Winter and Spring 2018 Focus Area Posts
Happy #FocusAreaFriday and Viva La Fiesta!
As you enjoy our city’s historic festivities, be sure to keep your eyes open…
“Sporting and other major venue events where large groups of people descend on a specific region are a magnet for business of all kinds, including human trafficking.” https://polarisproject.org/blog/2016/02/05/super-bowl-myth
Engaging suspected victims can be dangerous for both you and the victims, so if you think something is amiss, contact local law enforcement or get help or report a tip by calling the National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline at 1-888-373-7888. Or send a text to BeFree (233733).
June 1, 2018
Happy #FocusAreaFriday and welcome to the new League Year!
Since March 2015 JLSB’s focus area has been: Improving the lives of at-risk young women by educating & empowering them to reach their full potential while working to prevent exploitation and injustice in our community.
JLSB addresses our focus area through (1) our relationships with community partners that provide direct services to at risk members of our community (think Impacts projects); and (2) our two pronged signature project: S.A.F.E. House Santa Barbara and a Community Awareness Campaign.
As we move closer opening S.A.F.E. House and launching the Community Awareness Campaign your Focus Area committee wants to ensure you have the resources to talk about the important work we are doing in our community.
This month’s resource is the AJLI Human Trafficking Network Facebook Page. Acknowledging that there are many leagues across the country shining a light on this important issue, AJLI
has a facebook page dedicated to trafficking awareness which acts as a resource for the many Leagues that are shining light on trafficking. The purpose of the page is to “share ideas about Human Trafficking and the effective means of communicating League strategies about this community issue, both internally and externally.” If you are interested learning more, here is link AJLI Human Trafficking Network. You will need to request to be added to the group and identify that you are a member of the Junior League of Santa Barbara.
It’s going to be another exciting year for JLSB! Together, we are #Unstoppable #JLSB #WeAreJLSB
April 6, 2018
This month Polaris, which runs the National Human Trafficking Hotline, released their 2017 Hotline Statistics. The numbers are staggering! In 2017 alone, they received 34,177 contacts from across the country by way of phone calls (US: 26,8840 – California:3,998), texts (US: 2306), webforms (3,154), and emails (1,833).
In California, there were 1,305 cases of human trafficking reported in 2017 alone. Of these, 1,009 were sex trafficking cases. The top venues and industries identified for sex trafficking in California were illicit spa/massage businesses (126 cases), hotel-motel based (103 cases), escort services (96 cases). More California specific stats can be found at https://
From the data, Polaris identified the top 5 Risk factors for Human Trafficking as: (1) Recent Migration/Relocation; (2) Substance Use; (3) Runaway/homeless youth; (4) Mental Health Concerns; and (5) Involvement in the Child Welfare System.
These factors are among the same factors that #JLSB identified when going through the process of selecting our #FocusArea: “Improving the lives of at-risk young women by educating & empowering them to reach their full potential while working to prevent exploitation and injustice in our community.”
In working with our community partners JLSB helps reduce the impact of these factors to at risk women and girls, in an effort to reduce the risk in our community.
For all of the 2017 Statistics you can follow this link: https://polarisproject.org/
#SpreadYourWings #JLSB #WeAreJLSB
March 2, 2018
In this edition of #FocusAreaFriday: Why is Santa Barbara known as a “hub” for sex trafficking?
Here are some of the contributing factors:
1. Prevalence and number of hotels
2. Affluent community
3. College town
4. High number of foster youth and runaways
5. Lack of housing – both affordable and for fosters/runaways
6. “Corridor Town” – Location along trafficking route up the state of California
7. Limitations of law enforcement protocols
8. Lack of community awareness
9. Demand for escort services
California is ranked as one of the top four U.S human trafficking destinations. There is a demand for “escort” services in Santa Barbara County that contributes to domestic child sex trafficking. In a two-week period, a total of 675 advertisements for “escort” services were placed in Santa Barbara and Santa Maria on Backpage dot com. Given the known connection between advertisement on Backpage and DCST (domestic child sex trafficking), information from the two-week Backpage study suggests an average of eight children per day may be sexually trafficked in Santa Barbara County via Backpage alone. (Source: Needs Assessment of Domestic Child Sex Trafficking in Santa Barbara County 2015).
Did you know our county has an anti-trafficking task force? In fact, JLSB is proud to be a PART of that task force! Watch this quick video for a bit more info: https://www.youtube.com/
#SpreadYourWings #JLSB #WeAreJLSB
January 5, 2018
January is human trafficking awareness month! As a League we have learned that there are many direct and indirect factors that play into women and girls being vulnerable to trafficking. That’s one of the reasons JLSB’s Focus Area is: Improving the lives of at-risk young women by educating & empowering them to reach their full potential while working to prevent exploitation and injustice in our community.
To implement our Focus Area, our League works with our community partners to support at-risk young women. “The two biggest factors driving girls into detention—domestic violence and commercial sexual exploitation—are closely linked to trauma.” (Girls in Justice, by Richard Ross, p.88). Get your signed copy of Girls in Justice at the January General Meeting in preparation for the first Focus Area Book Club (January 30th from 6:30 – 8:00pm, location TBD… sign up on Digital Cheetah!).
According to the 2015 article below “Girls Are the Fastest-Growing Group in the Juvenile Justice System.”
Understanding what makes girls vulnerable to exploitation and trafficking helps the JLSB determine the most effective preventative efforts. There is much work to be done and we look forward to working together this year to support our community’s at-risk young women in 2018 and beyond!
#SpreadYourWings #JLSB #WeAreJLSB
December 1, 2017
Many thanks to all of you ladies who have attended one of the Focus Area Trainings this year… Your awareness and education about the issue of sex trafficking in our community and beyond is more important than you know. One day you may be called to ACT! Will you be ready?
*How to report a potential trafficking situation?: One way is an awesome service called the Be Free Textline from Polaris. Text HELP to 233733 (BEFREE). The BeFree Textline offers confidential crisis assistance and support, referrals, tip reporting, and general information about human trafficking through SMS text message. Textline advocates are available to respond Monday-Sunday from 3-11pm EST. You can also reach someone 24/7 through the National Human Trafficking Resource Center confidential hotline at 1-888-373-7888. As always, if you or someone you know of are in immediate danger, call 911.
*What to Expect If You Text BeFree?: All HELP texts will first receive an auto response immediately letting you know that you have reached the BeFree Textline. You will then receive a response from a textline advocate who will check in on your safety. Once they know it’s safe to text, the textline advocate will ask you some questions in order to determine how they can help. Texts are answered by specially trained advocates who are there to listen and discuss options with you. It’s up to you how much information you wish to provide and what next steps you want to take.