MKE Moms Blog and Exploit No More are partnering again this fall to bring you more education and parenting resources as it relates to the city of Milwaukee and human trafficking. This fall’s t-shirt campaign launched in September to raise awareness and represent our support for our community and our kids. You can support the efforts of Exploit No More through October 31st by grabbing your own #EnditMKE shirt!
As we have discussed, the industry of human trafficking is thriving in Milwaukee; a hard reality that we, as a culture, must be transparent about.
- Human trafficking is the trade of humans for the purpose of forced labor, sexual exploitation, and/or slavery
- Human trafficking is the modern-day form of slavery
- Researchers estimate that some 21 million people are enslaved worldwide
- 79% of human trafficking cases in Wisconsin occur in Milwaukee
- 92% of Milwaukee’s known cases involve minors under the age of eighteen
As difficult as the reality is, educational speaking, specifically with youth is one of my favorite parts of my job. Why? Because young people bring hope to the table. They are itching to be part of social justice change. Their intentions to make the world better are well placed. Because of that drive, Exploit No More goes into schools and youth groups to encourage students about how to help and that’s why I’m writing this today; because you are on the front lines as a parent.
Equipping Your Student to be a Champion for Freedom
Mom, welcome to a brief starting guide on how to equip your student to be a champion for freedom. You have the amazing job of advocating for your young person and raising them up to make the world a beautiful place.
I was at a conference a few months ago and the police officer who was presenting said, we have to be better than the trafficker. We have to offer a better option to victims that come into our precinct. Although my work isn’t within the law enforcement setting, I took what she said to heart because it applies to our awareness programming. Traffickers look to build confidence in all the wrong ways; being vigilant as parents by equipping our youth with “a better option” through support and love, we are reducing one of the major vulnerabilities.
Equip with Dreams and Future Plans
- Be intentional about how your student responds to pressure and supportive in their academics and activities in a positive way.
- We are created to be goal-oriented people, so encourage that in your student! Set long term and short term goals together.
- Discuss dream jobs as well as college plans. Focus on completing homework but also the sport they love to do.
- Encourage your student’s strengths and support the areas that they aren’t as strong in.
Equip through Value and Worth
- Build confidence in your youth by being confident in yourself.
- Have regular one-on-one check-ins with your student about all areas of their life. Where are they struggling? What is making them happy? Listen to their needs and plan how you can work together to accomplish goals and address concerns.
- High schools are all about independence; allow for mistakes and growth. Be open and ready to listen when a mistake is made.
Equip by Encouraging Healthy Friendships
- Set boundaries for friends coming in and out of your home; create a safe space for friendships to exist in.
- Set the example through your own friendships and relationships.
- Talk about healthy sexuality, no matter how uncomfortable you may feel.
Where To Start
Start small. From the list above, pick a couple and begin implementing those into your life in simple ways at first.
Use the #enditmke shirt to start conversations with your student, their schools, and peers.
Learn. Don’t be afraid to check out the previous resources we’ve listed above to learn more about what human trafficking is and isn’t and what parents can do to be part of the solution.
Connect with Exploit No More
For more human trafficking resources and education and becoming a Freedom Fighter, find us across the socials (@exploitnomore on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) and our website (exploitnomore.org). Contact us via email ([email protected]) with any specific questions/comments or want to chat further about volunteer opportunities.