 National Conference

When: Saturday, June 11, 2011

Time: 9:00am – 5:30pm / Reception Afterward

Location:Witherspoon Student Center, North Carolina State University, 2810 Cates Ave, Raleigh, NC

Link: http://wp.me/pikPQ-gG

Via NC Stop Human Trafficking 

Take care and STAY SAFE!

 

 

 

 

Lawmaker proposes relabeling rape victims as ‘accusers’

February 10, 2011 2 comments

Victim:

Someone who has been harmed, injured or killed as the result of a crime.

Crime:

An illegal activity or action.

A Georgia state lawmaker with a history of operating on the political fringe has filed a bill stripping the term “victim” from rape, stalking and domestic violence cases.

Rep. Bobby Franklin, a Republican from the Atlanta suburb of Cobb County, filed the bill in November but it only recently came to public attention.

Franklin’s bill would eliminate the word “victim” from statutes dealing with stalking, rape, obscene telephone contact with a child and family violence and replace it with “accuser.”

It also strikes the word “victim” from statutes dealing with electronic pretrial monitoring, HIV testing of criminal defendants and pretrial discovery, the exchange of crucial information between attorneys prior to the start of a criminal trial.

It wasn’t clear why Franklin’s legislation includes only those specific laws, or whether it would affect how people who file complaints about other crimes, such as child molestation, assault or theft might be described.

Franklin did not return a telephone message or e-mail to his office on Monday.

The proposed change angered some who felt that Franklin meant the legislation as an attack on rape victims and on women, who comprise the overwhelming majority of victims of sexual assault.

“I am dismayed … angry … and shocked by your wacked out ideologies concerning VICTIMS of rape,” one commenter wrote on Franklin’s Facebook page.

Carolyn Fiddler, the communications director for the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee, wrote on the organization’s website that the legislation diminishes rape victims by questioning whether what happened to them is even a crime.

“Burglary victims are still victims. Assault victims are still victims. Fraud victims are still victims,” she wrote. “But if you have the misfortune to suffer a rape, or if you are beaten by a domestic partner, or if you are stalked, Rep. Franklin doesn’t think you have been victimized.”

In an interview with CNN Monday, Fiddler said she would like to think that Franklin didn’t mean to diminish rape victims with the legislation. But she said the language displayed a “lack of empathy and awareness.”

There is some merit in the idea of neutralizing legal and courtroom language to help focus potential jurors on the facts of a case, instead of the emotions raised by issues of rape and similar offenses, said Russell Gabriel, director of the University of Georgia School of Law’s Criminal Defense Clinic.

Respectfully submitted via the CNN Wire Staff

 

NC woman fights child abuse in Zahra Baker’s name, The Zahra Project

December 6, 2010 Comments off

HICKORY, N.C. — Kristie Pope decided to create an organization to help fight child abuse after hearing about a 10-year-old disabled girl whose remains were found weeks after she was reported missing.

The Hickory Daily News reported Sunday that Pope started The Zahra Project in memory of Zahra Baker who needed hearing aids and had a prosthetic leg after a battle with cancer. Police are investigating her death as a homicide and no one has been charged with killing her.

Zahra Baker’s stepmother has been charged with obstruction, accused of faking a ransom note to mislead investigators. Elisa Baker also told authorities that Zahra’s body was dismembered after she died. No cause of death has been publicly revealed.

Pope, a 40-year-old mother of three, says 6,000 people are following The Zahra Project that she started on Facebook in October.Neighbors and relatives have said that Elisa Baker had a short temper and was abusive toward her stepdaughter. Caldwell County Department of Social Services investigated the family because Zahra went to school with bruises and a teacher alerted school officials, who have said they are prohibited by law from discussing the case.

“I wanted to get people together who were sick of watching how DSS has failed kids,” Pope said.Pope, a dog trainer who lives in Greensboro, was in Hickory for a dog show when Zahra was reported missing.”It was the closeness of it. It was just up the street from me,” she said. “Here I was, showing my dog and I wondered if I could have made better use of my time.“Part of the goal of The Zahra Project is to get legislation written to try to prevent the deaths of children from abuse.”I think there were a lot of people thinking like I was, wishing we could make a change,” Pope said. “There are strengths in numbers, and we can make a change. We just have to get all our resources together.”As Pope envisions it, “Zahra’s Bill” would create tougher penalties for people who abuse children and would punish parents or legal guardians if they are present when someone else abuses their child among other things.

 

Judge unseals search warrants in Zahra Baker case

November 30, 2010 2 comments

HICKORY, NC — A North Carolina newspaper is reporting that 10-year-old Zahra Baker’s dismembered body was concealed in a bed comforter and a car cover before being discarded in a dumpster behind a Hudson grocery store, according to court documents.

The Charlotte Observer reports that several warrants were released Tuesday by order of Superior Court Judge Nathaniel Poovey.

Prosecutors wanted them to remain secret, saying their release could jeopardize the investigation.

Zahra Baker, who had used a prosthetic leg and hearing aids after a bout with cancer, was reported missing in October and police say they found her remains earlier this month.

Eleven warrants detail the account of the girl’s stepmother, Elisa Baker, whose lawyers say she led police to the girl’s remains. The warrants say a polygraph test showed deception when police asked if she hurt the girl.

The warrants don’t say how Zahra died. No one has been charged in her death. Elisa Baker is jailed on charges of obstructing the investigation. Zahra’s father, Adam Baker, is free on bond after being arrested on unrelated charges.

According to documents released Tuesday, Elisa Baker –through her attorney– admitted that she and her husband wrapped the girl’s prosthetic leg in a white trash bag and threw it in the apartment dumpster.

The documents also show, Elisa Baker said she and Adam Baker dumped a mattress and box springs at a trash dump.

Meanwhile, a memorial service for Zahra Baker has been postponed.

Her family had planned a public memorial service on Thursday, but Drum Funeral Home in Hickory says it has decided to make the service private and hold it at a later date.

The funeral home will allow guests to stop by and sign a register book and view a tribute with photographs of the girl Thursday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. and Friday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Burial plans for Baker have not been determined. Adam Baker has said in a televised interview that after the case is over, he would like to return to Australia with his daughter’s remains. Adam Baker met his wife on the Internet while he was living in Australia.

More than 1,000 people attended a vigil in downtown Hickory on Nov. 16 — what would have been the girl’s 11th birthday.

Respectfully submitted via ABC11

Zahra Baker: Her Tragic Demise

October 23, 2010 3 comments

Zahra Baker: Her Tragic Demise

Zahra Baker is a little girl who lived with her father and step-mother in Hickory, North Carolina. She is the picture of innocence, freckle-faced and smiling in every photo. She is a cancer survivor, loved by her friends and classmates. She is the proverbial “girl next door.”

Thirteen days ago Zahra Baker was reported missing. No one knows what has happened to Zahra these past two weeks. But what we do know is that she has been for many months a victim of domestic abuse.

The headlines tell the tale of her disappearance and the search for clues for her abductor. It is a tragedy. It is tragic not only because the inquiry into her disappearance quickly became a homicide investigation; it is also tragic because of how she was treated while we know she was alive, and how we reacted.

Nearly every account given by members of her family and by her friends described a life of suffering at the hands of her stepmother. Locked in her room, beaten and bruised, Zahra is like a character found in some fable written long ago. We hope and pray that Zahra’s story will have a miraculous and happy ending. Its beginning, however, has been told and retold in articles and interviews of friends and relatives… and it is a tragedy — a saga that began long before Zahra was reported missing.

The real shame is in the way Zahra was treated by her family and in the tacit acceptance with which we — her friends, neighbors and community — allowed her plight to unfold in our view, in our midst and in our silence.

How many beautiful, bright-eyed little girls must die or go missing before we are willing to reveal domestic violence for the scourge that it is in America?

How many hundreds of thousands of hours must police officers, sheriffs and federal agents spend sifting through garbage containers, mulch piles and ponds before it is too late and a child or a neighbor has gone missing?

How many social workers must open files and police officers respond to complaints, only to leave in despair when family members and friends protect the abusers from prosecution, before we are willing to stand together for what is right without pressure or shame?

How many prosecutors will go to court unprepared or leave frustrated because they or their judges do not consider domestic assaults on loved ones to be “real” crimes, before we can believe that the system works?

How many times will each of us defend someone by asking “what did she do to deserve it?”, before we realize that we have become part of the culture that has to change?

What did little Zahra Baker do to deserve her abuse? What did she do? She faced down cancer with a smile and overcame physical challenges with an irrepressible spirit… that is what she did.

But even this joyful little angel could not overcome or escape the ravaging of what has been described by friends and family as domestic abuse. How many Zahra’s have we watched in silent acceptance of the horrors that have been recounted as her daily life? Whether Zahra Baker is ever found and her abductor or killer brought to justice, her treatment — before her disappearance — is an indictment of us all.

It is not enough for victims to speak out, if we are not willing to listen and to speak with them!

It is not enough for victims to stand up, if we are not willing to help them up and to stand with them!

It is not enough for victims to walk away, unless we are willing to show them a path and to walk with them!

Domestic violence affects one in every three women in America. Who is that one in your life? And, what are you doing today to protect her?

Break the silence; end domestic violence!! ©

Written by David Moretti, Board Member for Becky’s Fund, a national nonprofit organization focused on domestic violence prevention and education.

Learn more about Becky’s Fund and how you can get involved.

Respectfully submitted.