The main problem with this type of crime is that victims do not identify themselves, usually do not ask for help, and often do not even know that they are victims of human trafficking.
The only way to help them is first to find them… then reach out to them and offer options for a better future. We do this by focusing on high risk populations where other victims have been identified.
You can donate funds to help our teams and these programs and/or you can volunteer to be on one of them. Teens, college students,beauty pageant winners and interns often help us through literature distribution and helping at information booths that we set up at local fairs, community events, churches, schools, conferences, trade shows and awareness events. Please contact us by clicking here if you would like to have an OATH booth at your church, school or next community event.
There are many ways that you can help us… one thing that everyone can do is order some Crisis Line Stickers to carry with you and place in locations where victims might be. It is too dangerous for us to hand a phone number to a victim of trafficking, they would be beaten for even having something like that on their person. But if we can get the number up in enough locations where they will see the number, once they have an opportunity to get to a phone, we can send them help.
Click Here to order Crisis Line Stickers
You can put them up in women’s restrooms, at bus stops, truck stops, night clubs, fast food locations, pay phones, convenient stores, hotels, schools, check cashing stores and adult entertainment establishments. The Spanish stickers can be placed in men’s restrooms, at fast food locations, pay phones, convenient stores, check cashing stores, agricultural centers, flee markets, farmers markets, restaurants, hotels and construction sites.
COMMUNITY ACTION TEAMS
You can volunteer on one of our Community Action Outreach Teams. And if there is not one in your area yet, you can help us start it! These are small teams that work together to help us find and talk to individuals in areas that are in high risk populations where HT victimization or recruiting might occur. These outreach teams operate in a range from low risk to medium risk activities and we encourage you to consider which of these might best fit your personality, training, experience, skill set and desire.
- MAPPING – low risk activity – this is a process of determining where the most likely places are in your community that this crime may occur. The mapping process involves skill sets that vary and thereby need a variety of individuals working together to produce a useful tool. Computer skills, organizational skills, driving skills and some investigative surveillance. Your team will work together to identify the most likely locations where labor trafficking of foreign nationals and sex trafficking of foreign and domestic women and children might be in operation. Once the locations are mapped out on our computer program, teams will drive the main crossroads of the community to verify the locations and identify any newly opened businesses that might fit the characteristics we look for. The teams will next gather information on each location to determine if it is likely or not to be an establishment where victims may be housed or working. All data is organized and provided to our surveillance teams that will continue to investigate so as to identify and contact possible victims.
- LITERATURE DISTRIBUTION - low risk activity – once an area has been determined that it is likely to be a location of possible victims, high risk population or endangered youth we send in these teams to hang up posters, crisis line stickers and hand out information to individuals, answer questions and provide awareness so that they know who to contact if the need for services exist. This may not seem like much at first, but you will soon realize that these victims often do not know that they are victims and many in the community still do not know what human trafficking is. So when we go in with teams and work these areas with posters, handouts and information cards - we often get tips and find someone that needs our help!
- RUNAWAY SHELTERS – low risk activity – the National Center of Missing and Exploited Children reports about 2 million runaways each year. Youth Services operates 23 emergency shelter in Oklahoma for troubled youth, homeless youth and runaways. The runaway and throwaway youth population is among the most vulnerable population of teens that traffickers target for recruitment. Youth Services offer multiple programs to reach these youth and offer them opportunities to finish their education and prepare for their adult life. We need volunteer teams of two or three people each that will visit a local youth shelter once each week and spend some time connecting to the teens there… telling them about OATH, explaining what human trafficking is and making sure that the teens there are familiar with how traffickers will try to recruit and coerce them into commercial sexual exploitation. We encourage our volunteers to become Safe Place volunteers so that we can help get homeless or abused kids to these shelters where they will be safe.
- GIRLS DETENTION CENTERS – low risk activity – These girls represent a very high risk population of vulnerable and endangered youth. Many have already been through more than most adults, many have already lost custody of their child, many have drug dependency issues, some have already been commercially trafficked and their pimp ‘boyfriend’ is waiting for them to get out so that he can start selling them again… and they are just 12 to 17 years old. Our outreach teams go in to connect with them and build trust. Most of these girls have nobody that cares about them, and when we go in without any agenda, they are drawn to us. We play games with them, do hair and makeup, paint nails, do art work and talk about their future. It is a safe environment for us to take some time to get to know them, earn their trust and offer them better opportunities for when they get out than they had before they got arrested. You will fall in love with these girls… and they will share their love with you!
- ADULT INCARSERATION UNITS – low risk activity – Oklahoma ranks #1 in female incarceration in the world. No other state, province or territory incarcerates more women per capita than we do. One of the many problems with that is the effect it has on the family and their children. Their kids will be 6 times more like to end up in prison than the rest of our kids. Most of the women incarcerated in Oklahoma are in prison for drug related charges. It begs the question, “Do Oklahoma women like to do more drugs than any other women in the world?… or is their drug and alcohol use a symptom of an underlying problem?” Organizations are mobilizing to work with these women, helping them with education, life skills, and reentry programs. If you would like to be on a team that reaches out to the children of these women, offering them a safe and caring adult to be in their corner – bringing some stability and hope for their future… then we want you on our care-teams!
- TRUCK STOPS – low risk activity – with millions of men working in the trucking industry away from home, stopping to park and sleep at these locations has created a demand for adult entertainment. In 2004 the FBI and OKC PD Officers arrested pimps that were forcing and/or coercing young girls to work as prostitutes at truck stops and rest areas. Since that time we helped to start Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT) that has gone on to be a nationwide organization that we are proud to partner with and support. You can help by taking TAT literature to truck stops in your area, passing out missing children flyers, and supporting TAT to educate truckers who are the eyes and ears of our nations highways. We still hear of young girls being forced to work at truck stops as prostitutes and we need you and the truckers working together to help them get free from their controllers. CLICK HERE to support Truckers Against Trafficking.
- ADULT STRIP CLUBS – medium risk activity – Like in the other areas listed here that are considered high risk locations where victims may be found, that does not mean that all women working in the adult entertainment industry are victims of trafficking, yet some are, and they often do not know themselves that they have been victims of exploitation or human trafficking. There are several women’s groups that reach out to erotic dancers through visits, gifts and trust building encounters. In this direct outreach it requires a non-judgmental attitude for the life choices made by these women and a authentic desire to love them as they are.
- TRACKS – medium to high risk activity – the track is where women are prostituted on street corners or along roadways. It is not an outreach for newbies, in fact to do this right it works best when teams are trained and led by survivors. We currently partner with a group that does this type of outreach in Oklahoma City, “No Boundaries”. Following up with women that have been arrested or are in aftercare programs is the safe way to meet them and build a trusting relationship with them.