CREEPS CAN SEEM NICE AT FIRST
We work with a lot of young people who met their traffickers online. Right now, youth and predators are spending more time online, presenting an increased risk, and cybertips to law enforcement are spiking. Last month, we released a Public Service Announcement (PSA) video called “Creeps Can Seem Nice at First,” specifically raising awareness about predators grooming youth online during COVID-19. The video has been seen over 20,000 times and has been run by several networks. Twitter also generously gave us a $5,000 Ad Grant to spread this safety message. Please share this message and the practical safety tips that accompany it with youth in your life.
A SURGE IN GRASSROOTS SUPPORT IS SENDING A STRONG MESSAGE TO CHILDREN: YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
In the past month, there has been an overwhelming number of you showing up and giving what you can to send a clear message: children impacted by trafficking are a priority right now. In March and April we created a goal of adding 146 new or upgraded monthly donors and 156 of you stepped up! Just this week, GivingTuesdayNow brought in twice what we anticipated, with over $13,000 raised! Finally, last month, we introduced “10 on the 10th,” a movement within the Love146 family to simply give $10 to protect children on the 10th day of the month. On April 10th, we saw — literally — 20x the number of donations we see on a typical day. It was a stunning display of solidarity by so many of you — and the opportunity is coming back again this weekend! Look out for a reminder this coming Sunday to give $10 on the 10th!
CALL WITH U.S. SENATOR RICHARD BLUMENTHAL: TRAFFICKING OF CHILDREN IS LESS VISIBLE THAN EVER.
How has the pandemic impacted the trafficking of children? This question was posed by U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal during a roundtable discussion last month moderated by Love146 U.S. Executive Director Amy Casavina Hall and attended by several regional nonprofits. “I’m hearing there are fewer reports [to child welfare], which is disturbing,” the Senator said. Many on the call reported that victimization is likely happening behind closed doors, with some children trapped with their abuser or exploiter. Children are suddenly less visible to safe adults who can spot problems and get help. As restrictions are lifted, we anticipate a surge in referrals, and we are preparing to be able to meet these children’s needs.
MOTHERS DAY E-CARDS
Mother’s Day is this Sunday! Our e-cards are a simple and wonderful gift; and they provide support for children affected by trafficking. If you are looking for a special gift for your mom, wife, grandma, aunt, or friend, send them a Love146 e-card! You can choose a card design today, personalize it for them, and schedule it to be sent.
EQUIPPING CHILDREN IN MADAGASCAR
So far this year we’ve reached 5,000 children in eight schools in Madagascar with four key messages about their rights and how to protect themselves — all this happening before schools were closed due to coronavirus near the end of March. Our Malagasy partner, Growing the Nations Therapy Programmes, has signed a 3-year agreement with the Ministry of Education to bring our “My Body Is Mine” flipchart to as many schools as possible in and around Antananarivo.
LOVE146 PRESENTS AT A U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES AND THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE’S LISTENING SESSION
Last week, our U.S. Programs Director, Erin Williamson, presented in a National Listening Session hosted by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ Office on Trafficking in Persons and the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office for Victims of Crime. This session focused on Preventing Online Child Sexual Exploitation. Erin talked about the fact that right now, we’re online more. For youth, increased Internet use is critical for education. It’s keeping youth (and all of us) connected with friends. All of that is important. But being online more also has risks. Now is NOT the time for us to shame youth who are using the internet — but it IS the time for us to talk to youth about online safety. Erin, along with government leaders and other experts in the field, shared about the risks online and specific steps practitioners, parents, and others can take to reduce youth’s risks of online exploitation. It was a powerful and insightful time for professionals to connect on the topic and ask questions.