September Collaborative Report

September 6, 2018

IMG_2189Legislative Update: The Sacramento legislative session is over and the surviving bills are now in the hands of Gov. Jerry Brown. He has already signed some measures into law, among them, a bill authored by San Diego Assemblyman Brian Malenschein, and co-authored by several other Assembly members, and sponsored by the San Diego County District Attorney’s office. The law allows for triple the damages a defendant would otherwise be liable for when the act is directed at more than one minor, when minors suffer physical, emotional or economic damage, or when the defendant knew or reasonably should have known that the sex victims was a minor. (Note: attached list of California State Trafficking bills – 2018)

Jacque Howard, United Methodist Church of Vista announced UMC Vista will host a League of Women Voters panel in the Fellowship Hall for discussion of issues on the November ballot at 10:45 a.m., on October 9th.

Kelly Steel, North Coast Calvary Chapel. Her church wants to become involved in the efforts to address the issues of sex trafficking.

Darrell Adamson, Screen Writer, is creating a feature film based in Southeast Asia about a group of Americans on a medical mission who stumble on a sex trafficking operation and decide to rescue victims. Currently, he awaits an option on his script. If that doesn’t occur, he will make it into a novel as a preliminary to a film.

Kaye Van Nevel, Soroptimist International of Vista & North County Inland shared that New Community Church is sponsoring a Golf Fundraiser with funds to go to Operation Hope, the year round homeless shelter in Vista. The date: Saturday, October 13, 10:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Boulder Oaks Golf Club, 10333 Meadow Glen Way E., Escondido, CA. Contact Kaye for more information.

Kaye also commends La Maestra Community Health Centers’ Legal Advocacy Human Trafficking Victim Assistance Program. Victim assistance is available Monday – Friday, 9-5, 4135 Fairmount Ave., San Diego.

Pat Spencer, novelist, announced her support of our work. Author of Story of a Stolen Girl, her book reveals the ease with which a young woman is ‘stolen,’ the super-human efforts of her mother who rescues her, and how the powerful international cartels control and use a recently available drug which renders victims totally compliant and erases all memory of abuse.


Kaye Van Nevel with guest speaker Joseph Travers

Guest Speaker Joseph Travers

Joseph Travers is the Founder and Executive Director of Saved In America. An Honorably Discharged Veteran from the United States Navy, Mr. Travers has a total of six years of experience in Law Enforcement, specifically in Criminal Investigations and Police Training and Supervision. He is also a Pastor for National Information Center.
He began his presentation with a brief video, the true story of a kidnapped girl and the concern of her parents. His team which tracks down and rescues missing children has a record of 95 out of 95! He described how he got involved, after a 2009 ministry, and read an article about the famous case of Brittanee Drexel, a 17-year-old who went missing in Florida in 2009 and was later found dead, after being gang raped.

Travers, who had worked narcotics in LA and got to know the gangs involved with the cartels, decided to form this rescue group using his knowledge. He partnered with US Navy Seals who were rescuing victims overseas. He wanted to do the same thing here in U.S. The first operation was in December 2014 these volunteers do not charge the clients who are parents seeking runaway/kidnapped children. All are licensed and insured Private Investigators so they can work with law enforcement, to ensure confidentiality with the parents, and they have an Attorney on staff. He said his “secret sauce” is “God brings the girls to us; we don’t find the girls.” He added that they are using very sophisticated surveillance equipment (including drones) and techniques to find out where the girls are being held and then they tell law enforcement where they are exactly so local law enforcement can get them. Said they themselves never have to touch anyone, it’s the gang/narcotics detectives that go in.

Some interesting factoids: 60% of the 95 girls his group rescued were foster kids.

Girls in places like Casa de Amparo in San Marcos are sometimes allowed to have cellphones they can use to call their pimps to pick them up for a “job” and bring them back to the shelter! Casa said they got no help from local law enforcement to prevent this, so Joseph’s group helped and successfully prevented 15 girls from being picked up by their pimp.

His group has prepared a one-hour lesson plan for Homeland Security. The Key to Success is when a child a child is reported as a runaway to get to her before the traffickers do. The first 48 hours are crucial; it’s a race against time. He said recruiters are in every high school and middle school. They are students themselves who are being groomed by gangs from a young age to target vulnerable girls. These young boys are called “pee wees” and are as young as 11. Travers said 40% of all runaways become trafficked. He said law enforcement must be retrained about how to handle missing persons’ reports.

Michelle Walsh, Coordinator of Student Services for Vista Unified School District commented that every runaway in her district is reported to her. There was discussion about the current law which does NOT allow minor victims to be detained for their own safety. The unintended consequence of no longer being able to put them in juvenile hall opens the door for release BACK to the streets where the predators grab them again.

Each rescue costs about $5500 per recovery. His group relies on donations and volunteers. “We have some really good equipment,” he said. They have a case manager for each case, and photos and video is preserved as evidence that can be used in court to sue the bad guys. The traffickers always plead poverty, but have cash hidden or own property, so now the homeowners of the property where girls are found can be sued.

This long awaited model is now being recognized and duplicated across the country. It comes from compassion, knowledge and expertise of one man who knows the goodness of others, and brings them together, and revives hope.

Present: Joseph Travers, Saved in America
Michelle Walsh, Coordinator Student Services, VUSD
Kaye Van Nevel, Jackie Piro Huyck, Karen Del Bene, Brenda Pacheco,
Soroptimist Int’l of Vista & North County Inland (SIVNCI)
Lisa Adams, Friends of the Park
Lauren Chin, Soroptimist International of Poway
Judy Horning, Soroptimist Int’l of Poway, S.T.A.T., BSCC
Terri Haskins, Susan Gubar, Joyce Odom, Soroptimist Int’l of Oceanside-Carlsbad
Lynn Flanagan, Soroptimist Int’l, North San Diego
Pam Warnock, Soroptimist Int’l, North San Diego, S.T.A.T., BSCC
Marianne Grisez, St. Thomas More Church
Donna Hubner, Educator
Terrie Nash, concerned citizen from Oceanside
Jacque Howard, United Methodist Women UMC, Vista
Karla Halvorson, Pastor, Lutheran Church, San Marcos
Stephanie Gonzalez, Program Coordinator, N.C. Lifeline, Project Life
Anne Harrison, Interest Individual
Jenny Root, Escondido author
Darrell Adamson, Lake San Marcos, independent screenwriter
Jacqui Howard, United Methodist Women
Pat Spencer, author, Story of a Stolen Girl

NEXT MEETING November 1, 2018

Speaker: Jamie Quient, Esq., President and Managing Attorney of Free to Thrive

The North San Diego County Human Trafficking Collaborative is a diverse group of individuals and community organizations committed to eliminate human trafficking and modern day slavery. Our mission is to raise awareness of human trafficking, provide a platform to share information, improve services, educate ourselves and the public, and advocate for policy and legislation related to human trafficking

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