7 Warning Signs for Spotting Human Trafficking in Airports

(From CNN.com) Warning signs: 1 — A traveler is not dressed appropriately for their route of travel. You might notice right away that a traveler has few or no personal items. Victims may be less well dressed than their companions. They may be wearing clothes that are the wrong size, or are not appropriate for the weather on their route of travel. 2 — They have a tattoo with a bar code, the word “Daddy.” Many people have tattoos, so a tattoo in itself is obviously not an indicator, but traffickers or pimps feel they own their victims and a barcode tattoo, or a tattoo with “Daddy” or even a man’s name could be a red flag that the person is a victim. 3 — They can’t provide details of their departure location, destination, or flight information. Traffickers employ a number of tools to avoid raising suspicion about their crime and to keep victims enslaved. Some traffickers won’t tell their victims where they are located, being taken, or even what job they will have. Because victims don’t have the means to get home or pay for things like food, they must rely on traffickers in order to get by, forcing them to stay in their situation. 4 — Their communication seems scripted, or there are inconsistencies with their story Sometimes traffickers will coach their victims to say certain things in public to avoid suspicion. A traveler whose story seems inconsistent or too scripted might be trying to hide the real reason for their travel and merely reciting what a trafficker has told them to say. 5 – They can’t move freely in an airport or on a plane, or they are being controlled, closely watched or followed. People being trafficked into slavery are sometimes guarded in transit. A trafficker will try to ensure that the victim does not escape, or reach out to authorities for help. 6 – They are afraid to discuss themselves around others, deferring any attempts at conversation to someone who appears to be controlling them. Fear and intimidation are two of the tools that traffickers use to control people in slavery. Traffickers often prevent victims from interacting with the public because the victim might say something that raises suspicions about their safety and freedom. 7 –  Child...

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How Has SAS Changed the Lives of Participants and Supporters?

Here are a few words from just a few of our Past Participants and community supporters: “Blessed, thankful and honored to be apart of Servants Anonymous.” “If it wasn’t for SAS I wouldn’t be where I am today with a bright future and a life worth living. This place saved my life and I’m forever grateful!” “This is a great organization to belong to and be a part of. I volunteer and enjoy my time there very much.” “I don’t volunteer anymore due to my health but they are very much in my heart. They are worth supporting the families and women who are coming out of working on the street and into a new life. This is not easy to do and takes lots of time, patience and money. Give the society a look-see.”...

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What Makes Servants Anonymous an Innovative Organization?

About Servants Anonymous Society (SAS) Servants Anonymous Society of Calgary provides an extensive, relationship-based, long-term program for women and girls as young as 16, including those who are pregnant or with children, who have experienced or are at risk of sexual exploitation and/or sex trafficking, all of which have been affected by related issues including addiction, trauma, and homelessness. In addition to two stages of housing which allows women to stabilize and begin the process of healing we also deliver crucial services including: a recovery-oriented, comprehensive Life-skills Program, therapy, a Women’s Health & Wellness Program, employment skills development including paid work experience, an onsite Childcare and Child/Family Development Program, and a long-term Community Follow-Care Service. What Makes SAS Great? SAS is a community of people dedicated to helping women rebuild their lives by providing an opportunity for these young women to adopt a healthy lifestyle and integrate back into society. Humble Beginnings It all began with a woman, a vision, and a rose. With over 27 years of serving on of Calgary’s most vulnerable populations, SAS was born when in 1989 our Founder began by giving out single roses to women on the street with her contact information and an encouragement to have them to reach out if they needed help. Soon she was sharing her home with young women who wished to leave the sex trade. Together, they created the ‘Corner Club’; a group of women who taught each other through cooking, making crafts, by writing and publishing their stories in ‘Cry of the Streets’. This seemingly small initiative is what lead to the development of Servants Anonymous Society of Calgary (SAS) and its innovative and foundational EXploitation Intervention and Transition (EXIT) Program which provides services to support women seeking to exit a life of sexual exploitation and trafficking. Disruptive Behavior In 1989, very few organizations were available which acknowledged, let alone addressed the needs of, sexually exploited and trafficked women. There was a crippling social stigma associated with women confronted with the trauma of sex-related crimes. These young women faced challenges in finding employment and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Today, the elements of our Career Network and Work Experience in Fireworks Co-operative increases each woman’s confidence and our combined efforts make a...

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YYC CYCLE CHARITY RIDE!

Thanks to the generosity of YYC Cycle, we have an opportunity to provide supporters of SAS a fun spin class, while giving directly to our programs. YYC Cycle offers a unique workout experience that will leave your mind and body feeling energized and rejuvenated. The class will take place Saturday, February 11th, and the class drop-in fee is $20. For those of you who are already fans of spin, we hope to see you there! However, if you haven’t attended a spin class before, not to worry! Click here to learn everything you need to know before attending your first class. Directions to sign up for the charity ride are: 1. Go to www.yyc-cycle.com, click Sign Up Today! 2. Click on the schedule drop down and choose Avenida. 3. Go to February 11th, 2017 @ 3:00pm. Click SIGN UP! This will prompt you to purchase a charity ride pass and save your seat in the class. See you soon! Servants...

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Myths and Realities of Domestic Violence: Sexual Exploitation and Trafficking

Originally posted on CDVC.ca  By: Courtney Sharma, Communications Coordinator According to the Polaris Project, sex trafficking is defined as “a form of modern slavery that exists […] globally. Sex traffickers use violence, threats, lies, debt bondage, and other forms of coercion to compel adults and children to engage in commercial sex acts against their will.” The lack of understanding that domestic violence is imbedded in the complexity of sex trafficking can hinder a survivor’s efforts to find help. Not only is domestic violence rampant among sex trafficking situations, the tactics of sex traffickers to control their victims are eerily similar to those applied to victims of domestic violence.  Traffickers retain victims in exploitative situations by ways of social isolation, forcible confinement, withholding identification documents, imposing strict rules, limitation of movement, as well as threats and violence to victims and their families. According to a participant of Servant’s Anonymous Society (SAS), a collaborative member of the Calgary Domestic Violence Collective’, “In one instance, my pimp wanted to rent a new apartment, and wanted me to buy us a very expensive couch to go with it. I did what I had to do to make ends meet. I eventually started recruiting women when my pimp would ask. However, after a month’s rent and a damage deposit, there was not enough money left for our new couch. This upset him to the point where he beat me up so badly, I didn’t recognize myself in the mirror.” Nonphysical tactics used by sex traffickers can be just as harmful. Many believe sex trafficking is synonymous with prostitution, implying the willful choice of a woman to sell sex. However, the reality is many victims are groomed, manipulated, and coerced to enter the sex trade by promises of love and understanding.  Another SAS participant recalled, “My first pimp trafficked me from the east coast to western Canada. Many times I wanted to leave, but I was brainwashed into believing I had nowhere to go.” It can be extremely dangerous for a victim in attempting to leave. Another past SAS Participant knows this firsthand: “I saw the opportunity to run away from my pimp and left, only to be kidnapped by him. I was then locked in a hotel room, unable to...

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11th Annual Holiday Fair – SAS Scholarship Fundraiser

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