Christy’s Cause — a nonprofit working to eradicate child sex trafficking and exploitation through education, public awareness, restoration projects and justice initiatives — is releasing a new six-episode series focusing on sex trafficking and exploitation. Christy’s Cause founder, Christy Ivie, will discuss various topics with her guests, who hail from such professions as law enforcement, judicial and counseling.
“During the COVID 19 pandemic, we felt producing a video series was a great educational opportunity to replace our annual Human Trafficking Symposium,” said Ms. Ivie. “With education at the heart of what we do, and an excellent team of expert speakers, our goal is to help viewers better understand the crimes of child sex trafficking and exploitation as well as the lives of those who have survived.”
The videos were created by Old Sparky Productions in partnership with Volt Creative Services, and will be available at www.christyscause.com, YouTube and social media networks. They are being released weekly, the first of which appeared on Oct. 12. The video series is sponsored by Wooden Eagle Custom Cabinets and More, and made in collaboration with the Florida State Attorney’s Office, 20th Judicial Circuit.
The videos are as follows:
“The Effects of Trauma”
Guest: Dr. Kanathy Haney, health sciences professor and chair of the human trafficking coalition at Palm Beach State College and guest lecturer at the University of Florida, and member of the Human Trafficking Coalition of the Palm Beaches and the Palm Beach County Human Trafficking Task Force.
Dr. Haney will be answering questions including why most child victims don’t self-identify, what are barriers to identification, and what trauma looks like in child victims who are in survival mode. Dr. Haney will help us better understand the effects these complex crimes have on victims.
“Changing Mindsets: A Trauma-Informed Approach”
Guests: Sgt. Wade Williams, Special Crimes Bureau Exploitation Section, Collier County Sheriff’s Office; Francine Donnorummo, Special Victims Unit chief, State Attorney’s Office 20th Judicial Circuit; Joann Medinilla, executive director, Into the Jordan, a Christ-centered counseling and wellness program for trafficked and exploited women.
Justice and healing require many agencies, organizations, resources and caring people working together in a trauma informed way. A survivor’s journey is not a sprint but rather a marathon that requires a lot of patience. The guests will help us better understand the value of a trauma-informed approach when working with sex trafficking survivors.
“iPhone and Android Security” (two videos)
Guest: Sgt. Wade Williams, Special Crimes Bureau Exploitation Section, Collier County Sheriff’s Office.
The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children experienced a 90% increase in CyberTipline reports between January and June 2020, versus the same period in 2019. We must secure our children’s electronic devices and establish boundaries for safer use. Most people don’t realize how many security options are available to protect children. We discuss how parents can secure their child’s phone.
“Missing Children: The Teen Runaway Epidemic”
Guests: Cpl. Alan Wilket, a 27-year veteran in law enforcement who oversaw the human trafficking task force for the Pasco County Sherriff’s Office for eight years, and who currently serves on Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody’s Statewide Human Trafficking Task Force; Lt. Jeremy Lindauer, who spent 32 years in law enforcement, with his last assignment being in the Special Operations Division Central Investigations/Major Crimes, and who is currently an instructor with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security National WMD/Counter Terrorism.
All law enforcement agencies reported 421,394 entries for missing children in the United States in 2019. Teen runaways represent 90% of missing children, and one in six teen runaways were likely victims of sex trafficking. Runaway and homeless youth are particularly at risk of trafficking. The guests help us better understand human trafficking, share insight regarding obstacles law enforcement face, and tell us how our communities can better utilize data and technology in fighting this epidemic.
“The Value of Data in the Fight Against Human Trafficking”
Guest: Francine Donnorummo, Special Victims Unit chief, State Attorney’s Office 20th Judicial Circuit.
The crime of human trafficking severely lacks data, which has had an impact on social understanding, funding, policy and legislation. Data is the basis of research, and research has the power to create social and political change. To quantify the vastness of the human trafficking epidemic, the State Attorney’s Office for Florida’s 20th Judicial Circuit launched the Human Trafficking Counts project. The initiative relies on non-identifying data from those who provide services to victims within the jurisdiction (which includes Charlotte, Collier, Glades, Hendry and Lee counties). Christy’s Cause advocates for the project, and the project is run by Ms. Donnorummo.
Christy’s Cause Inc., launched in Estero in 2015, is a 501(c)(3) organization working to eradicate child sex trafficking and exploitation through education, public awareness, restoration projects and justice initiatives. It collaborates with existing organizations that are providing services to victimized minors locally, nationally and globally. Christy’s Cause works to create awareness through speaking engagements, public service announcements, social media initiatives and community events, and networks with law enforcement, state agencies, educators, health professionals and service providers.