These are the show notes for episode 002.
In this second episode, the Red X Podcast reviews how Congress is making it illegal for internet providers to advertise sex for children online. Also Nacole, the mother of a survivor of sex trafficking and advocate who is featured in the I Am Jane Doe documentary, is interviewed about her fight in bringing down Backpage.com. The Red X Podcast is designed to take the immense issue of human trafficking and help break it into smaller pieces so that the listener is empowered to take action at a local level.
Nicole, the host of the Red X Podcast, introduces friend and fellow advocate, Brooke Burris. Brooke is an attorney who represents the Lynch Foundation for Children, which supports efforts to prevent children becoming trafficking victims. Brooke is a former Miss South Carolina and has worked with private investigators to rescue runaway youth through Saved in America.
Nicole talks about juggling four children with advocacy work and producer of the Red X Podcast and Mayor Lance Olive shares how he got to use the sidewalk sucker to repair Apex’s sidewalks.
Both Nicole and Lance are planning on attending the Peak City Film Festival in which the family film Unbridled was featured. Unbridled was filmed in Apex and presents the story of a young girl who becomes a trafficking victim and finds restoration through her therapy through training an abused horse. The story is based on the work of equine therapy center, Corral Riding Academy which pairs girls who have experienced trauma with abused horses.
Nicole Bernard reports on Congress’s review of the 1996 Communications Decency Act (CDA), which has not been amended since its conception. The CDA was originally enacted when the internet was in its infancy and was meant to protect internet sites from being held liable for content advertised by a third party. As an example, ebay cannot be sued for a person selling a fake baseball card. Although the Act is intended to promote internet economy, at the time that it was written, sex trafficking did not even have a legal definition in the United States. The Act was never intended to allow for internet hosting sites such as craigslist or backpage.com to be allowed to advertise the sell of children for sex. Unfortunately, Section 230 of the Communication Decency Act has supported just that and in spite of valiant efforts and lawsuits to bring it down, backpage.com remains immutable so long as Section 230 is not amended.
In 2010, the annual revenue of backpage.com grossed $29 million. By 2014, it burgeoned to $134 million. One estimate found that 80% of sex crimes are advertised on backpage.com. And although major tech companies initially stood with Backpage against advocates who demanded it be taken down, companies like Google and Facebook have now reversed their stance and support the amendment of Section 230 by enacting the Stop Enabling Sex Trafficking Act (SESTA). In North Carolina, both senators have backed SESTA. Find your legislator and ask them to support SESTA.
The Red X Podcast welcomed guest, Nacole, the mother from the I Am Jane Doe documentary. Nacole’s daughter, J. S., was trafficked when she was 15 through Backpage.com and now Nacole has been an advocate for SESTA and preventing child sex trafficking.
Nacole says that J.S. was dealing with some transitions in HS when her older brother left for an Ivey League college in New York. J. S. was active in soccer, wrestled, and was an all star violinist. She was also an honor student. One day she wrote a letter to her family saying she was leaving home. J. S. found herself 30 miles away from her home in a teen homeless shelter. A 22 year old woman who was working for a pimp recruited her to be a part of the sex trade. J.S. then found herself in the hands of a 32 year old trafficker. She was raped and sold on the streets of Seattle After ten days she was able to escape and returned home. Was able to escape. Her parents took her to the hospital but were not given resources to help explain the trauma she had experienced.
At home, J.S. became withdrawn and angry. She left school and became homeschooled. Everything that she took excitement in was gone. Nacole said they later realized that her trafficker had given J. S. a phone and she was still in contact with him. Although her family had surrounded her with love and prayer, they underestimated how traumatized she was and without proper treatment, J.S. returned to her trafficking situation. She didn’t even consider herself a victim until five years after being trafficked.
J.S. was sold on Backpage.com. Nacole says you can actually purchase a pizza to be delivered as fast as you can order a child to be delivered to your door for sex, regardless of whether or not you are in the city or the country. The youngest victim advertised on the website was nine.
Nacole says she was one of the lucky families. Homicide is the number one leading causes of deaths of people who are trafficked. families is one of the fortunate families. Nacole insists that the way to end trafficking is to start educating people about how to treat each other. Do we want to be a society that allows the sale of children for sex? All of us must recognize that if we have a minor in our home, we also have a potential trafficking victim. Get started by asking your local government what they are doing to combat and prevent trafficking. You can also look up your state’s report card given by Shared Hope International for its effectiveness in combatting sex trafficking of minors. You can also show the film I Am Little Red to your 10-14 year old to help educate them about the dangers of sex trafficking.
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