Friday, December 18, 2009

Tips for identifying victims.

You may be asking 'how can I look out for human trafficking in my everyday life'? Victims of human trafficking may look like many of the people you come in contact with everyday.

Look for the following clues:
-Evidence of being controlled
-Evidence of inability to move or leave job
-Bruises or other signs of physical abuse
-Fear or depression
-Not speaking on own behalf and/or non-English speaking
-No passport or other forms of identification or documentation
-Locks on door/windows on the outside (can't get out from inside)
-Accompanied by a controlling person or boss; not speaking on own behalf
-Lack of control over personal schedule, money, I.D.,travel documents
-Transported to or from work; lives and works in the same place
-Debt owed to employer/crew leader; inability to leave job
-Overly submissive
-Under 18 years of age and providing commercial sex acts

Key questions to ask:
-What type of work do you do?
-Are you being paid?
-Can you leave your job if you want to?
-Can you come and go as you please?
-Have you or your family been threatened?
-What are your working and living conditions like?
-Where do you sleep and eat?
-Do you have to ask permission to eat/sleep/go to the bathroom?
-Has your identification or documentation been taken from you?

Call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center, 1-888-3737-888, if you think you have encountered a victim of trafficking

(modified from Rescue & Restore)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Home at last! Home at last! Dear God Almighty We are Home at last!

Wait, what am I thinking? I am only here for a few hours...

We made it home to Salem last night just in time for church the next day and this morning (the 14th) we leave again for a small road trip up to Portland. Just a few more interviews and we are done with that part.

Some thoughts on the Canada part of the trip....

Canada, is Beautiful! Dood. Amazing. I wasn't even able to even look around the city but I could see the Mountains from everywhere....freekin sweet. Must go back if not just for photos..and snowboarding...and backpacking....and climbing....and some other stuff that would be really cool. Really cool stuff.

and....Melissa, the girl on the street. We first saw Melissa on the street corner dancing, "showing off" and well, we stopped. I wanted to at least talk to her, maybe film her for the story. All we could do is ask.
So, we walked up to her...very seedy block (obviously) and we happened to meet behind a school bus, there were some people selling things on the sidewalks some guys walking by, and I said hello.

This isn't the first prostitute I have ever talked to...this is however one of the first times I have went out and "looked" for a prostitute. Completely different from saying "No Thanks" I actually wanted to talk to her.

Everything went on like a normal know, Hey I saw you on the corner back there....blah blah blah....somewhere in the middle of that conversation I introduced myself, and shook her hand, thanked her for letting us talk to her even though we didn't have a toke or want her for her "services".

Getting back into the car we went over what just happened out there...the adrenaline rush that we just had....talking to another human being. It was said in the conversation that when I reached out and introduced myself and gave her my hand it became a point of humanizing her...putting a name, face, voice, smell, touch to this otherwise "thing" that I would never in my life be seen around. Melissa. Ratty long blond hair, Short skirt with a blanket draped around her in the -4c, white high heels and she is just bairly taller then my chest. Cold hands shaking my warm hands. Willing to do anything for $5 dollars....just for her next fix.

Humans...think about it. People who feel, look, think, just like you. Humans who are just like us.

It was also weird to talk about how each of us felt just in the simple act of talking to Melissa. Everyone knew (assumed) why we were there. They though we were there for sex. This was normal for that area...Just thinking about the judgment that was passed on not just to the girl, but to me...It was then when I wondered about all the judgment that Jesus got when he would hang out with the prostitutes...what people thought of him and the guilt for the "appearance of evil."

Crazy stuff if you ask me. Honestly, I love my life. Way over privileged and I really thank God for everything I get to do. Its really great to work with a team of people as we're running down the street and mid stride we are having an audable conversation almost yelling at God....GOD BE WITH US RIGHT NOW...PLEASE! Such good stuff.

Its late and I need sleep...farewell.

The photos are both in Seattle on the Ferry....which one? Not sure.

Worth it?

This is the journey of 5 friends documenting the issue of human trafficking on the West Coast of the United States within the context of bordering countries, Mexico, and Canada. A lifetime of experience crammed into one month.It's been said - If you've been dealing in this issue for 2 years you're an expert. That logic could make our team experts several times over.

Addressing human trafficking is emotionally taxing, physically exhausting, mentally trying, and spiritually depleting. The question begs to be asked, is it worth it? My answer is yes. Why, you might ask. I would have to bring it back to the value of human life - individual worth. Why is humanity valuable? Christ gave the value. He is always worth my everything. He is worth my intentional effort of regarding human life as a precious gift, not one to be exploited for profit.
That's why we've hit the road. Filming the issue of human trafficking - exposing it, what it looks like in the US, as well as what ordinary people are doing to end slavery. Can it end? That's a question to ask yourself. That's a question for you to answer.That's a question you could be a part of the solution to.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Quick Promo

Well, we needed a quick promo becuase we were talking to a group about the project and we thought it would give a super quick idea of what we had done/experienced.

Please let us know how you liked it. (In my defense I did this at 3am)

WCDP Human Trafficking from Joshua Brown on Vimeo.

(Props to Ro for the music)

Monday, December 7, 2009


In the last couple days, we have met with IJM, Not For Sale, as well as collations in the King County. Information is flowing here, and we are again so time consumed meals often are a competition of how fast can we get food, and bring it in the car with minutes to spare before our next appointment.

Stakeouts have also been on the agenda, to gain useful information on the surrounding area, as well as useful footage of the streets.

All the interviews as well as investigating makes for early mornings, late late nights, and lots of traveling.

The other day when we were doing a church service someone commented on how glad she was to see us all laughing together. She had been following our journey on our blog and praying for us. As a health care provider she had concerns of ptsd for us all, but when she saw us joking around and laughing, she noted what a pleasant surprise it was!

We really are a group of friends making a difference together. What a joy it is, even in the face of such a daunting issue. This issue has faces for us, people behind the ‘issue’ and it also has a hope that we know.

Please keep praying for us. We need to continue to be lead by the spirit in all that we do. Thank you for standing with us.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

A hero

Just finished with a wonderfully refreshing interview with a vice Sgt in here in Portland.
He is one of my new heroes that we've come across on this anti trafficking trip. Never have I met someone so involved in the tough issues or a lifetime career that is still so compassionate, caring, involved, family oriented, passionate to train up quality police officers, and understanding of the surrounding issues facing trafficking.
I'm impressed and THANKFUL! What a difference he is making - literally saving people's lives daily.