Who is Behind the Wedlock: Child Marriage and Parental Consent in the U.S.

Who is Behind the Wedlock: Child Marriage and Parental Consent in the U.S.

 

By Susie Hedley

Child marriage in the United States refers to a marriage that occurs when at least one of the individuals is under the age of 18.

It is a huge problem in the United States.

Like human trafficking, we know that child marriage is not how we perceive it to be globally and in the media. It doesn’t always consist of arranged marriages in other countries or child brides being sold off.

It’s happening right here at home, and it’s more complicated than it seems.

Every state has a …

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Do We Really Live in a Rape Culture?

Do We Really Live in a Rape Culture?

“His life will never be the one that he dreamed about and worked so hard to achieve. That is a steep price to pay for 20 minutes of action out of his 20 plus years of life,” Dan A. Turner wrote this in a letter arguing that his son should receive probation, not jail time, for raping an unconscious woman behind a dumpster.

“These two young men – who had such promising futures, star football players, very good students — literally watched as they believed their …

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Control Mechanisms: The Configuration of Abuse in Relationships

Control Mechanisms: The Configuration of Abuse in Relationships

BY Susie Hedley

During Teen Dating Violence Awareness month in February, we focused on how abuse exists in relationships.

We looked at physical, sexual, and emotional abuse, aiming to clearly define each of them and give an overview how they affect young adults. I’d like to delve more into this topic and focus on how abuse is perpetuated:

What are the repeated behaviors within abusive relationships? How can we pinpoint them?

Emotional abuse is the most insidious and manipulative form of abuse. It is also the most difficult to …

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Where Teen Dating Violence and Human Trafficking Intersect

Where Teen Dating Violence and Human Trafficking Intersect

BY SUSIE HEDLEY

Teen dating violence is becoming an increasingly apparent problem in the United States.

Today, approximately one-third of all teens involved in romantic relationships will experience abuse of some kind before they become adults.[i]

This abuse is broken up into three categories: physical, sexual, and emotional abuse. Sometimes abuse is easy to pinpoint and sometimes it’s buried inside a relationship.

Let’s talk physical abuse.

This one’s easier to define. Hitting, kicking, smacking, punching. Leaving a physical mark on another.

Approximately one out of every ten high school students are physically abused …

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Making the Connection: Media and Sex Trafficking

Making the Connection: Media and Sex Trafficking

BY SUSIE HEDLEY

Women are disproportionately represented in the reported instances of sex trafficking cases in the United States.[1]

And with this statistic so high, the question begs to be answered: Why?

It’s certainly not because women ask for a life of exploitation and abuse.

We need only to look to the media and see how women are objectified to surmise that there is a common, and socially acceptable perception, that women are a commodity to be bought and sold.

And we can see these correlations between the oversexualization of …

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CRY FREEDOM: Courage and Compassion in Rescue and Recovery

CRY FREEDOM: Courage and Compassion in Rescue and Recovery

BY MELINDA SAMPSON

Beverly Weeks and Kellie Taylor of Cry Freedom are bold and full compassion.

They use that boldness and compassion to fight sex trafficking, but neither of the them see themselves as courageous in any way.

As Beverly would say, “who’s going to do it, if not us?”

With one gesture of kindness at a time, they are building relationships with trafficking victims across Eastern North Carolina.

They do not expect these women to come to them. The notion of a woman being trafficked or involved in the …

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Labor trafficking globally and domestically

BY MELINDA SAMPSON

Human trafficking includes more than commercial sex exploitation. 

 Human trafficking also includes labor trafficking, and the victims of that form of trafficking are on a wide spectrum.

These victims are women.

These victims are children.

These victims are men.

Labor trafficking is certainly a global enterprise, from the growing of cocoa, coffee beans and tobacco to the making of bricks and shoes.

But it is also a domestic problem that is largely overlooked by people in their day-to-day lives. In large part, because many people don’t know what labor …

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What is Fair Trade and Why You Should Care

What is Fair Trade and Why You Should Care

 

Written by Marielle Ondik

Fair Trade is a certification that means a product is slave-free, child labor-free and exploitation-free. As an anti-human trafficking non-profit, we encourage people to be conscious consumers, and avoid purchasing products made by exploited people whenever possible. The problem is that many times there is no way to know the circumstances under which a particular product is made.

When a product is certified Fair Trade, you know that you are purchasing an item that didn’t contribute to exploitation.

 

Top Companies that use slave labor
Nestle

In …

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Five reasons why human trafficking is a public health issue

Five reasons why human trafficking is a public health issue

By JOHN BARRA

In recent years as we learn more about the atrocity of human trafficking and the myriad of services and collaborations needed to combat it, it has become exceedingly clear that this is not just a criminal justice or social issue alone. We cannot legislate trafficking away, nor arrest our way out of it and providing survivor support alone will not solve the problem.  There is a suitable umbrella to muster our resources and build the relationships and skills needed to combat this issue. …

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Homeless youth, trafficking and lack of opportunity

Homeless youth, trafficking and lack of opportunity

 

By Melinda Sampson

 

One of the most vulnerable populations that fall prey to human traffickers is homeless youth.

One of the most comprehensive studies involving the intersection of homelessness among youth and human trafficking, “Labor and Sex Trafficking Among Homeless Youth” from Loyola University, found that nearly 1 in 5 homeless youth experience either labor or sex trafficking – in some cases both.

Researchers gathered data from 641 respondents at Covenant House (a network of homeless shelters for youth)  sites in ten cities in the U.S. and Canada. …

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