In the fight against slavery, a great need are stronger laws to prosecute those who commit human trafficking crimes and protect victims. Currently
California Against Slavery, a non-profit grassroots looking to strengthen anti-human trafficking laws in California, is working on initiative to pass such kaws.
They are currently launching a signature campaign to place an initiative on the 2012. Visit for more details or leave questions at their Fremont office (510)473-7283.

CAS will have a training for those interested in helping gain signatures for their initiative in Visalia:

“CASE Act Initiative – Stronger anti-human trafficking laws for CA.” Training for CAS Volunteer Petition Circulator
Tuesday, November 29th, from 6-8pm
At Community Service Employment Training (CSET)
312 N. W. 3rd Ave. Visalia, Ca. 93291
The training is being hosted by ACT For Girls and Women Co-Director Erin Garner-Ford

RSVP: Space is limited. *$10 fee includes T-shirt & campaign materials*
Phone: 559.738.8037

Human trafficking is exploitation of vulnerability.
That is the unofficial definition articulated by Dr. Lauran Bethell, who has worked for decades with individuals trapped in modern slavery.
Dr. Bethell shared her wisdom and experience at our Lead To Freedom event on Thursday, November 3.
Modern slavery is happening in our very communities, trapping our own children and neighbors in an emotional,physical, and psychological prison of abuse and exploitation.
Traffickers prey upon vulnerabilities their victims possess.
These vulnerabilities include, but is not limited to, experience of childhood sexual abuse, poverty (which not only may include lack of material resources, but lack of support systems and other resources), lack of understanding of rights, and vulnerability to grooming.
Regarding this last point, Dr. Bethell explains that sex traffickers sometimes get their victims by posing as “loverboys” or “Romeos.” They pretend to show interest in a girl, showering the girl with attention and affection. They tend to look out for girls who display some level of low self-image, she said, in some cases by complimenting passing girls in a public place and watching their response. They play on the girl’s need to be valued, desired, and appreciated. The girl is drawn into what she perceives as a romantic relationship. When the girl is deeply emotionally invested, and the relationship becomes sexual, the “loverboy” at some point begins to coerce her to engage in sex acts for money, often, at first, assuring her that he loves her and it’s not a big deal, and eventually becoming more forceful, controlling, and more aggressive in abuse.
Regardless of her complicity at any point, the girl is a victim of human trafficking, as defined by federal law.
What we need to realize is that this could happen to a child in our neighborhood, in our church, in our family, no matter the demographics. It IS happening in our communities, and as a community these are OUR children.
The victim may not have experienced any of the other “red flags” of vulnerability. In an example in “In Our Backyard- A Christian Perspective on Human Trafficking in the United States” by Nita Belles(highly recommended), the victim was a girl in a middle- class Christian family.
As Dr. Bethell pointed out, girls commonly struggle with self-image in their teens, and she noted that if she was preyed upon in this fashion, she just as likely could have been a victim.
We want to encourage you today to seek God in how to stand for the vulnerable in our community. There are other who are being exploited in different situations, such as immigrant workers, but our call is the same. The church is send to partner in protecting the vulnerable and bringing freedom to the oppressed.
One of the first steps is awareness of what is happening in our communities and educating our youth. Also, do not underestimate the power of affirmation you can give to a child.
Contact us about how you can get involved.

CVJC wants to thank all those who attended our Lead To Freedom week. We are truly encouraged and excited about the partnerships that are continuing to build and the opportunities ahead of us.
We also want to thank Dr. Lauran Bethell for coming to the Central Valley just for our event and sharing her wisdom and experience regarding modern slavery.

While CVJC’s efforts are focused on the Central Valley, human trafficking is a web that is global. We know that fighting demand in any place has an impact locally. CVJC member Brandi Nuse-Villegas runs a online catalogue and resource blogsite on fair labor and empowerment products. She has launched the Fair Holidays shopping campaign and encourages people to use the resources to buy from those who are empowering former slaves and those vulnerable to human trafficking.
What’s impressive is that there are a lot of really great products available now that contribute to the fight against human trafficking and more are constantly being added.
We encourage you to pass this on to others and be part of the campaign!

Dear partners in abolition. A news story on ABC30 came out about a prostitution bust in massage parlors in Clovis yesterday. Unfortunately, these may be cases of sex trafficking, which means that any victims are being criminalized rather than cared for. Even if this were not the case, it perpetuates the public idea that women in these massage parlors are criminals rather than possible victims of commercial sex exploitation. Please be praying and contact you city leaders to ask them to address human trafficking in massage parlors.
We have recently posted resources to help you speak up to your local representative: Helping With Massage Parlor Policy
In light of the news report, We encourage writing respectful letter to the Clovis PD, asking them if them about their awareness of human trafficking and any tools they used to determine if there was human trafficking occurring. They should have a victim’s advocate present to help determine the presence of human trafficking victims. See our sample letter.
We also recommend that you speak to you Fresno or Clovis officials, asking that your city help effectively deal with human trafficking in way that leads to rescue of victims and protection of potential victims.

(click on the image to go to our Facebook event page)
Dear friends,
Human trafficking is a very real, present, and devastating reality in our communities right here in every part of the Central Valley. But it will not prevail. The church is a crucial part of the solution, bringing Isaiah 61 to pass in glorious ways that not only results in the end of modern-day slavery, but also the resolution of other issues in our community, like child abuse and sexual addiction. Please consider attending our free dessert and inviting others to come.
The Bridge is located at 3438 East Ashlan Avenue Fresno, CA 93726