Human Trafficking

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An article written by Chris Metinko, a staff writer for the Bay Area News Groups, appeared recently in the Valley Times Newspaper.  The article named “Walking To Stop Human Trafficking” reads as follows:

San Leandro – An East Bay nonprofit will host walkathons across the state this weekend to help raise awareness and money for the problem of human trafficking.

Fremont-based California Against Slavery is organizing walks throughout California in the following cities San Leandro, Orange County, and San Diego.

Their goal is to not only spotlight the issue, but to raise funds for a proposed 2012 State Ballot initiative that would set harsher penalties, including longer jail/prison time for those convicted for human trafficking.

Those of us who call the San Francisco/Bay Area home, it may be hard to accept that San Francisco is listed as one of the top ten hubs for human trafficking in the United States according to Daphne Phung, found and executive director of California Against Slavery.  “This is a pressing issue that needs to be brought to the forefront of our citizens’ minds.  More than 80 percent of trafficking victims are women and children.  70 percent of the female victims are sexually exploited according to Phung.”  

As a retired deputy sheriff, I found the following statement, amazing and horribly twisted.  I never would have guessed that “Human trafficking is the second-largest criminal industry in the world, trailing only drug dealing.”  This statement is from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

For more information and/or register, go to, To contact Chris Metinko via e-mail or by telephone at 510.293.2479.

Pedophiles Strike With Ease

To paraphase an article recently printed in the San Francisco Chronicle, acknowledges the boldness which pedophiles seek, seduce, and ultimately kidnap our children for their sexual fantasies.  There are no known boundaries which these sexual predators abide by, nor is their sexual deviation dissuaded by foreign barriers such as language, customs, or monies.  They are simply people who steal the lives of their prey to satisfy their sexual perversion, seemingly taking great pleasure harming children throughout the United States and around the world.

The airport in Atlanta, Georgia, is said to be the busiest airport within the continental United States.  The Chronicle tells the story of parents flying to Atlanta on vacation with their three children when they became separated from their eldest child, a 17 year-old girl.  When found, she told authorities she panicked when she could not find her family.  Out of nowhere, a nice looking couple befriended her, offering to help locate her family.

Afraid, not knowing exactly where she was in the airport, she trusted the newly met couple who ultimately kidnaped her, holding her captive in a hotel near the airport for five days before they released her.  During those five days of captivity, she was forced to perform whatever sexual acts were demanded by the “Clients” of the kidnapers.  She told police she was assaulted by 100 men.

Remember, this was a family on vacation.  It just proves how vulnerable we can be.  All of us have the capabilities to end up on the 6 o’clock news like this family.  Can you imagine their heartache, first pleading for your daughter’s her safe return, the being horrified at what had happened to her.

There is no rhyme or reason to any criminal acts, especially one such as this.  Perhaps just being in the wrong place and the wrong time might best serve as the rational reasoning.  Not that we should go through life completely paranoid, but we should, at least keep in the back of our minds, criminals hide in plain site.

They always look for the easiest prey to attack.  Keep your head up, look where you are going.  Keep your hands out of your pockets, walk with a purpose and authority.  Even if you cannot fight worth a lick, carry yourself with confidence that you can take care of business.  Learn this lesson at the tragic expense of another, take care of yourself.

Rape At An Airport**

Since the attack on the World Trade Center Towers, our country, as well as the rest of the world, are on a heighten sense of alert.  Perhaps, the most drastic changes in security occurred at our airports.  As terrorists struck at home and abroad, seemingly at will, prompting one news reporter to say we have all become Israelis.

The State of Israel, which is surround by countries that wish to annihilate her, has never lost a plane to a hijacker or attack.  However, the levels of security Israel uses for it’s airports do not fit into the timetable required to secure our airports.  We rely totally on

x-ray machines, full-body scanners, and pat-down searches.

All airports are heavily monitored with recording cameras.  I would suspect, every nook and cranny is videoed and watched for anything suspicious.  With surveillance paramount, the thought of a criminal act being instigated, much less completed, would be well beyond most people’s comprehension.

However, a woman was raped in a Nebraska airport by an airport employee in front of other employees who did nothing to help her, they just watched.  Apparently, those viewing the surveillance cameras would not come to her aid either.  When the assault was completed, the victim dressed herself the best she could and summoned the police herself.

Although, in my opinion, there should be laws requiring people to at least call 9-1-1, but unfortunately, common sense is not at the forefront of most people’s minds.  Perhaps, those who watched were too afraid of the attacker to intervene, but surely someone could have snuck away and called the police.  No one helped, but I bet everyone of those “Citizens” had a story to tell after their shifts ended.

The unadulterated truth is very sad, we must fend for ourselves.  No one is coming to our aid.  If you can yell Fire!  People will respond and actually call the Fire Department.  If you call Police, you will probably be on your own.

**This article was first published in the San Francisco Chronicle.  Date and author unknown

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