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JUNE 2016 NEWSLETTER
 Volume 1, No. 5  June 2016

 
Our Mission: The Rochester Regional Coalition Against Human Trafficking (RRCAHT) is dedicated to eliminating human trafficking in our communities through education, advocacy, and networking with individuals and organizations.
 
Working against human trafficking in the Rochester region.
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IN THIS ISSUE:

MARK YOUR CALENDAR:
August 27, 2016 -- Angels of Mercy 5k Run / 1 Mile Walk. Help Stop Human Trafficking
http://angelsofmercyny.org

This Month's Articles:

Statute of Limitations for Child Sexual Abuse Cases Needs to be Extended
By Melanie Blow, Stop Abuse Campaign


RRCAHT to Provide Human Trafficking Training for Hotel and Motel Employees
By Sister Phyllis Tierney, SSJ and Judy Weinstein, Co-chairs, RRCAHT Hotel / Motel Training Committee

Meet One of Our Member Organizations: Church Women United
By Lynn Ryder, Executive Director, CWU, Rochester and Vicinity

RRCAHT and MCC's "Enough Is Enough": A Successful Collaboration, A Meaningful Future Together
By Cheryl Bianchi, Licensed Psychotherapist, Addiction Specialist, Eastside Psychotherapy Associates; RRCAHT Steering Committee Co-Chair

Justice for Farm Workers -- C/SSJ Federation In Orlando
By Phyllis Tierney, SSJ, Coordinator, Department of Justice and Peace


 
Statute of Limitations for Child Sexual Abuse Cases
Needs to Be Extended

by Melanie Blow, Stop Abuse Campaign
 
On Tuesday June 7th, representatives of the Rochester Coalition Against Human Trafficking (RRCAHT) met with staff in NY Assembly Member Joseph Morelle's office to talk about reforming New York’s statute of limitations for child sexual abuse cases.
 
The Child Victims Act and Omnibus Child Victims Act would eliminate the statute of limitations for child sexual abuse cases and extend the time allowed under the law to file criminal charges or civil lawsuits against those who abuse children. This is a crucial piece of legislation.
 
Research proves child sexual abuse is a stressor so dramatic it creates permanent changes in the way children’s brains and minds develop, and predisposes them to a lifetime of mental illness, addiction, victimization and poverty. Research also indicates that 20% of adults have endured this crime. The only inherent difference between child sex trafficking and child sexual abuse is whether money changes hands. If a mother lets her boyfriend sexually abuse her child because he pays her, this is trafficking. Without money it’s not trafficking, but the difference to the child is immaterial. Also, 80% of adults working as prostitutes report prior child sexual abuse.
 
Experts estimate only 10% of the people who perpetrate a sex abuse crime see a day behind bars. It takes, on average, 21 years for victims to talk about their abuse. New York’s statute of limitations on child sexual abuse means most victims lose their right to press charges against their abuser on their 23rd birthday. This is a major reason we have a low conviction rate. The proposed extension of the statute of limitations would positively address this problem.
                      

RRCAHT to Provide Human Trafficking Training
For Hotel and Motel Employees
by Sister Phyllis Tierney, SSJ and Judy Weinstein,
Co-chairs, RRCAHT Hotel / Motel Training Committee

Human trafficking frequently takes place in hotels and motels without the knowledge of the hotel management or staff. Sometimes, hotel employees suspect something is not right, but don’t know what to do. The RRCAHT website Information for the Hospitality Industry page includes “Red Flags for Hotel and Motel Employees” and “What to do”. While many corporations in the hospitality industry have signed the Tourism Child-Protection Code of Conduct, implementation has not always reached down to their local properties. 
RRCAHT is expanding its outreach to this industry, which is vital in fighting against human trafficking. We are offering training to local hotels and motels so their corporate level, management, front desk, and support staff can all participate in this campaign. In the first part of the presentation, human trafficking is defined; facts and important statistics are shared. The second part focuses on the hospitality industry: why they should care; how to recognize the signs; and how to help. In addition to the training, RRCAHT has prepared handouts specific to Managers; Front Desk, Concierge, Bellmen, and Doormen; Restaurant and Bar; and Housekeeping and Room Service.
What can you do? If you know someone in the hotel/motel industry, please make them aware of your personal concern about human trafficking and request that he/she suggest to management that RRCAHT be contacted (rrcaht1@gmail.com) to discuss training. We would also appreciate it if you would provide us (rrcaht1@gmail.com) with contact information that you have for hotel/motel management so that we can schedule an appointment to discuss human trafficking.


FEATURE ARTICLE:
Meet Church Women United
by Lynn Ryder, Executive Director, CWU Rochester and Vicinity

Church Women United is a racially, culturally, theologically inclusive Christian women's movement, celebrating unity in diversity and working for a world of peace and justice.
 
Church Women United is an historic grassroots movement of women who share a vision of Christian unity and prayerful action that is biblically based through our shared Christian faith, gifted by our diversity of race, economics, age, culture and theology; organized into more than 1,000 local and state units in the United States working for peace and justice; impassioned by the Holy Spirit to act on behalf of women and children throughout the global community; financially supported by our constituency and denominational women's organizations.  The National organization will turn 75 this year; however our very own Rochester unit is over 90 years young!  
 
Our biggest endeavor to support Rochester children is our Faith Community Book Drive held each October.  The books are collected and then delivered to Rochester Education Foundation for distribution.  At our annual June Picnic, members who attend bring diapers or money for diapers, which are given to Sanctuary House.  Sanctuary House helps abused women and children during their recovery time. 

CWU has continually supported the needy in our fair city through our Health Kit Project. CWU members and congregations alike collect the necessary personal items to assemble kits.  Mercy Services receives the bulk of the kits.  Warm Up Rochester is our blanket and quilt project.  The homemade beauties are distributed as needed to several places such as Baby Love, Strong Hospital and Sanctuary House.  
 
If you are interested in receiving our newsletter via email, please contact our office at cwuoffice@yahoo.com

  
RRCAHT and MCC's “Enough Is Enough”:
A Successful Collaboration,
A Meaningful Future Together

By Cheryl Bianchi, Licensed Psychotherapist, Addiction Specialist,
Eastside Psychotherapy Associates;
RRCAHT Steering Committee Co-chair
 
Rochester Regional Coalition Against Human Trafficking (RRCAHT) had our second major coalition-wide community awareness/education event April 4-7, 2016 at Monroe Community College in collaboration with MCC’s annual “Enough Is Enough” spring campaign to stem societal violence in the community and on campus. The Coalition’s presence at this annual event brought further awareness to students, faculty, staff, and area professionals as well as to other individuals and organizations attending or participating in this week-long event. Some of the topics covered included sex and labor trafficking, sex with a minor, domestic trafficking, domestic and dating violence, sexual assault and rape, and other forms of abuse and exploitation.
 
Coalition volunteers sat at a long table containing informational material, books, videos, a list of trafficking “red flags,” etc. engaging passersby in conversation, answering questions, and helping them decide which handouts to take.The table was surrounded by posters about trafficking created as a result of collaboration in RIT Professor Bruce Meador's information design class, and posters loaned by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
 
The Coalition was pleased to add many names to our newsletter mailing list, and meet several prospective new members interested in joining our efforts to increase awareness and provide education, advocacy, networking and linkages to services dedicated to eliminating human trafficking in our community.
 
The outcome of this event was far-reaching, powerful, provocative and impactful.  A woman from the community responding to an advertisement in City Newspaper for the presentation on sex trafficking given by Lauren VanCott from Angels of Mercy said that this was her first exposure to RRCAHT. She expressed gratitude that our community was addressing violence with such an event. An MCC counselor found the presentation so powerful and informative she has requested future training sessions for her staff.  A student came forward and shared that she had been trafficked and spoke to RRCAHT volunteers. Other participants expressed concerns about possible trafficking situations and related mental health concerns and were provided Hotline numbers and contact information for available resources in our community.
 
Several future outreach awareness/education plans for 2016-2017 are under discussion. One would be to provide an RRCAHT table and Q&A session at health services programs at MCC with Sue George, RN. Peter Crombes, president of MCC's Student Nurses Club, would like to hold a Care Pack Project in the fall of 2016 and talked about curriculum planning for a nursing course on human trafficking. A survivor’s art exhibit at the April 2017 “Enough is Enough” is also in the planning stages. 

We will also be continuing our exciting conversations with Sharon Grace, head instructor of Shear Ego International School, Inc. about providing a curriculum and training for hair and aesthetician classes since trafficked persons often first present in hair and nail salons. Finally, we hope to work again with radio station WDKX, which posted a flyer on their website and provided live radio publicity for this year's "Enough Is Enough."

Celia McIntosh, Liz Fargo, Cheryl Bianchi and Melanie Blow staff the RRCAHT
table during MCC's "Enough Is Enough" Campaign 2016.

Justice for Farm Workers—C/SSJ Federation in Orlando
by Phyllis Tierney, SSJ, Coordinator, Department of Justice and Peace

The U.S. Federation of Sisters of St. Joseph will continue to call attention to the issue of human trafficking, which they began at the 2011 gathering at the Millennium Hotel in St. Louis when hotel employees signed the ECPAT code of conduct (End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes),  which called attention to the sexual trafficking of children. 
 
This year’s event will focus on labor trafficking by joining the Immokalee farm workers  to continue a fight for the right of workers to be free of sexual harassment and abuse in the fields and the right to a fair wage.  The workers have been engaged in a campaign to ask major food franchises to increase the amount they will pay for tomatoes produced by workers by a penny a pound. The Fair Food Program has been successful in encouraging both consumers and businesses to join in working for fair wages. 
 
The current campaign is focused on Wendy's  and Publix Markets.  Wendy's has refused to join the effort and is purchasing all of its tomatoes from Mexico. Consumers can help!  Avoid Wendy's in looking for fast food.  Support brands like Burger King, McDonald’s, Subway, Whole Foods, Chipotle, and Trader Joe’s, who have joined the Fair Food Program.  For more information: http://www.fairfoodprogram.org/; http://www.ciw-online.org/

 

Want to Join RRCAHT?
 
If you would like to join RRCAHT or are looking for more information about us, please visit our website and click on JOIN. http://www.rrcaht.org
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