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Sex trafficking horrors to be shared in Auburn

By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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Sex trafficking horrors to be shared in Auburn The images in the video are powerful and dramatic. A blond, teenage girl walks along a school corridor as other students ignore her, their eyes covered by black strips superimposed on the video image. The girl goes home to a trailer and is beaten by her drunken father as she tries to study. Bloodied, she escapes and is picked up on the street by a swarthy, stocky man who lifts her up and takes her to a room – and then locks the door from the outside. The girl finds herself in a room with other girls her age, some taking drugs, others laughing at their predicament. The girl’s new life has begun in the shadow-world of child sex-trafficking. That world and some solutions now moving ahead by a new group in Placer County, will be outlined this coming Friday at what organizer C2BU (Courage To Be You) is billing as an awareness concert at Bayside Auburn church. The event, which starts at 7 p.m., includes presentations by the FBI, a mother sharing the story of her daughter being trafficked, and several musicians. The video of the girl – “Believe in Me” – will be part of a message that the Rocklin-based C2BU is spreading. A major focus of the non-profit group is to establish a recovery home for trafficked children on a 64-acre ranch it owns in Northern California. Eventually, the group hopes to house 70 children there. “The big message we’re trying to get out is one of awareness of child sex trafficking, that it’s happening in this community, this state and around the country,” said Rocklin resident Jenny Williamson, founder of C2BU. Awareness in child sex trafficking and human trafficking in general is on the rise. Last month, Auburn resident Kay Whitaker, Soroptimist Sierra Nevada Region governor, and Treasurer Jeanette Yetka, of Soroptimist International of Auburn, joined a seminar in Sacramento on human trafficking that brought together FBI agents, special agents, members of the Regional Terrorist Assessment Center, police chiefs, immigration officials and representatives of the U.S. attorney. Yetka said Soroptimists are taking a keen interest in doing what the non-profit women’s club can to aid law enforcement and other efforts to prevent what is tantamount to slavery. “They lure girls as young as 8 and parents often sell them,” Yetka said. “And the girls are discarded at 15. They think they’re coming here for a good job and their paperwork is taken away from them.” The FBI’s website also uses the world “slavery” to describe human trafficking – both for prostitution purposes and for unpaid domestic or unskilled labor. “They are trapped in lives of misery – often beaten, starved and forced to work as prostitutes or to take grueling jobs as migrant, domestic, restaurant or factory workers with little or no pay,” the FBI states. Globally, the FBI says an estimated $9 billion in profits come from human trafficking around the world. Up to 2 million people are trafficked worldwide every year, according to the State Department, with an estimated 15,000 to 18,000 in the U.S. Human trafficking will also be highlighted Wednesday at William Jessup University in Rocklin at its 5th annual International Justice Day. The awareness day includes a special chapel service at 9:30 a.m. featuring Don Brewster, executive director of Agape International Mission. The mission provides aftercare for victims rescued from sex trafficking and provides prevention efforts through a network of churches. --------------------------------------------------- Sex trafficking awareness concert When: 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 18 Where: Bayside Auburn, 490 Nevada St.