The previous three posts have been leading up to this post !
For anyone who lives in the Norman, Oklahoma area, or who will be in that area this Sunday, March 4, this is an event that will change your life.
It could also change the life of a young person.
It might just SAVE the life of a young person.
It will be held at The First Presbyterian Church (555 S. University Boulevard) in Norman from 3:00 to 4:30 p.m.
Mark Elam of O.A.T.H.
After learning about human trafficking in 2005, Mark Elam traveled to India, South Asia and the Philippines to work with organizations that rescue girls from sex trafficking. His international organization, Angel Eyes, helps support safe houses and prevention centers in Thailand, Cambodia and the Philippines with teams on the ground working to rescue and restore victims of sex trafficking.
While raising awareness and support for the global problem, Mr. Elam discovered that human trafficking and child sex trafficking is happening here in America as well. At that time, Oklahoma was recognized by the Dept. of Justice as a key state with this problem.
Mr. Elam visited several of the Dept. of Justice Task Force cities to learn from them what our federal government is doing to combat this problem here in America… and then implemented that plan here in Oklahoma July 2008, forming the Coalition O.A.T.H. – Oklahomans Against Trafficking Humans. In the first two years of operation O.A.T.H. has partnered with over 200 federal, state and local organizations to service victims of trafficking found here in Oklahoma. In February of 2009 O.A.T.H. was asked to become the state-wide coalition to bring awareness, education and training about the subject of human trafficking and to assist in networking law enforcement agencies, service providers, NGO’s, business leaders and the faith community in providing care for trafficking victims.
Additionally Mr. Elam schedules and moderates the Central Oklahoma Human Trafficking Task Force that meets monthly in Oklahoma City and the Tulsa Human Trafficking Task Force where they are currently working active cases within our Oklahoma boarders. Recently Mr. Elam was honored with the “2010 FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award” for his tireless efforts in exposing and combating human trafficking. Mr. Elam is available for awareness 101 presentations and conducts human trafficking training workshops around the state for law enforcement, DHS, OJA, shelters, health clinics, social workers, college campuses, schools as well as faith presentations for churches.
(Taken from Crime Stoppers Training Conference Las Vegas 2012)
Handcuffed to a doorknob for months by a man she originally thought was her boyfriend. Then handed over to a middle-aged woman who transferred her to traffickers in Las Vegas. Held there with other victims in an abandoned warehouse and forced to work as a teen prostitute. Taken back and forth across the country for the same purposes.
This is Chong Kim’s dramatic story from 1995 until the day she escaped in 1997. In the interview found below she provides chilling insight into how organized crime runs its sex trafficking operations in the US. Women and children are being enslaved to satisfy the twisted desires of clients and others (via pornography). It’s about a grotesque need for power and control, Kim says.
Chong Kim is now a conference speaker, writer, wife, and mother living in Texas. Listen to the podcast and read more of Kim’s story in chapter 8 of Not in My Town by Dillon Burroughs and Charles Powell. The book and companion DVD (included) comprise their look into the secret world of America’s modern slave trade. There is also a chapter on international human trafficking.
Norman North High School -
Helping Oklahomans Prevent Exploitation H.O.P.E.
This link will take you to H.O.P.E.'s Facebook Wall.
Here is the Norman Transcript newspaper article about this club.