Sex Trafficking of Minors Hits Close to Home in Point Loma

by on May 19, 2015 · 1 comment

in Civil Rights, Culture, Economy, Health, Labor, Ocean Beach, San Diego, Women's Rights

PL Dems 5-17-15 02Point Loma Democrats Hear about Sex Trafficking

By Lois Lane

The program, “Sex Trafficking of Minors in San Diego,” last Sunday, May 17, 2015, seemed distant from the dozens of Ocean Beach and Point Loma residents in the audience. We quickly learned that this is one indeed one of our local problems and one of the most profitable illegal activities, greatly out-earning drug dealing. The product is also renewable – you can only sell a package once, but with prostitution, you can sell the same product over and over.

The speakers were Ali Serano, Assistant US Attorney, Sergeant Chris Cameron, San Diego County, and Gayle Sollfrank, representing a resource for victims, GenerateHope.

PL Dems 5-17-15 03

Gayle Sollfrank, Generate Hope –speaking, and Ali Serano – sitting – US Attorney’s office. Photos by Patrick Schultheis

If we don’t think this is our problem, Ms. Serano displayed a printout from that day, showing six active Point Loma links on the primary Internet site (not publicized here). A recent study was conducted by law enforcement for a single day – 348 active Internet sites advertised in San Diego County, resulting in 8300 telephone calls.

The victims are divided immediately by age: Adult women have the opportunity to go to a shelter, whereas the underage fall under the child welfare and foster home programs suitable for children.

Many minors are very young – typically 13 years. These children are recruited at the malls and playgrounds, but have rebellious personalities and/or come from unhappy homes and see the life as a step up with someone they love, not a step down. Soon they have quotas. The police come into the picture mostly on other complaints such as domestic violence.

The huge increase is attributed to the Internet/iphone age. The advertisement gives a phone number; the girl answers with details and photos. The prosecutions also use the Internet to their advantage, introducing Facebook pages, and postings from the pimp.

The program was moderated by Sarah Boot, a former city-council candidate from this district. This  very professional presentation showed the dedication of law enforcement and support groups in protecting this very vulnerable population.

Other activities at the meeting included a request by Postal Workers for support in their up-coming union negotiations, and an acknowledgement of State-wide award to the OB-Pt. Loma Dems Vice-President, Mike Johnson, as District 20 Volunteer of the Year.

A final note. When visitors were asked how they learned about the meeting, two of them answered “We read about it in the OB Rag!” That’s ALWAYS nice to hear.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Avatar John Loughlin May 19, 2015 at 10:28 pm

Thank you to the OB Rag for publicizing this event beforehand, and for this writeup. It’s an uncomfortable but important topic. The presentation was powerful, disturbing and yet hopeful thanks to the commitment of those who spoke. It’s often the most vulnerable who are most at risk of exploitation – children from foster homes and LGBT children who have left home.

Tuesday June 2, 2015 at 5:30-8:30pm there is a presentation at the San Diego LGBT Community Center, 3909 Centre St, CA 92103 discussing how Sex Trafficking affects the LGBT community.

GenerateHope is holding a Tacos for Freedom fundraiser Saturday, June 6, 2015 from 3-7pm in Escondido. You can find more details on their website at http://generatehope.org

Reply

Leave a Comment

Older Article:

Newer Article: