Kern County District Attorney’s Office January 10, 2023– January Human Trafficking Awareness Month Events January 11, 2023, marked Human Trafficking Awareness Day. First recognized by the United States Senate in 2007, Human Trafficking Awareness Day was established to raise awareness in the United States about human trafficking and is recognized on January 11 each year. Human Trafficking Awareness Day comes in January, which is recognized as the broader Human Trafficking Awareness Month. Human Trafficking Awareness month has been recognized consistently each year by the President of the United States since 2010.
The Kern County Human Trafficking Task Force is excited to announce the following events scheduled in January for Human Trafficking Awareness Month. We hope that the community will join us at these events and help spread the word. Proceeds from the events will be donated to the Kern County Family Justice Center Foundation, to help provide resources and assist human trafficking victims. Flyers for each of the events are included, providing details of the events.
01/14/2023 – Condors Game Anti-Trafficking Night
01/21/2023 – Anti-Trafficking Volleyball Tournament
01/25/2023 – Light Up the Night Event
01/28/2023 – Race Against Trafficking 5K –
District Attorney Cynthia Zimmer commented on the events, stating; “These events are designed to not only educate participants and raise awareness of human trafficking but also to raise funds to provide resources and assistance to trafficking victims. Ensuring that human trafficking victims receive the support they need to escape traffickers is critical to ending the victimization of countless women and children. Providing a way out of trafficking is also an important part of making certain that traffickers are being brought to justice.”
Information on The Kern County Family Justice Center Foundation
The Kern County Family Justice Center Foundation (KCFJCF) has partnered with the Kern County Family Justice Center (KCFJC) to raise, hold, manage, and distribute donations and other funds from individuals and organizations to foster and support the KCFJC in its work to provide services to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse, and human trafficking.
Donations support client services such as transportation, onsite childcare, emergency needs such as groceries or diapers, locksmith services for victims, and other auxiliary services to help adult victims and children. We are also seeking donations to support the Family Justice Center’s mission to assist victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse, and human trafficking.
Information on Human Trafficking
California has the notorious distinction of being one of the nation’s top destinations for human trafficking. California consistently ranks number one in the nation in the number of human trafficking cases reported to the National Human Trafficking Hotline. The California Attorney General has described human trafficking as “pervasive” within the State of California. In recent years, cities across the state have seen an alarming spike in the number of human trafficking cases.
Human trafficking is the fastest-growing criminal enterprise in the world. Traffickers have learned that trafficking a person is much more profitable than trafficking other items of property, such as guns and drugs since human beings are reusable commodities. The highly profitable and reusable nature of trafficking victims has resulted in a rapidly growing criminal industry on our city streets and online. Traffickers can make upwards of $2,500 a day forcibly selling victims in the sex trade.
In California, sex trafficking victims are forced to have sex with hundreds of strangers a year. Trafficking victims are not allowed to eat, sleep, rest, or receive other basic life necessities until they meet the daily demands of their traffickers. Every aspect of their life is controlled by the trafficker, and victims are forced to live in an isolated world where terror and abuse reign. Traffickers thrive in a culture that reduces human beings to mere property to be sold and exploited at the trafficker’s will.
The trafficking of children is particularly rampant in California, with traffickers forcing kids as young as 11-12 years old to have sex with upwards of fifteen people a day or more. The average age at which a child is forced into the sex trade is between 11-14 years old. Traffickers will often threaten to kill the children they enslave if they do not meet their daily sex quota demands. Traffickers will also threaten to hurt or kill the enslaved child’s family if the child does not submit to the trafficker’s demands. Besides verbal threats, traffickers will often burn their victims, beat them, and force them to have sex with them. Traffickers will also often brand their victims by forcing their victims to get the trafficker’s name tattooed on their faces or body.
Labor trafficking is no less insidious, as victims of labor trafficking are forced to work long hours in unsanitary and inhuman working conditions for little or no pay. Labor traffickers will often tell their victims they will not be believed if they try to report the crime, and the authorities will deport them. Like sex traffickers, labor traffickers keep total control over their victims by using a combination of physical force and psychological manipulation.
Both state and federal law enforcement agencies, including the California Attorney General, define human trafficking as “modern-day slavery”. This label is well-deserved as traffickers control every aspect of a victim’s life. Traffickers are exploiters of the worst kind, often targeting the most vulnerable and abused members of society for their own financial gain and sexual exploitation. Women, children, and minorities are particularly vulnerable to exploitation, as are members of the LGBTQIA+ community.