Just How Far Does Human Sex Trafficking Reach?


girls wallet

When you hear the words “human Trafficking” what comes to mind? Do you understand how terrible it is yet think “that’s not really impacting me personally”?

Maybe it is and you don’t know it, because we are not talking about it enough.

What I am about to tell you is very personal and dear to my heart, many tears have been shed and countless months of detective work to come to the story I am about to tell you.

A year ago Michigan was #2 in the nation for human trafficking based on phone calls received by the human trafficking hotline. Today it’s still in the top 10 however falling lower to states like California and Nevada due to the volume of vacationers that visit those states.

It all started about 5 years ago with a 15 year old boy named Bruce on Instagram. Bruce was a young attractive Hispanic boy, seemingly normal in every way. Little did he know he was the 1st step in an elaborate human trafficking ring. Like many of our children today they really do not understand how the social media outlets spread the entire world and with that come serious threats if not monitored.

Bruce was a “friend” to quite a few of the girls in my daughter’s circle of friends and they would chat daily. Bruce also had many friends that were being introduced to the circle and they all began to chat through Instagram and Kik. Shortly after their introduction I began to see a change in my daughter, she was becoming secretive and sneaky and being that I fully understand how far the internet reaches and quickly things can get out of control on the internet I checked up on my daughter on a regular basis. I would say bi-weekly I would grab her tablet after she went to sleep and begin to dig into her messages, her pictures and to see if things looked appropriate.

I noticed an unusual time gap in some messages and images, and truly didn’t think anything of it until about 2 weeks later. I had a funny feeling one night and grabbed her tablet to do what I thought would be just another normal check… What I found to this day haunts my mind and makes my heart sink.

It began with a picture, a questionably inappropriate for a girl her age and the sexy pose set my red flag on fire. So my digging turned into a manhunt checking EVERYTHING in all her accounts.

You see Bruce was a real boy, totally naïve to the “friends” he had in his circle. As I finished my digging into her accounts all I was left with were tears in my eyes and a burning fire in my heart to destroy every boy on her Instagram account and it was just the beginning.

I began to use the power of Google to do some searching and looking up secondary accounts of some of the friends in this circle (not something children are willing to doonce I saw that 4 of the “friends” in the circle were clearly adult men, my heartbreak turned to anger and rage. After about 2 days of almost endless scouring the internet for info on these MEN I came to the conclusion that I needed to take action with the Police. We were quickly met by the detective of the Cyber Task Force of Portage Police department and all our technology was requested.  After 7 months they called us in to report the most terrifying words I have ever heard, “Mr. and Mrs. Jenkins, can you and your family please come to the Police station as soon as possible” NOT something you ever want to hear.

After we arrived we entered into a small conference room in the back of the Portage Police station and began to listen as he explained how my digging may have saved my daughter from abduction.

Bruce was like I said a normal 15 year old boy, what I didn’t know was the friends that were men acting as “friends” have set Bruce out as a scout… He was the first safe face that our children see; he unknowingly was luring young girls into his circle as prey for the men to pick and choose from. The circle of Bruce’s friend list reached the globe and his over 2k followers were nothing more than a smorgasbord of young unaware children these men were chatting with. OUR CHILDREN..

This is not someone else’s problem, this is right here, right now and real as the tears I shed for the innocence that was stolen from my daughter. My beautiful girl was prey for these monsters, she was quickly approaching a meetup (in her words) and I fear that I may have never seen my daughter again.

I hope this triggers fear in the hearts of every one of you. Dig in your children’s accounts, ask them question, and tell them not to have “friends” that they don’t actually know. I had no idea just how close it came to never seeing my daughter again, it’s worth the little upset hurt feelings of your child to keep them safe. If you do not know or understand what to look for or how ASK someone that does that you trust with the life of your child.

This picture of my daughters may have been the last picture I had with both of them together. This was taken around the time Haylee met Bruce..

1 (888) 373-7888

National Human Trafficking Resource Center

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265 thoughts on “Just How Far Does Human Sex Trafficking Reach?

          • I was describing him so that the readers could have a visual in their mind, nothing more. It helps to see the story in your head. Nothing more.
            I have no Ill feelings towards him at all. In fact I have been trying to get ahold of him to see if he is also ok.

            Liked by 3 people

            • Although I understand you were just trying to describe the person, it could really hurt other kids, like yours, because of wrong images people get based on others ethnicity and or religion. According to statistics, this issue is not “ a one ethnicity doing all wrong”. Having said so, I’m very glad your daughter is safe, sometimes, as parents, we need to go the extra mile, but it’s all worth it! God bless

              Liked by 1 person

              • Thank you!
                The issue wasn’t Bruce, he was not the concern. He was a normal boy and victim as well.
                I hope I didn’t portray him as one of the perpetrators.
                I agree and and was not trying to say anything about his ethnicity at all. I was just trying to give a visual for the readers so that they could connect better to the story.

                Liked by 1 person

                • No, I didn’t se it in a bad way at all that you gave his nationality. It’s ok. I am sad that now we have to be afraid to say anything at all because no matter what you say, it can be turned against you. I am thankful you posted this because of so much happening in the sex trafficking. My own granddaughter fell prey in her young teen years to a molester within the church. In her case, such as yours, she was saved from far worse happenings. As it was, it seems scars are left for a lifetime.

                  Liked by 1 person

                  • I also thought nothing of your description of Bruce…but I thought much of your story. I am sending it to my daughter and my 16 year old granddaughter
                    ! Thank you!

                    Liked by 2 people

                • The enemy tries to distract from the issue at hand. They play the victim card and in this case, they use discrimination to get people off the subject of Human Trafficking. My advice would be to ignore the comments from these acting as though they are offended. Human Trafficing is a serious issue our Country is facing my right now. Thank you for the write up. I gladly shared hoping that parents take your advice and follow thru. Our children are not safe and it does take a village.

                  Liked by 3 people

                  • No doubt that human sex trafficking is a huge issue….I would propose however an alternate perspective. The trafficking is a symptom and not the core problem. Yes, I agree that we symptoms needs to be treated considering the impact on other’s lives, but my point is this problem will NEVER go away. It will continue to grow until the core cause of these choices are addressed.

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                • You did not portray him in any way but an innocent child in this. Thank you so much for sharing. I am an older mom and not very knowledgeable with the internet so I greatly appreciate you sharing this. And thank God you did the work and your daughter is safe!

                  Liked by 2 people

                • I didn’t feel as if you did and understood it exactly as you explain it. I had to go back to look for the reference of Bruce’s race as it was insignificant to the story. I was more focused on the details you were sharing on how to protect our kids.

                  Liked by 1 person

                • I thought nothing of your description of Bruce, except like you said just to visualize him. I understood he was an innocent victim as well! It seems some people just NEED to make it about race & ethnicity. Almost felt like the first person that mentioned it was trying to say you were connecting his ethnicity to the trafficking and trying to hint that you’re racist for mentioning his race. Sick of this mentality!
                  Anyway I am so glad your daughter is ok & you followed your instinct to check things out!

                  Liked by 1 person

                    • 1. Good writers paint a picture. That’s what Scott Lee Jenkins did; he helped the reader see the story just as it happened, with ALL the victims involved, including Bruce. Such descriptive writing is powerful, helping us picture our own children in such a scenario.
                      2. These monsters didn’t prey on Bruce because of his ethnicity – they preyed on him because he was an attractive child whom they saw as excellent bait for luring more children of ALL races and ethnicities.
                      3. Perhaps those who are emphasizing the mention of Bruce’s ethniticity as “harmful” to children have missed the real danger of which this true story is warning us.
                      4. Perhaps we should slow down and read the account again before we cry “racism” to this good father who is warning ALL parents of ALL races of the danger to their beloved children.
                      Thank you Scott Lee Jenkins for caring about others.

                      Liked by 2 people

                    • This almost brought tears to my eyes..
                      Such a complement and understanding. You hit it on the head. Thank you SO much for the support!! It really means a lot to me.
                      I cannot change the world, I’m only one guy, but with my words and willing readers we can do it together.

                      Our children need to be safe, loved and respected. That is our job..
                      Again, Thank you SO much.

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              • I am glad the real description is there. It is very pertinent to the description. It’s no different than saying he had on a green T-shirt. Descriptive words are just that.

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              • We’re here talking about a horrific act that people, ones that I feel don’t deserve to live, commit against our children and loved ones and you want to turn it into a race thing. There is scum of all races involved in this. I think your on the wrong site. You better find a _ life’s matter thread. I’ll let you fill in the blank. Someone always trying to perpetuate the race thing. I’m part Native American and alot of people forget the atrocities committed against us. That’s because we don’t use it as a crutch every second. Sorry to get off the very important subject at hand that had absolutely nothing to do with the article. I’m glad you were diligent in checking your daughter’s tablet and she is safe. My wife is very much on top of this subject and constantly tells our daughters to be smart, safe, and tell us anything that seems unusual. Thank you

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              • Did you read the story? Bruce’s ethnicity didn’t portray him or people of that ethnicity in any negative light? Quit looking for a problem that clearly didn’t exist. She was just describing a handsome young man that was also a unwitting victim in this, that’s all!

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              • In such cases… We have to be real and truthful. This was a child being used. It can be anyone and it crosses no boundaries. Focus on the problem and not the reality of the description of the person. You may not be aware that most people think of middle aged white men as the only ones who do these things or recruit. The problem here is the internet and the way the traps are set. A child can be posing and a front . What this woman did was identify a change in her child’s behavior. In any crime or situation the person is described. If you truly care about people not falling prey to this, you would not care about the description of the person involved. Focus on the truth and reality to bring awareness.

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              • Really? Don’t try to take the light off of the true issue, people using our kids to take kids!! She clearly wasn’t being disrespectful in any way! Wake up!

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              • Your an idiot, he’s telling a story of something that’s sickening, and all you can do is complain about him saying he’s Hispanic. By the way what’s wrong with saying what your Origin is anyways!?im Italian yup I love pasta!!!!! It’s probably important because if they took his daughter, she might be taken to that country of Origin, AKA….. South America, Spain, Mexico etc!!!

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                • I love people for who they are not what color skin they have, its that simple. If you respect my, I respect you.
                  I’m sorry that so many people in this world have to moderate what they sat due to all the PC sensitivity. I believe that truth is truth and actins speak louder than words, nothing more

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                  • Exactly! This is one area where that description may open the eyes of a parent who sees a similar person and maybe it will lead them to uncover the same thing you did thus preventing their child from the horrors of human trafficking. I do worry what that boy is going through now. I hate to think he may be used for his body as well as the victims they abduct.

                    Liked by 1 person

              • Oh my goodness! To the people who made this about ethnicity…knock it off! This mother is clearly trying to help everyone and send an important message that human trafficking could happen to anyone if we aren’t paying attention to the warning signs!! Her article never once gave the impression that this was about ethnicity!!! You should be ashamed of yourselves! It’s people like you that make everything divided!! Not this mother who was just describing the details to create a picture of what I imagined as a good looking stand up citizen…clearly not where your minds went! So thankful this girl was not abducted and this message will be shared with many others in hopes to save lives from the preying “MONSTERS” out there!

                Liked by 1 person

            • I seen it as you were describing him as “seemingly normal in every way.” That is Exactly what you said. Young hispanic boys are Normal in America. So are young hispanic girls. Do not apologize to any one trying to start something. Thank you for sharing this story. God Bless you, Happy Thanks giving and Merry Christmas.

              Liked by 2 people

          • Why not? Nothing wrong with a description. He sounded appealing to me. Why do we have to question everyone’s motives? Are you insinuating that the author is racist?

            Liked by 3 people

              • I agree with not needing to add a ethnicity. I think it subconsciously puts a face to the “evil”. I didn’t want to, but I immediately pictured a group of Hispanic gang members. When in reality it is probably all different types of men with the same disgusting addiction.

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                • Again, Bruce was not the “evil”. Technically the evil ones were Middle Eastern and by me telling someone an ethnicity shouldn’t have any influence on how they see that ethnicity other the what I say. I didn’t intend on painting Bruce to be a monster or have anything to do with the evil that was going on. He is just another child and victim in this. It was the 4 men that had fake accounts and were hunting children that are the evil ones.

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                  • Please do not feel that you have to explain or justify. This is YOUR story to tell however you like. Let’s put the focus back where it belongs. On trafficking. I’m so glad your beautiful redhead is safe. Ignore the rest of the crap. Thank you for your sharing. That’s the only way to make people aware. Getting the story out.

                    Liked by 2 people

                    • I believe heavily in respect, even a comment that may be off topic deserves a reply. I want the readers to know who it is that wrote this and why more than what the comments are.

                      My daughter’s lives have been changed for the better. If I can give a little effort to help someone else it’s worth it.
                      Thank you for standing with me.

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                  • A very pertinent message about which most people are oblivious. Thank you for the story which can be shared with children to get them to understand that the person who seems perfectly harmless may not be, especially with some teens trying to get as many “friends” as possible.

                    Regarding the description of the boy, I pictured a good-looking young man that most teen girls would trust. Had he been described as Caucasian with blond hair and blue eyes, I’d have seen that image…it makes the story more real as did the photos of her girls.

                    Grateful your girls are ok, that you are an involved and caring parent. I’m certain your message will save some innocent children.

                    Liked by 1 person

                • The point of the article is NOT about ethnicity. It’s about keeping our kids safe. If that’s ALL you got out of the article, please re-read. Everything is not about race. It’s a description, that’s all.

                  Liked by 3 people

                  • Like I sad in the post, he was an attractive boy and was just a normal 15 year old. Race has nothing to do with is but try to give details to the reader so they could imagine him and connect deeper to the story.
                    I have a picture of my daughters, I wanted to describe the others in the story..
                    Thank you for being open and understanding, its too bad everyone can’t just read an article for the content and information.

                    Liked by 2 people

                • That’s your problem. I pictured a nice looking young man that I might run across in any elementary school. That’s all. Nothing at all negative, just a descriptive word. Jeez.

                  Liked by 2 people

                • Sounds to me like you are the one with the issue if you automatically pictured a Hispanic gang just by reading his ethnicity.
                  To the author, thank you for sharing this. Shedding light to these things helps other parents to recognize warning signs to look for with our kids. Thank God your instincts kicked in when they did!

                  Liked by 1 person

                  • You are welcome, I only want to help inform others of the dangers our teens and children are holding in their back pockets…
                    Technology is a great tool and has to be respected. Parents cannot simply let the children run wild with it, or there is a good chance they will abuse the gift of technology.

                    Liked by 1 person

                • Did you not read the story at all? Bruce was not one of the bad ones, he was another victim in this! Either way, how is a description a bad thing? The father was simply describing the other person that was being victimized.
                  Please just stop with the race baiting!

                  Liked by 2 people

                  • Yes, ONCE AGAIN… Bruce was a normal boy, he is not even the focus of the post.. Well because I said he was “Hispanic” now he is. So dumb, and it shows the ignorance and length people will go to twist a story to fit their issues.

                    Liked by 1 person

          • Oh my God, get over yourself. She wasn’t insinuating anything toward ethnicity, and people need to be more aware of it because of the drug cartels from Mexico that are a major concern in these scenarios. So quit being so PC stupid, it’s a very informative story

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          • You are soooo ridiculous. The point is this young girl’s life and innocence was at stake. So let’s turn into another race thing & let it this horrible crime that is destroying​ the lives of young people & families of Every Race.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Because his ethnicity is the forefront of the issue? Absolutely NOT! This is not about THAT and don’t even go there making this about race. This is about CHILDREN who were almost ripped from their childhood to be cast into a life of rape, beatings, and locked away for the rest of their lives. Don’t even try and make it about race! Disgraceful!

            Liked by 1 person

        • Hoping you have changed your name
          And hers in the sharing of this. Sometimes those who prey see the revelation as a challenge. Glad everything turned out well and that you have shared your story.

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          • R S,
            I never know this would take off like it has.. I am in shock and truly was not prepared for this. I have not changed anything but I have sat down with my girls and their mother and explained that we need to be a little extra careful now that hundreds of thousands of people have read this.
            They have been changed by the act in 2012 and have a great outlook and understanding about the “rules” never walk alone, always carry your phone (GPS is active and I can see them at all times) and always let me know whats going on. They are much older now and GREAT at letting me know whats going on during the day.

            Liked by 1 person

    • I believe I’ve seen these two girls together with a large white woman in Mulberry Wal-Mart. (South Lakeland, FL). She was onthe phone but was not letting the younger one leave her side it was bizarre. The red neck lady was verbally abusive. I could help you stake,put Wal-Mart if you like.

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      • You’re just a nasty one, aren’t you? McDolt, the scraggly hippie who wails relentlessly with tears and snot running down her face at the mere mention of race.

        None of the books she reads mention anything about race, gender, ethnicity, sexual preference, age, weight, or hair color. Too sensitive. Everything must be fair, grey, dull, and nondescript.

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        • I’m really not sure what this is intended to mean?! I’m also not sure what to even say other than I hope the comments can begin to have some respect for others point of view. No need to fight aggression with aggression.

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          • I understand emotion and how it takes over. Trust me there’s a lot of things that I said during this time of hardship that I shouldn’t have I was angry at the world. I completely understand and I believe there is a time for aggression just make sure it’s directed towards the right people, that was my mistake once. No worries

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            • My son, a young adult with Aspergers, has a lot of online friends, but not many IRL friends, and I worry about creepers approaching him online. He’s 18, but his social skills are of someone much younger. I’ve explained online stranger-danger so many times that he probably doesn’t even listen to me anymore. I need to look up how sex trafficking may involve young males. It’s a scary online world.

              Again, my apologies for my friend’s reply. He was a bit obnoxious last night, and totally rude.

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    • Thank you Nena, it wasn’t just me doing that resolved this. It took her mother and sister as well as the Police to get to the bottom of what was going on. It takes a village to raise a child, it takes parents like us to stand up together and protect them!

      Liked by 2 people

      • How did this change your daughter’s behavior? I’d love to know how you followed through? Also, to me, these predators are like cockroaches… you may squish one, but there are a thousand hidden in the cracks for every one you kill… and… your daughter are beautiful!

        Liked by 2 people

          • That’s the biggest lesson here, your daughter learned the dangers of social media. I’m sorry it took this scary situation.

            My daughter had similar situation. It started with an app called Musically. Then progressed to another chat app that the man invited her to join. He preyed on her vulnerability by being friendly, caring, all around “nice guy”. The scary part was we thought by only allowing her an iPod we were keeping her safe. The man didn’t live in this country and came to find out Interpol was already investigating him. The SVU officer in charge of the case told us predators specifically use social media and chat apps like Kik to target young victims.

            Liked by 2 people

        • I would also like to know this information. I do not have any girls but boys are not off the list of being kidnapped for human trafficking. Mine aren’t old enough yet to even have a phone but the time will come. Get educated now, it’s only going to get worse as time goes by.

          Liked by 2 people

          • As far as boys go I have two daughters and most of my family is female. I do believe that internet and social media protection and information is not gender specific even if the risks may be greater for female than male. ALL our children matter and whats to say that our boys are used as Bruce was in my daughters story.

            The best thing to do is to always be open and honest with what really could happen, show them, inform them, and be honest to the nasty things of the world. age appropriateness of course. But don’t sugar coat it.
            I have learned to talk to my daughters openly and honestly, they respect that far more too. They see that I am no longer fluffing the story’s we hear and i’m honest when they ask me a question, even graphic at times (within reason)
            Sometimes its hard to keep up to date on all the changes. I use Urban Dictionary quite, often. It can be a little graphic, but it does have a lot of the latest info our teens and children see.

            Liked by 3 people

  1. Thank you so, much for sharing this truly heartbreaking and personal story. Parents and children just don’t understand how much they are at risk to these predators until it comes into their circle. Very scary, very close and very possible to prevent. I applaud you for being the parent you absolutely must be Scott. Thank you.

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    • Thank you for the kind words and you are welcome for sharing. The credit needs to go to my little girl, she is not afraid anymore and really has a passion to help girls that may have that “it wont happen to me” attitude. She was one of them, and it did happen, thankfully her mother, sister and myself were there to help her get out of it.

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    • You are welcome, thank you for sharing. I am glad this post has opened the doors to conversations that may not be the most comfortable to talk about but they’re definitely necessary to protect our children.

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  2. Oh my Scott! This scared me when I saw your girls’ photo, but then reading your article made me terrified! Thank goodness for your persistence in keeping tabs. Keep being “that parent”- it obviously prevented a life altering event for Haylee and your whole family. Hugs to all of you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you yes it was quite an ordeal. And I’m so glad that she found her voice and the power to stand up and talk about it now even after so many years. I hope that it reaches many homes and opens up as much communication is possible because this is real.
      Thank you, hugs from us back to you all.

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  3. As someone who was the teen on the internet back in the day who now has a 21yo daughter, 16yo son and five more kiddos in the pipeline, I have to seriously wonder *why* young children are being allowed unrestricted access to the internet in the first place? I ask because vigilance is always good and parents should always know passwords to accounts, but let’s be honest, parents need to enforce STRICT rules when it comes to any internet use with no regret.
    Kids don’t need access to the internet to the extent that most of society/parents allow. I’m glad nothing happened to your sweet children, but PLEASE never apologize for strict internet settings and don’t resort to checking their devices when they are sleeping. That’s just as sneaky.
    The best approach is the one that encourages open dialogue, straight out of the gates. My best advice having been on both sides of this issue is to limit internet access, don’t allow them unrestricted use, keep open lines of communication, and keep them off apps *you* yourself wouldn’t also be on as well, such as SnapChat or IG, etc.

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    • You are correct, absolutely correct and it took us finding out the hard way. We had the “our daughter is good” and has integrity when it comes to her choices. Well, that’s not entirely the case, although her integrity was still intact after this ordeal. I didn’t blame her, we did however restrict her internet usage drastically and monitored her much more, but she was also traumatized by the entire experience and didn’t want anything to do with the internet for quite some time. I have that exact rule, I have the same apps, we know your password and I check when ever I feel like it. Even randomly while i’m sitting in the living room i’ll ask “can I see your phone please” and she hand it right over. She understands now, more than I expected her to. Great advice for sure!!

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  4. Thanks for writing this. My son shared your article with me via Facebook. My little publishing company released a book called Sex Trafficking Prevention: A Trauma-Informed Approach for Parents and Professionals. Please know I’m not trying to profit (believe me, publishing isn’t a profitable way to make a living). But parents, teachers, scout leaders, church leaders, etc. need to know what signs to watch for. The woman who wrote the book, Savannah Sanders, was a regular girl whose parents got divorced, which put her at a slightly increased risk, which led to bigger risks, which eventually led her to being groomed and trafficked. She now has a college degree and is educating people about identifying the signs and protecting our children. As I’ve heard her say countless times, traffickers spot vulnerable kids before their own parents do.

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    • My daughter is all about empowering young girls, she just doesn’t know how at the moment. That was one of the main reasons I wrote this article on my blog, to open the door and bring awareness and a conversation piece out in the open for her, and at her approval.
      We had NO idea it would reach so many people and at the same time YES, it reached so many people. We were contacted last night by one of our local major new agency’s but to be honest i’m not sure what that will do to her “social life”. She is a quiet girl, really doesn’t like spotlight and attention and well, this post reached almost 70k in one day so I guess that’s out the window.
      She does have the passion to help, shes just shy and needs to find her confidence and power in this situation. Step 1 was to post her story, we will see what the next step will be. I believe we should have a step 2! This needs to be heard

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  5. Scott,
    I have the honor of knowing both of your beautiful daughters from their elementary days..Thank you, thank you thank you for being such a concerned parent!!! As well as your wife for both of you following through & going public with this to raise awareness!!! God Bless Haylee for wanting to help others & not being afraid to do so. When I saw the girls’ pictures I knew I had to read the story. I’m so thankful I did.

    Lynn Gibson

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    • She has rally taken this and turned it from a negative to a positive. The power this has brought to her life now is an inspiration to me. I plan on helping her in any way spread this power and courage to others that need it.

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  6. Thank you for the kind words and I am also very thankful that we had the outcome we had. Yes it took quick action and diligence as well as a huge help from the Portage Police Cyber Task Force to get to the bottom of it. I did not have the resources they had and if I would have just swept it under the rug and scolded her as opposed to loving her and scolding the action we may have a different outcome all together. I am glad you read it too, we have power in our words but only if they are heard.

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  7. Thank you for sharing your story. I’ve been trying to get the word out for about a year to my community, family, friends and especially the church. We need to be educated on what to look for, what questions to ask our children and where to turn if we find something wrong. The more we talk about what’s going on out there, the better off we will all be! Keep sharing and talking and believing that even one person CAN and does make a difference!

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    • Yes, we are planning on a interview with our local news agency soon and hopefully being able to bring her story to the schools in our area. Keep sharing your words too! this is a fight that will take us all to be successful

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  8. My daughter was profiled by a friend of a friend. Long story short I had her remove her from her Facebook account and within 24 hours the computer was swiped totally clean. We have a friend in IT that went through the computer mad everything was gone. No trace of anything. These people know what they are doing and they are not dumb. Also, many kids are being sex trafficed and are still living in their homes. Sex trafficking doesn’t just mean they were kidnapped. Many kids are being used and are told that if they tell then their loved ones will get hurt or killed so they do what they are told. Please educate yourself and then also educate your kids.

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    • YES!! That is exactly what needs to be explained! Its not always a creepy guy with glasses and a van as movies portray, or a man in a parking lot watching a woman and her child. It can also be a mutual friend on social media that slowly coaxes our children into doing things they may not fully understand. Well said, thank you for the comment and I am SO glad that your story had a positive outcome as well. So many have a much worse outcome and a lifetime of torment to manage.

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      • I’m not sure why you are focusing on vans. Now all I can invision is a bunch of vans in a group abducting people. Do you think everyone that drives a van abducts children? I drive a van and I have six children, now I’m worried that people will think I have abducted them. They are all girls too! Great, just great! It’s insnsitive people like you who profile van drivers. JK!

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    • If you don’t mind me quoting you, I’d like to highlight your response so other people are made aware, as I share this entire article on Facebook.

      Like

  9. Can you tell me how you went about checking on Bruce’s ‘friends’? I recently had to take my daughter’s phone away completely. Thankfully my daughter’s best friend’s mom overheard my daughter telling her some boy had liked a ‘musically’ she had done.. (musically is an app that I allowed for my daughter that was to be set to private and was for her and her few approved friends, she had made a public one without my knowledge)… well this boy had said how cute she was and asked her to add the app LiveMe to her phone. She also added another texting/messaging app Allo to her phone and had one boy on Allo and 1 -2 she was communicating with on LiveMe. When I looked through texts I didn’t find anything inappropriate, like sexy pics, but was upset that she was talking with boys behind my back.
    We had a long conversation before getting the phone about social media, private settings. Mom/Dad approve who you add, what apps, etc. She had Snapchat as did I so I could follow what she was posting. I have a rule to not post your face, name, age, address, etc. The one boy on Allo was in a totally different state if his number was real. There texts were innocent enough until she asked him to be her boyfriend (ugh). She is only 13 (but I feel emotionally much younger, she is very naive). I read all the texts and found he had a you tube channel, which I also looked at. He only had a few ‘followers’ and pretty much videoed about games and his likes. Innocent enough, at this point.
    Both the other mom and I talked to her about child trafficking, how boys/men bait girls, etc.
    It is so scary. We have just had a trafficking ring in a city near us busted and there were recent arrests in another city even closer. We also have had reports of men following moms around in stores in our town.
    I don’t know if I will feel safe giving her phone back for a while. She just doesn’t seem to understand the dangers.
    Is there anything else I can do to protect her? I delete apps ,she puts them back on, I delete them again and take her phone. She has no access to her phone or tablet for now.
    Thank you again for sharing your story and I am so grateful your daughter wasn’t a victim.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I know that feeling.. frantic rushing to stop anything that is or may be happening. As for how to check “friends” it’s tricky, look for things that seem strange, their name, location, mutual friends, pictures (are they real pictures) there is a lot to look at but check who the friends are, do they even know them or are they random people that simply have some mutual friends.

      I have a Facebook group that I plan on doing a live Q&A at some point today. We are also meeting with our local channel 3 news for an interview and I plan to post that to the page as well.

      The name of the page is the same as my blog
      Real Life / War on Sugar

      Like

    • With an iPhone You can go into her settings on her phone click on general, then under restrictions you can create your own password and then you can restrict her from adding or deleting apps! She won’t be able to add or delete apps if you have these turned off, unless she has your password!

      Liked by 1 person

      • That is a great feature, we have Samsung / Android phones, I have a similar lock on my youngest daughters phone, my oldest is VERY cautious now and respects social media with a different outlook on it now.

        This is something more parents need to know, many parents do not understand nor have the desire to learn and keep up on the changing Tech and apps. I would love to offer any assistance with that.. I also have a Facebook Real Life / War on Sugar page that I plan to continue this topic and Q&A.

        Like

    • I’m not sure we are doing the “right” thing but besides routinely checking their devices; we’ve installed a Disney Circle and an app called Bark that offer some protection. The kids cannot download any app without permission. ( the device will not let them) Disney Circle allows me to set which apps they are allowed to look at and set time limits. Bark sends me reports if my kids are cyber bullying or being cyber bullied, if they are sending or receiving inappropriate photos or suggestive texts… it’s the friend of a friend thing that I don’t know how to manage. We’ve discussed it–but how to get them to understand the gravity of the situation!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Scott, I’m about to launch a podcast (Red X Podcast) on this topic (Human Trafficking). I would love to have you as a “remote audio” guest sometime to talk about this story. Are you interested in helping us get the word out and educate the public? Twitter @redxpodcast

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I would love to.
      We are meeting with our local new tonight and I’m setting up some Facebook live times to help answer some of the questions people have. There are so many people that do not have the understanding of some of today’s apps, tech and how kids use it. I’m lucky enough to have a love for media, apps and tech already.
      Thank you for asking if I’m interested, absolutely I’m interested in furthering the safety of our children.

      Like

      • Can I still find this podcast? Two days ago I discovered my 12 year old daughter was being groomed by a sex trafficking ring / suspected Pimp through an app called KIK. My family is absolutely devastated and lost. My daughter is a beautiful, smart, creative (I could go on forever) child. When I found her phone two nights ago our lives were forever changed and her innocence forever gone. My heart hurts for her more than any words can describe. On the outside she remained the quirky, sweet little girl…I had no idea she was living a nightmare at night. I immeadiatly reached out NCMEC and recievef a little guidance and zero follow support as I was promised. After being on the phone all day I was able to involve law enforcement. They have siezed the phone and the case will be handled by the Crimes Against Children division. We live in a small town in Texas, a nice neighborhood, great schools etc. I am guilty of reading these types of stories and scrolling on, because I had the “this only happens on TV” mind set . I could not have been more wrong as now a monster has preyed on my baby. We are still in shock and everyday this feels like a bad dream we can’t wake up from. We are confronting this as a united family head on. First and foremost reassuring our daughter that she is the victim, all the while hearing her sobs filled with guilt and shame. It’s almost too much to handle, as you can never be prepared on how to handle something lik this. I am desperate for ANY help, resources that I can get my hands on because “My Daughter Was Almost the Victim of Human Trafficking” too.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Oh no my gosh… I’m so sorry you went through this too.
          Kik was involved with my daughter too. Instagram is where it started but kik was the “chatting” portion of the relationship.
          There isn’t a pod cast, it was only a post that I wrote. I’m on Facebook and you can find me at Reallifescottleejenkins or Scott Jenkins and I can add you.
          I’m so sorry and I hope to share that this is a REAL issue that our children face daily.
          I believe we as parents need to fight for our children….

          Like

  11. My daughter disappeared from downtown Sacramento in May 2005. We have not heard a word from her since. Sacramento police missing persons has been unable to find her. We thing she was kidnapped by some gang members for traffiking. It is hell for our family not knowing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh Vicky, I am so sorry from the bottom of my heart.. I just stopped breathing for a moment. Words cannot begin to explain the hell you have felt and are left to deal with. My deepest sympathy for you and your family.

      Like

    • I felt physically ill reading your comment. I’m so very sorry Vicky. What is your daughter’s name? I’d like to hold her up in prayer if you wouldn’t mind. What a depraved and evil world we are living in. God help us all.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Vicki, I am SO SORRY, I cannot imagine the hell you live in. I pray God would give you your daughter back, or at least be able to find out what happened to her. This is one of my worst fears. I got my kids raised, now I’m thinking about my nieces and grandchildren. One the evil in this world!!!

      Liked by 1 person

    • YES! and there is a great app called Life 360 that is a GPS app that runs on the phone. It tells when they are near, when they leave the house and how fast they are going in real time. We all use it and they are very okay with that.

      Like

  12. One of the many challenges with social media is parents know just enough to think they are able to keep tabs on their kids’ online activity and are often unaware that work-arounds are contantly being developed that allow kids to hide activity from their parents.

    I also hear parents comment that they give in and let their kids have apps they as a parent aren’t really comfortable with because “they’ll just do it behind my back at on a friend’s phone/tablet anyway.” You trust that a child who sneaks behind your back to break your rules will then follow your rules if you give in???

    I’m thankful that my kids are adults because it scares me to hear how easy it is for kids to hide, delete and cover up online use from adults (app that looks like a calculator screen to quickly hide inappropriate stuff if an adult is nearby) and that there are young kid games that allow online “friends” to create avatars and “play” interactively with your child.

    As parents we need to not care if “everyone else” is doing it. And as most of us must surely remember from our own youth, even “good trustworthy kids” make bad decisions. But before the internet most of that youthful stupidity was somewhat safely contained to our own neighborhoods.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Thank you for posting. I shared with my friends. With a 4 year old boy and almost 2 year old girl I will face all this in the coming years. Having grown up as the internet came into the world I know first hand how bad it can be… I will educate my kids and teach them as best I know how to be wise with technology. I also know that locking them out of access even if they do not like it is important. Having an open conversation about being online and what responsibilities you have is part of the process.
    I also think as parents we must be examples. If we are always online kids will think it’s normal. We need to show them that living in the Real World or RL as they call it has huge benefits. Games are fun but doing things with your hands and being outside is awesome as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are welcome, yes I agree, lead by example for sure.
      I’m not perfect, I do spend quite a bit of time writing and browsing the internet, however I try to do it after they go to sleep.
      Having our children and giving them access to a world with such opposites sometimes feels like a double-edged sword. Giving them access to a world that can create some of the most beautiful things and some of the most dangerous places at the same time.
      Keeping our children safe is a fulltime job for sure.

      Like

  14. After my initial stomach turning fear reading your article I then thought what an impact your daughter could have if she shared her story with peers at other schools. If not in person perhaps your family and the police could put together an age appropriate video highlighting your daughters side of the story to be shared with other children. Kids listen to other kids. Could really make a difference!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, that is her plan.
      We met with our local wwmt channel 3 new last night and had a 45 minute interview. Her words have gone viral with over 250k views.
      Her impact has began and she is on fire to help her peers.

      This gives me chills to think about how it could have been and now the power she has to help prevent it.

      Like

      • I say THANK YOU! THANK YOU!! THANK YOU!!! You have opened the door for others to be wise. “Protect those little ones”…may God bless you for doing your parts to STOP innocent children from becoming victims. May you feel PEACE for being honorable to your parent duties. 👨‍👩‍👧‍👦🤝💘👏

        Liked by 1 person

        • I love my girls more than anything on earth and couldn’t imagine not having them. I am glad I was able to open the doors and have the gifts given to me to be able to write this.

          God bless you too, and God bring a movement to the people that have to deal with the loss of their loved ones to this terrible act.
          Its OUR job to help inform and transfer the power from one home to another.

          Like

    • That is a almost 6 year old picture and they are both on many forms of social media. I monitor their activity and we are open about who they talk to. They are already online.. this post is far more impactful to see that this was a real girl.
      Thank you for the concern Lori.

      Like

  15. Oh my gosh we can not let our kids on the internet at these ages! My kids have zero sm accounts, their young brains are far too underdeveloped!

    Like

    • Ok, thank you and I’m aware of my children’s development and she has been high honors for 3 of her 4 years of high school now and Is taking college courses. I think I know my children better than you do.
      They use the Internet for tons of learning as well as social outlets.

      Liked by 1 person

    • All of my kids school work is internet based…they dont even have books…its the way of the world..we have to teach them right from wrong…and tell them the stories about real people and how to handle these situations!

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Pingback: Just How Far Does Human Sex Trafficking Reach? – Survivor's Guide to Sanity

  17. These stories are far too common nowadays. I’m so glad your story had a happy ending and thank you for having the courage to share and make a difference.
    I’m part of a company that works to protect women and children from assault and trafficking. We have books that teach about body boundaries and how to say no, and self-protection products like alarms, pepper sprays and stun guns. A portion of all proceeds goes toward charities like Wipe Every Tear, the Stitch and we sponsor a house in Cambodia that helps to rescue children who have been trafficked. http://www.DefensePros.net

    Liked by 2 people

    • I am too, thank you so much for caring enough to comment and share your opinion.
      I will save your link and share it as a resource.
      What you do is an inspiration. We are all trying to make a difference in any way we can.
      God bless

      Like

  18. My daughter had a blog with two other Gals she”met ” online from Michigan.they invited her to a bday party on a weekend I thought she was spending with her dad. If not for a friend of mine who saw something online re my daughter I might not have seen her again.had some tough love with her and she did fly home.Thank God

    Liked by 1 person

  19. If you want your story to have impact you should take out the Hispanic reference.
    For one it unfairly and unjustly leads your readers to a conclusion that Hispanics are what they need to be looking out for. It is dangerous to anyone who is actually trying to prevent child abduction to have a preset notion of what a child abductor (or their gateway person) looks like, especially an ethnicity. Child abductions happen in all cultures and is perpetrated by all colors and by quite a great many Caucasian men especially from the Eastern European area. You really need to rethink the impact of the wording in your story.

    Like

    • I understand and I also do not want to change my story. If something I said doesn’t sit tight with you that is not my problem, it’s yours.
      Bruce was not the evil in my post, he was a victim just like my daughter. He was being used by these monsters and nothing more.
      I may have portrayed Bruce as something he’s not and that was not my intention at all.

      Like

  20. Sorry if this was already mentioned, I couldn’t continue reading through the comments. But I was surprised to see a picture of your daughters posted for the world to see, especially after what your family has been through. They’re beautiful, but I’d be inclined not to put them out there.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, I think they are beautiful as well.
      Yes it was, this is a 6 year old picture and I did weigh the risk vs outcome. I totally agree and at the same time, they are much older, on social media and very monitored by me and their family. The have a GREAT respect for social media due to what we all went through.
      I really wanted to put a face to the story, to show that this has nothing to do with race, financial status or location. I wanted the readers to see two normal girls with normal lives and a picture is the only way to portray that image appropriately. We have a great respect for communication, I always know where she is, when she gets there, leaves ans with who.. They are GREAT about that.
      Thank you so much for caring enough to comment.

      Like

  21. Hi Scott,

    My name is Joe Beckman. I’m a youth speaker who connects with tens of thousands of students every year (hundreds of thousands if you count YouTube views, and other on-line platforms).

    I’m also a father of a 10 year old daughter (and 2 younger sons). This hit me hard. Like really hard.

    Obviously education is key. Educating young girls (and boys), and their parents on what to look for, and imploring vigilance is a great start, and I think there’s a way we could do that…if you’re up for it.

    I have a decent (not huge) online presence, but it’s growing by the day. Educators, students, and parents are all in my circles of communication. Maybe together we can get this message into the hearts and minds of our decision makers so that we can save the lives of so many.

    This single post will save lives. Thank you for your courage, humility, and compassion.

    From one dad to another…you’re the man!

    (please reach out to me personally, as I don’t know if I’ll see or be notified of any replies).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, from father to father that means a lot to have someone understand and be willing to stand against something that is often very hard to talk about.
      I would love to join you in any way I can. Even more awesome my oldest daughter is willing to talk and tell her story, THAT IS POWER!
      She can change the how so many view this topic and bring it home for many people. We have met with our local news, and have many outlets to share her story. I love that what once was a shameful, painful time is now empowering and informative.
      I thank God that we are together, and that it can be a positive change in our lives now.
      I will look you up and we can stand together for sure.
      Where 2 or more join..
      Please send your info to my email and i will reply
      reallifewaronsugar@gmail.com

      Like

  22. Your daughter is one of the lucky ones. Thank God you’re involved and care enough to check up on her. Too many times parents feel like they’re too evolved to ‘invade their children’s privacy’ and that’s when bad things happen. Adolescent brains aren’t developed enough to objectively see the danger in their own actions, regardless of how innocent they may be. These monsters groom their victims very cunningly by asking for photos that sometimes get more and more explicit. Then they threaten the victims with exposure if they attempt to cut the perpetrator off.
    The victims trusted these animals initially because they were “friends” of Bruce. Bruce probably had no idea he was being used as ground zero for a ring of evil.
    Also, for those upset about the author mentioning Bruce’s ethnicity, I think you have the author’s intentions wrong. This nation is ready to play the race card at the drop of a hat these days. Our ethnicity is a part of ourselves and I don’t understand why it’s not OK to use it as an adjective. The author didn’t mention in the story that the predators were Middle Eastern men, (I got that from reading the comments) which should show you that he wasn’t racially motivated in writing this article. His intent was to tell a cautionary tale of how easy it would be for any child to fall victim to a predator. Personally, I thank him for sharing a terrifying personal account of an event that has become too common.

    Liked by 1 person

    • If I could clap on here I would!
      Great tips and information. That is VERY accurate and was the beginning of my daughters story. It was caught before it got too far and yes I know how lucky we were. I’m reminded by the faces I see from social media and the articles I read about missing children.
      Thank you for understanding subjectivly and explainning further the race comments.. I really do not want to talk about Bruce and his race anymore.

      I want the power in this article to be about helping and informing our children and adults of the danger most of our children hold onto on a daily basis.
      There is SO much power in that little device they hold.. Be aware of what they are doing with it.

      thank you again

      Like

  23. Dear Scott, The thing I noted in your blog was, “you just felt something wasn’t right.” I’m so glad you acted. I also “acted” on those feelings, which I believe were prompting from God. When my now grown son, and father of two, was in 5th grade, he was doing homework on the computer (this would have been in the late 90’s before smart phones even existed), I did all the things I thought were “right.” I had the computer in the living room, checked history,, etc. I was in our family room while he was in the living room. I got this odd feeling, that at first I dismissed… then it came again, so I got up and very quietly walked into the living room. When he saw me, he started clicking to beat the band. I asked him what he was doing, but I already knew, I could see it all over his face. He is and was such a good kid, I was amazed he was looking at that crap.I said, He just hung his head and said a boy at school told him to check this website out. I clicked on history and could read the sites he had been to, without going to them. I had a long talk with him about how I knew he was curious about sex, etc., but the internet was NOT the place to learn. Anyway, the very next day I bought a software that had “spy” technology on it. I could see every password, every site, every conversation (remember MSN Messenger), everything. I told my kids they would have NO PRIVACY on the computer. I told them I would look at everything they did on it and then I DID. They had no idea how I was doing it, because I chose to know more about technology than they did. My daughter did say once she thought it was an invasion of her privacy. I reminded her it was MY COMPUTER, MY HOUSE, and I am RESPONSIBLE to protect her, and I would do that will all that was within me. THANKFULLY my kids were grown before the Iphone came out. Knowing how awful and pervasive all of this crap is, I honestly do not believe I would let my kids have one. A flip phone worked back then, and it can work just fine now. Parents are so worried their kids won’t have what the other kids have, they are willing to allow them a device that could quite literally get them abutted or killed. I see the pitfalls are so much worse than what good can come out of giving a child free reign to a smart phone. They just aren’t mature enough to handle such a huge responsibility. I am SO GRATEFUL your girls are safe! God Bless!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love this…
      I did just have a feeling and it was also little things my youngest daughter would say about her big sister.
      I couldn’t just sit there and not check and I’m so so thankful I did.
      I still remember the feeling of my heart almost stopping and my breathing did stop.

      I really appreciate the support I have been receiving in most of the comments. It’s not easy to write about someone so precious and something so devastating. It rocked our home that’s for sure.
      I’m so glad that you took action too. Sometimes that all it takes is to do something.
      I know what you mean “his face said it all” my daughter had the same “deer in headlights look” but it was followed by feelings of confusion and aggression for the situation.

      Thank you for the great comment.

      Like

    • I had a similar experience with my, then 12 year old, son only last year. I had a filter on but one of his “clicks” had downloaded a virus that ended up requiring a hefty repair bill. Very shortly before the computer got bogged down (and then required being repaired) I was able to view on the blocker site just what the sites were it was trying to block him from. They were child porn sites. He had clicked on something to learn more about his body changes, got onto something, clicking a link he knew he shouldn’t (and had gone to a number of sites even knowing he shouldn’t so it wasn’t a single occurrence – even with him at the kitchen table and me checking on him – but it was his quick changing screens and “look” that gave him away to me as well…) but then it got a virus that AUTOMATICALLY sent out attempts for his computer to click on these terrible websites. The filter was blocking those, and I could tell he wasn’t visiting the sites because there would be thousands of attempted “clicks” in a matter of hours – it was the virus and his filter alert was going off constantly, even when I was next to him and could see he was only on the school site he should have been on. I was able to show him (and he was flabbergasted) not only how many sites but what the sites were and that they were using children so this was a type of slavery and abuse – he got sick, sad and mad, too. It was a real eye-opener that his “clicks” could support something so horrible!!! He knew I didn’t want him to access these things because of how it could mar his character (we also had discussions about sexuality and about wanting to know about how his body works and the changes going on were normal and it was okay to be curious about them and interested but to talk with me and dad and not get his info from friends or websites they recommended or he googled, and that I wasn’t mad about curiosity but I was about dishonesty, disguise and hiding things and that those were neither honorable, nor safe. It led to some good interactions but difficult.) When the computer locked up and we had it repaired, the repair tech explained to us what had happened. He said that these sites can be linked (same sites with different web addresses) and they make money by the number of “clicks”/hits they get so they set viruses up so they get computers to do it even without the owners’ knowledge. Between the virus using his computer to do it’s thing and the filter trying to block it, the computer became unusable for my son’s schoolwork, which it was originally purchased and used for – our family computer was a Mac and didn’t have the same issues for multiple other reasons (no one is on it as much, and I monitor it – my son’s was a PC and, though trying to monitor it, he was on it much more doing online classes and I was not as familiar with it’s set-up, learning too late that even monitored kids can get into trouble – and I thought I was on my guard. I was but even as fast as you know things can happen, reality is faster yet!) It was a costly (but no where near as costly as it could have been emotionally, etc.!) lesson but one my son took to heart as he is working to repay the repair bill. The biggest impact on him, however, was the thought of child pornography and sex trafficking and how his online activity and lack of vigilance could contribute it! Because of that heightened awareness (like your daughter) I was able to show him your blog and we’ve had more good discussions. We’d had them before about online “friends” but your story put a relatable face on it for him that made an impact. Thanks to you and Haylee for sharing!

      Liked by 1 person

  24. Not a good idea for the mom to include photos of her girls with this post. She is spreading photos even further, and it’s usually better to blur minors’ faces.

    Like

  25. Thank you to your family for sharing such a pertinent and important story! Our children are naive, they don’t realize how far that ripple goes when they put a little toe in the water. This should be required reading for every child before they are allowed online access to strangers.

    For those still criticizing about the ethnicity of the boy, about the photo of the beautiful daughters…stop! The descriptions made it all the more real…I pictured a good-looking boy that girls would think was cute and want to chat with. I’d have thought the same regardless of what ethnicity he’d been. He’s explained that the photo of his daughters is 6 yrs old and they must look very different by now.

    My daughters are now in their early forties. The younger one had a problem with telling the truth from the time she could talk. I felt I had to snoop to have any idea what was really going on and a few times things were going in a bad direction. As mentioned by the author, things didn’t feel right so I loved her enough to try to keep her safe.

    I now have grandchildren. Some years ago, one of the teen granddaughters had a 23-yr-old man from another country on her FB. I told her I wasn’t comfortable with it…she assured me he was fine, they just chatted a bit. She was lucky, nothing came of it but it shows how trusting most of our kids are, how we must teach them the importance of guarding their personal information. My own settings are as tight as possible. Teach yourself, your friends, your kids how to go to the privacy settings and set it to “friends only” not “friends of friends”. Don’t put in real information as far as city, job, school…anyone who knows you already knows that. Go to FaceCrooks.com to get more info on keeping safe.

    Sorry I got wordy, I’m grateful your family is safe and am sure the lessons learned here will help others. It takes all of us to fight the evildoers in this world.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Pingback: Where to Begin and What to do Next | Real Life / War on Sugar

  27. Thank you for sharing scott! Just read on a shared facebook post. I check my daughters accounts quite often but I’m thinking I should take the time to do it even more. Very scary and close to home situation! Glad your daughter is going to be safe!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are welcome and yes it should be a routine to check and also give feedback to the child. I have found that to be just as important so they are not just sitting there thinking “what did mom find”. Let them know how good they are doing or if something is found calmly have a conversation about it. My girls do not mind at all that I randomly look, and I always tell them how proud I am that they make good choices.

      Like

  28. Pingback: It Can Happen to You: How Human Sex Trafficking Reached Into My Home

  29. Thank you for sharing your story!! As a middle school counselor I intend to share this post out with my parents 6th-8th grade and use it with my kids when we discuss online safety!!

    Liked by 1 person

  30. This is what happened to me oh so many years ago. Back then there was no Kik or Instagram. The boy that was sent to lure me met me not online but in real person . He was a teen working to lure me in. It is a frightening scenario. I was in hell for 4 years. Now I teach and do outreach about how to keep your kids safe and what is going on in our country, in our state, even in our county where people say it does not happen here. Although kids may say we have no right to see their devices, if we do not know what is going on, we can’t help them. Once they are lured and bonded, even if the police find them and bring them back, they will not be the same. They would have bonded with someone evil and may not want to bond with you again. You really need to know what is going on before something happens.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Peggy,
      I’m sorry it took so long to reply, I wanted to give you the time and respect you deserve. I got chills…

      Have you shared your story? If so can I have where you did and share it as well? I am sorry from the bottom of my heart and I hope that you have regained the power in this situation.
      If you still suffer in life from this please know that you have the power in you all you have to do is find it. My daughter felt like a victim for many years until she found her power to take over the situation and stand up to it..
      and here we are. THANK YOU for sharing your story and standing against this terrible hellish crime.

      Like

  31. This is why parents need to STOP giving their kids smart phones. There’s no reason, whatsoever, in this world why anyone under the age of 18 should have an iPhone, Android, etc. I understand that a child having a phone these days is very convenient and necessary, however buy your kids an old flip phone. Prepaid minutes. A phone that cannot access the internet of have apps downloaded. There is no need for that crap. I have a 5 year old daughter, and I rarely let her use my phone except for her learning app through her school. And you can best believe that when she gets her own phone, it’s going to be an old flip phone with prepaid minutes and no web access. There will also be absolutely no social media exposure. I’m not a very strict mom, but when it comes to these things, I put my foot down. No one under the age of 18 should even be allowed to sign up for Facebook, Instagram, etc. Get your kids outside to plant a garden, ride bike trails with their friends, read books, make their own movies with an old VHS/DVD recorder. MAKE them use their imaginations. This smart phone crap is becoming such nonsense.

    Like

    • Anne, I agree there is an appropriate age for sure and I will admit I messed up with that. Its mostly due to my ignorance, that is why this is an important post in my eyes. I had NO idea what I gave my children until this..

      I want others to understand before they have to face something that changes everything.

      Like

  32. God bless you for sharing your story, because it will open many eyes. Parenting is tricky work and we all have to try to stay one step ahead of the dangers that technology and society bring with it. This is a powerful message. The conveniences we enjoy have flip sides. Many comments illustrate how twisted this world has become and society has become a cesspool of sensitivity for the sake of neutralization (ever watch The Giver?). God bless you and your beautiful daughters and keep you all safe. And no, I am not afraid to say that.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Horrific and all of us need to take responsibility and share this. And this whole race thing. I wasn’t going to say anything. But I kept waiting for someone to point out that these young anglo girls were friends with a young Hispanic boy. Why can’t someone focus on that? THEY weren’t racist. And this is the father of those girls who taught them that. So just stop trying to make something of this into the opposite. Did they even think about not being his friend because of race? Anyhoo… I have a friend, and I’m in my fifties who had an uncle grooming her for trafficking. He would arrange for men to go watch her in the park playing, when he took her there. So they could see if they liked her. That was the days before social media. This has always gone on I think, but the internet has given these evil people, for that’s what it is, evil, a way to expand their perv business. We all need to do our part and stand against this and those who would say this was normal. Yes, I just read before this that a former felon, who was pardoned by his governor in his state, was now running for office and pushing to have child porn made legal. Say what? We all need to say no. Porn is the beginning.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I cannot thank you enough for voicing this.
      its not a battle and I hate that the comments took a turn into this area at all. but that’s reality

      The world we live in is full of twists and turns and everyone’s opinion is the right one. What happened to being honest about a situation and open about what could be.
      I really liked your comment, lately I have felt a little discouraged that it has taken such a negative turn due to something that doesn’t matter to me, the ethnicity of anyone.

      Like

  34. I was glad to see your blog. As a woman who was molested as a young child (3-5 yrs old, by a family friend) I know firsthand the long term effects of sexual predators on children. I also have a 13 year old granddaughter with unlimited access to the internet and social media. My son does not seem concerned about it at all. I will show him this blog and tell him again how concerned I am. More importantly this has confirmed to me how important it is that I also have a conversation with my granddaughter. Not a shame/blame fiasco, but an open, honest, and truthful conversation about real world truths and dangers. (I have had the gut feelings about something going on, secrecy, guilty looks, etc. but my son has blown me off and made me feel paranoid.) It will not be easy but it may save her life. She is beautiful, intelligent, a “social butterfly”, compassionate, naive and always ready to help anyone hurting, bullied, or lonely. A perfect mark for predators. Thank you for sharing and giving me the courage to talk to her.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That made me sad.. I was for a while “eeh its ok” and relaxed on the internet / social media. Until I saw how easy it was to get into the heads of our children and that it was in my home.

      That changed my views on it for sure.
      A balance is also good, not to paranoid, yet informed and ALWAYS honest.
      I guess some people learn the hard way, like I do.. but not at the expense of my children. That is where I draw the line.
      I hope your conversation with her goes wonderful and she understands.

      I’d like to hear if and when that conversation takes place and how it went. no details, just to hear some success in a sad world.

      Like

  35. BTW Scott, I come from a mixed/ blended family. Hispanic, white, black, adopted kid bio kid… You are doing a great service to the community. Your thoughts were not race related, I, too, immediately thought of a fresh faced kid that girls would think was cute and someone safe to “friend”. “Hispanic” gave me a visual of this child. Refreshing thought that not all “cute” “good” boys are blonde and blue eyed! (I have one of each in my family) continue on with what you are doing. Take courage in the fact that opening you and your family up to the criticism of internet “genius’s” might also save someone’s life one day!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you!
      Yes he was a very attractive boy and I was just describing him for who he is. Nothing about well Hispanics are bad.. We all have it in us to be good or bad, the color of our skin has nothing to do whit that.
      I also have a mixed family, didn’t think I needed to tell everyone that to “justify” oh well he must not be racist if he has a mixed family. Not my immediate family but my family in general.

      Your comment feeds my heart honestly, this world sucks sometimes.
      I am thankful I had the opportunity to express this to so many people. I really had no idea that it would be read by millions of people around the world..

      Like

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