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Grooming Red Flags

Lantern Rescue / Lantern Rescue
The Truth Network Radio
August 14, 2021 12:00 pm

Grooming Red Flags

Lantern Rescue / Lantern Rescue

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August 14, 2021 12:00 pm

Ren and two volunteers, Gabby and Whitney, give a breakdown of what happened at the recent Lantern Rescue charity event in Florida, share a few stories, and lay out some grooming red flags for families to be on the lookout for.


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Share it. But most of all, thank you for listening to the Truth Podcast Network. You know, the interception of that child was a rare case and we're super excited. Another one just in the past five days and they were going into under a complete trafficking situation and to know that those children this week were all returned.

Every single one of them was returned to their parents and gratefully so means that we're doing a not just a good job but we're disrupting criminal activity. Welcome to Lantern Rescue, a ministry program dedicated to bringing light into the darkness of human trafficking. It's time to light the way to freedom. This is Lantern Rescue. We tell the stories. We talk about rescues and we empower you to do something about it.

William Wilberforce once said, let it not be said I was silent when they needed me. This is Lantern Rescue. Well, welcome to Lantern Rescue and it just continues to amaze me what all God is doing and we talked recently about this event that was held down in Florida and so really cool. We have several of the volunteers of Lantern Rescue that are going to be on with us today but first off, Whitney, can you give our listeners a little bit of an idea of what went on down there in Florida?

Absolutely. I'd love to. So most of y'all know that we had an event that was sponsored by a couple of different groups. We had a lot of different tactical teams working on or companies working on putting a tournament, three-gun tournament together and so in doing this we worked closely with some of the community in the area that the event was held. We had some people reach out and visit down in Florida a week prior to the event to kind of reach out to small businesses and just get the word out about what was going on for lantern and a little bit about human trafficking and so in doing so we actually came across a grandmother that was going to have an experience that none of us expected to be able to take part in and minister through. So one of our helpers went down to speak with one of the local boutiques actually and this grandmother happened to be working there and told her a little bit about what lantern was and told her about the event and little did we know two or three days later her daughter came to her about her granddaughter having a conversation with a older man on through the internet and you know when when her daughter came to her about that it kind of it touched heart to what we were talking about and it came to human trafficking and it kind of jolted her a little. So we really had a neat opportunity to speak with her at lantern. She actually showed up at the event the grandmother did initially and came up to our lantern table and I had an opportunity to talk with her and pray with her and you know she was just very concerned because her granddaughter was I think 13 maybe 12 or 13 years old not very old and had met a gentleman online that had lied about his age and I'm sure we'll get deeper into that story or narrative in a little bit but she was very concerned and so she really just wanted to have somebody to talk to about it and talk to talk about the you know reality of human trafficking and the things that go on with that. So for her it was really a God thing that he had placed someone in her path three days before getting this conversation with her daughter and so that was a really neat opportunity to be a part of and a ministry opportunity for all of us as well. Yeah I mean that's like for such a time as this and so Ren tell us you know from your perspective you know when you got in on this. Sure so Whitney came and found me at the event and asked if I was able to speak with a family that had some concerns. So the the mom and there was a mother and father the I yeah I think she was about 12 or 13 and then they had a younger daughter as well it was probably an 87 or 88ish range and they're all standing there and the parents were very you could tell they were very supportive and very but also there's an air of like when you find out that your child is potentially talking to an older person online a lot of parents reaction is going to be kind of a not anger but I don't know how to put that like a punishment almost uh prudent way to approach their kids because they're they're just confused they don't know what to do they don't know how to handle the situation so they were trying to have this open door policy and they were doing their absolute best and they're doing a great job and they were doing a great job of bringing her and talking to her making her feel comfortable but at the same time you could tell that they were kind of you know a little a little mad that the situation had happened to begin with and I think a lot of that is probably also self-blame so we we had a conversation with her and the young girl was she was uncomfortable you could tell she was a little maybe a little ashamed and you know when you're at that age you think you know a lot more about you think your parents they don't know what's going on they don't know what it's like to be young anymore and you think all these things and then when you get caught and you realize that what you're doing is potentially very detrimental to your own life and to your safety it's it's hard to it's hard to accept that and there can be a lot of you know um embarrassment and confusion around that so the conversation went really well and it was really um incredible to see parents that wanted to be so open and honest and involved in their child's life like that and they immediately went and found resources that were able to help them and that was it was really incredible and whether it would have led to a trafficking situation or not or what it could have led to um isn't really the exact problem here but the best thing that came out of this was showing that her she was able to come talk to her parents whenever there was an issue and that her parents were supportive of her and she also knew she had better guidelines of what was and wasn't accessible online and what could cause issues for her moving forward so wow gabby uh another one of the volunteers there that we've we've had on the show a few times before you know this conversation led to sort of a springboard information that really you felt like a lot of families should know right oh yeah absolutely um early prevention is something that really needs to be talked about inside of homes and schools and churches um a lot of not just trafficking but abuse in general and confusion comes from online predidation and grooming um from family from people you can meet online from people in your life a lot of people that want to abuse children and then also on the other side traffickers usually position themselves to gain access to those individuals um and so the more that families and at-risk youth can learn the better they would be prepared in the future when they uh encounter it so you had a chance obviously to from this um through the stuff that you do through social media and whatever to share stuff with families what are some of the things that you share well we definitely share um especially for village of light how we have like an open transparency policy with our children and how we recommend that um sometimes questions you can get from your children are really really hard to answer and sometimes we get so busy in our lives we can overlook signs of something being wrong and just sum it up to it's a stage or something that's just emotional in them or they're supposed to act this way and a lot of times those are actually indicators that something could be wrong and when we pause and are able to dig into that and really ask and figure out what's happening in our kids lives the better we are at identifying those things that are happening yeah you know ren mentioned that as well this is one of the critical aspects is they were able to talk about this and the and everybody was accessible so whitney you know what are the what are some of the things that you think our listeners could glean from this well you know i think there's a couple of things i think you know the generation that is up and coming youth wise it's so different they face so many different challenges you know if i was growing up my mom was quick to be like okay don't be out of my arms reach and you know i think because we're from a look an older generation our concern is that somebody's gonna you know wipe our kid and that's gonna be how they enter into this abuse and human trafficking and that's just not the way of the world anymore to some extent i mean it does happen it does occur but there's this element of you know like abby said this online predator and we don't have to nobody has to come in and jerk our kid out from our hands because they can get to them through the internet when you hand them a phone at eight years old you know or 10 years old or 15 years old and they build this manipulative relationship so i agree with gabby there's so much of an open door policy you have to have with your children so that they do feel comfortable coming to about those questions and clearly this girl in florida i mean i'm sure there are things that her parents found that begged those questions but she was willing to discuss it and you know um my my other mission field if you will is i'm a high school teacher and so you know as teachers so if we have teachers listening you guys are on the front lines of some of these situations and so i would encourage you know our teachers and i mean even people i have family members that are in the airline industry you know you're on the front lines of seeing kind of what could be what could be problematic and how how things are um you know how things can kind of trickle down so as teachers you know i've dealt with situations where i'm prior to really knowing and having the knowledge base of what human trafficking was i would have thought they had just been you know sexually abused as a child but really you know there's a specific situation and a specific person that comes to mind because i just have built a very strong relationship with her that her mom would solicit her for drugs as a young child and so those are things like you just as a parent personally it's hard to understand how do you prepare for you know your child to to handle any kind of situation you know that one of course is a little bit different because there is a addiction involved you know but i think that we there's probably a lot more of that that goes on that we're even aware of to some extent but it's learning to look for those things and with your own children learning to open those doors and ask those hard questions another balance i think you have to kind of work around and i have young children so um how i kind of discuss those things with things with them are a little bit different i have a six-year-old son and you know we have a safe word right and so he knows that if that word is said it means there is an immediate threat and i need you to be close to me and pay attention to what i say right and so there's also we've talked about things like you know places that people don't need to see or touch right and so having those conversations not waiting for something to happen before you have those conversations and then there's that element of balancing out i don't want my child to be afraid of people i need them to know that balance between good and evil in this world but i need them to also have christ-like compassion for people you know and so finding that balance is very difficult in the world that we're in wow i would guess you crushed that we need a lot of really good points that i want to touch on in there um so that was fantastic that's such a good way to put it it is not the world that we grew up in when we were kids you know be home when the street lights turn on it's you know the predators are they they're going to grab us at the store whatever nowadays the predators are already in your home they're on the phones they're on the laptops they're on the ipads they're everywhere and it's such a great point to bring up is we're trying to evolve as a generation to understand the younger generation and try to protect them in a way that we don't really fully grasp yet so having those open conversations is really the best way to do it and having that relationship where they feel comfortable coming to you and talking to you about that is so vital so that's that's an incredible point you brought up there and i definitely think that when you do have concerns even if you're wrong you know you think there's something going on and and maybe you're wrong maybe it really is a 13 year old boy that also likes the same toy that they were talking about online or whatever the conversation was maybe that's right but then you know and you'd rather be wrong and it be you know an innocent situation then be wrong and it you know you're not you're not taking the steps you need you to protect your child and it does escalate into something more so i think i think you brought up a lot of really good points there yeah she really did and we got to go to a break and when we come back we're more information that families can use as well as ways that we can pray for teams that are out there looking for this kind of thing all the time so we'll be right back lantern rescue is a usa-based organization that conducts international rescue operations for people suffering from human trafficking lantern specializes in sending former u.s special operation law enforcement and intelligence personnel to partner with host nations and assist them in creating specialized units to combat ongoing security problems such as genocide terrorism and human trafficking as a non-profit charity they offer services free of charge to their host nations human trafficking is grown into the second largest criminal activity in the world reaching an estimated 150 billion dollars in annual activity lantern rescue is developed rapidly to combat trafficking lantern operates through a trained international network in order to rescue women and children from sex and labor slavery and facilitates holistic after-care services they're gearing up for operations right now and you can go to lantern rescue dot o-r-g to see how you can support them financially welcome back to lantern rescue today's show fresh off the event in florida where actually our team had a chance to meet with a family that was experiencing some grooming and these kind of things and after listening to that ren what are some of the other things that that people should be you know sensitive to that are on the front lines whether you're on an airplane or a teacher or or whatever field you're in definitely so there's some fields that you're going to be in out there in the world like you mentioned teaching um maybe even if you are the same person that works at the grocery store every week and you see the same kids come in every week someone that has consistent relationships and interactions with children and adults as well we know adults can be trafficked as well so what you're going to want to look out for is changes in behavior that are very out of the normal for them or in a lot of situations here in america when kids get trafficked and they're starting to be groomed by the loverboy effect the their new boyfriend will start giving them gifts stuff that isn't stuff that they could generally afford you'll start to see them isolating a lot more bringing in these expensive items that they can't explain how they got them stuff like that those are going to be warning signs a lot of um flinchiness i guess is the best way to put it you know reactive two touches very like stuff like that would be very concerning and just really what is the most beneficial though beyond all of that those things can kind of help you they're a red flag they're a conversation starter what's going to be the most important is is having that conversation and being a soft place for them to come talk to and always being approachable and understanding and not making people feel like they're the criminal you want them to understand that you are there to help them you are not looking at them as they've done anything wrong so those are there's a lot of red flags and you know the people in your life the best you know i would notice if one of my nephews he suddenly changed his behavior or even if it happened to him he changed his behavior or even if it happened gradually you know what happened why aren't we playing with toys anymore why are you all of a sudden you know trying to hurt things what's going on here and stuff like that you're going to notice in your in your life okay and gabby you're you're very active in this as well yes um a lot of times i try to explain grooming to people that don't um as something that you would see like that would just impact as she was saying changes in behavior um it can be anger it can be depression it could be even something that doesn't seem bad like them always wanting to go do something that's regular always talking on their phone to someone you don't know and don't recognize the number or name of um anything that they kind of don't want to talk about and or seem secretive about is definitely worth bringing up um having transparency and having them able to talk to you but you also be able to come and talk to them and like come to mutual understandings is important but also like allowing them to know the world um as parents we want to protect our children's innocence so much and as long as we can and i see it so often that parents because they want to protect their children's innocence won't bring up topics that those children that those children should hear and know um and then by the time they do bring it up it's too late um they've already seen or experienced um this kind of material or talk or abuse and then it just can become just sensitizing when it's from the world and from culture and from other people instead of when you're able to come and express and talk to them and talk to them about it honestly and let them know about the dangers of it and why it is important to talk about it as well yeah and and whitney i love what you said about balance yeah i mean we don't want to make everybody just totally paranoid so have you got some other ideas along along those lines um well you know and it really it's so it varies depending on what age you know you're talking to if you're a parent wise um because to my six-year-old like i said he and him particularly just has a heart for all people we prayed that he would have a heart for the least of these and he does but sometimes that can be i don't the world we're in i don't want that to be taken um you know taken advantage of him or advantage of exactly and so reminding him that you know people have the ability to be good but there's also not good people out there too so you have to figure out when your heart tells you this is not a good situation to be in or you have those feelings like would my mommy be mad at me or would my mommy be worried about me or you know anytime you have those feelings you need to think about that and come talk to mommy tell mommy tell daddy tell you know your grandparents talk to somebody when you if there's somebody around you that might seem like a nice person but maybe you just don't feel right because i'll tell you even at that age they have intuition you know and they know when something's a little bit off are they comfortable enough to come to you that is the key as a parent are you facilitating that relationship that allows them to say you know hey you know so-and-so uncle johnny is you know you know he said something that made me feel sad or feel whatever like let them have that opportunity to talk to you without you just being quick to dismiss them because we so often do that as parents or you overlook it and there is not a moment that you will regret not saying something or saying something versus not saying something if it ends up being a situation that could have been prevented you know so taking the time to have that conversation taking the time to address someone even if it feels really out of place or you feel you know you're concerned about what the the clashback is going to be on it you know being able to say hey you know uh you know so-and-so brought this to my attention you know what you might have been talking about or and not that they're going to give you an honest answer but you can learn to pick up on those signs and those those manipulative ways of people that are not they don't have the best intentions for your child um yeah and i and that's you know from a parent perspective that's where i would go that i i agree you're like completely yeah you're completely on track about intuition because ever like everyone can think back to a time in my childhood when you did something and your stomach your stomach dropped and you're like that wasn't right like i did something wrong like you know that feeling and to make sure that children know that it's okay to have that feeling and that you need to come and talk to your parents when you have that feeling is so vital another thing i wanted to bring out that kind of came on my mind when you were talking about this is a lot of times when kids are getting groomed here in america that we have the love voice act also another another way that kids can be abused and trafficked in a sense is through family and a lot of kids i mean when i grew up there was always you to a family event and you have to hug and kiss everyone in the room whether you want to or not so you get so desensitized to that that you feel like when people that you really don't want touching you you kind of have to accept it because that's what you had to do as a child like oh i'm supposed to respect them they're older their family i'm supposed to love them no matter how they touch me or or interact with me i'm supposed to accept that because i always had to do that i'm sure other people had similar experiences so i think it's important to allow children to again i'm not i'm not a parent however i do think it's important to allow children to choose when they want to have physical contact with other human beings and not not force them to be doing the kissing and hugging when you get to family events so they understand that they have sovereignty over their own body and they can make those decisions and when an adult or a trusted person says or tries to manipulate them into a physical sexual relationship they don't feel that obligation to do so yeah i agree completely i teach my kids consent and everything and it's not just respecting other people's consent but consent for themselves um our parents very much so of like they they they do have the freedom to express their wants and their feelings about things um i my parents were much so like you're talking back doing that and that's one thing that i kind of changed um in my parenting because i want them to be free to express that doesn't mean that they always get their wishes but i do want them to learn to speak for themselves and to advocate for themselves and and gabby i is is that get a chance very often to you know counsel with guys through our boot camps and other ministries that i'm in that have been abused or their daughters have been abused or you know when i'm getting into those almost every time it's a family member or a neighbor almost every time and so yeah if there's some place where we really want our kids to be sensitive is is when we're with you know uncle johnny and and all those kind of stuff you know again there's got to be balance so gabby you have some really helpful information when you know when it comes to giving our kids instruction along these lines yes i was loving what whitney said about how she mentioned not just um talking to her the kid's father um but other trusted adults i think it's really important for when you have those conversations um not to just have transparency and communication with you and your child but to mention to them other trusted adults that they could go to um if they were to get lost somewhere like in the mall or in the grocery store like who could they could go up to to get help who to look for to ask those questions um because when you don't prepare them for those kinds of things and then something does happen and they can't come to you right away or find you they need to have those other people that they can feel comfortable talking to knowing who to ask for help in a situation of grooming if they are scared they're going to be in trouble or that you're going to be angry disappointed hurt at them they need to know that they can talk to someone else who might not do that as well so i think that it's important to open that up to them so they can go to grandma or to a teacher or to a counselor or to someone at church and know that they can talk to those people and they will also get them help and it doesn't have to just be relying on you and if you got a last word for our listeners i just want to thank everyone for being so open about this conversation i know it's a very uncomfortable topic but it's it's vital it's really important and if you the worst thing to find out as a parent is that your child's been being abused for a long period of time and they didn't feel comfortable to come into you and talking to you about it so as uncomfortable these conversations are they're so important to have and it's better to like whitney said earlier it's better to have that conversation and and be and be wrong than to never have that conversation and then have regret later yeah that's absolutely wonderful once again whitney gabby and ren thank you so much what a wonderful episode thank you thank you this is the truth network
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-09-15 14:48:09 / 2023-09-15 14:58:26 / 10

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