While sex trafficking has long been a plague upon society, the increase in the victimization of children through sexual abuse and trafficking has skyrocketed in recent years. The traumatic effects are impacting individuals, families, businesses,...
While sex trafficking has long been a plague upon society, the increase in the victimization of children through sexual abuse and trafficking has skyrocketed in recent years. The traumatic effects are impacting individuals, families, businesses, communities, and our county. We must not ignore this and hope it will go away. It will not. We must be aware of how to stop it, how to protect young people, and how to bring hope and healing to all parties involved. Eric Colton, Founder and Chairman of UNTRAFFICKED®, an organization committed to ending domestic child sex trafficking, joined Linda to discuss this sensitive and important topic. Child sex trafficking IS happening in schools, workplaces, and in nearly every community across America. Traffickers often hide in plain sight. Learn how to detect them and protect your own children and other vulnerable young people from the horrors of abuse. Be part of the solution. Listen today.
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Linda J. Hansen: Welcome. Thank you for tuning in to this episode of the Prosperity 101 Breakroom Economics Podcast. My name is Linda J. Hansen. Your host and the author ofProsperity 101 - Job Security Through Business Prosperity: The Essential Guide to Understanding How Policy Affects Your Paycheck, and the creator of the Breakroom Economics online course. The book, the course, and the entire podcast library can be found on Prosperity101.com. I seek to connect boardroom to breakroom and policy to paycheck by empowering and encouraging employers to educate employees about the public policy issues that affect their jobs.
My goal is to help people understand the foundations of prosperity, the policies of prosperity, and how to protect their prosperity by becoming informed, involved, and impactful. I believe this will lead to greater employee loyalty, engagement, and retention and to an increased awareness of the blessings and responsibilities of living in a free society. Listen each week to hear from exciting guests and be sure to visit Prosperity101.com.
Thank you so much for tuning in today. You may or may not be aware of the increase in child sex trafficking in recent years. While sex trafficking has long been a plague upon society, the increase in the victimization of children through sexual abuse and sex trafficking has skyrocketed in recent years, and the traumatic effects are impacting individuals, families, businesses, communities, and our country. We must not ignore this and hope it will go away. It will not and we must be aware of how to stop it and how to protect young people from such abuse.
With me today to discuss this sensitive and important topic is Eric Colton. Eric Colton is the Founder and Chairman of the Board of UNTRAFFICKED, an organization committed to ending domestic child sex trafficking. In 2019, Eric discovered that the United States had become number one in child sex trafficking and that most Americans were not aware of this issue. He also learned that many existing anti-trafficking organizations are small local organizations, mostly operated by survivors of abuse and sex trafficking that lack the resources necessary to provide adequate care and make a lasting impact.
In response, he recruited a highly capable team to take on this issue and formed UNTRAFFICKED, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization with goals to inform, equip, and mobilize Americans to protect their children, stop child sex trafficking, provide direct critical response services, and support existing organizations that rescue, restore, and equip child survivors of this horrific crime.
His background prepared him for this role in that he has proven skills and building strong management teams, and guiding business vision and strategy to execution. He has a successful record of organizational architecture, branding, marketing, key team-building, strategy, project launches, and long-term execution in multiple industries, domestically and internationally. Eric has served as an executive for companies that operated in mergers and acquisitions, aerospace and defense, security, cybersecurity, threat intelligence, tactical gear, energy, water remediation, consulting, government contracting, footwear and apparel, and retail.
Eric was also an All American swimmer, Far Western League champion in alpine skiing, and he serves in his local church. His experiences, faith, and tenacity have helped him to build an incredible team of people who are all working diligently to end the horror of child sex trafficking in America. Thank you for your efforts, Eric. Welcome to the podcast.
Eric Colton: Thank you. It’s a pleasure to be here today.
Linda J. Hansen: Well, it’s just an honor to have you here and for our listeners, they might wonder how we met. We recently met at the Faith and Freedom Coalition conference in Nashville, Tennessee, and I was so impressed with your drive, your calling. I feel that you are called by God and see that you are called by God for this ministry, but also your tenacity and the resources that you have to help people. This organization really impressed me. I know the problem of child sex trafficking has just increased in America so much and we need to do more all the time to help these victims.
And I just wanted to share your story with the listeners and be able to help them know how they can be part of the solution and not part of the problem. So, you clearly had a full and successful career. We listed a lot of accomplishments that you’ve had and you’ve had many successes. But there was something that awakened you to the horrific realities of the child sex trafficking industry. Can you share what awakened you and how you became motivated to start your organization on traffic?
Eric Colton: I sure can. Thank you so much, Linda. You know, a friend of mine, who had been involved in bringing awareness and bringing light to child sex trafficking and sex trafficking in[inaudible], he just said that I was being called. And he learned that I was, you know, running a company at the time, doing critical problem-solving and the intelligence in military sector and government sector. And, you know, I told him, I was going to pray and I believe that I got confirmation in my prayer, and then started to put together blueprints. And I brought them back to him and I said, “Is this what’s wrong, you know, within the anti-child sex trafficking sector?” And he said, “Yes, this is exactly what’s wrong.”
There was further confirmation and so, then, we started to build out an organization that ended up becoming UNTRAFFICKED and it’s really been an honor. It’s been difficult, for sure. I get very burdened and my family gets burdened by it, and my teams get burdened by it. However, we continue to give our burdens to the Lord in prayer and He continues to give us peace every single day. And so, we’re renewed and refreshed, so we can go ahead and enter into the fight one day at a time, one moment at a time so that we can make an impact.
Linda J. Hansen: That’s beautiful and it is such a heavy topic. No wonder you get burdened. But the Lord does refresh and you know, I’m sure that with your faith and with the guidance of the Lord, you’re able to make an incredible impact. You shared some things that, you know, really awakened you to this. Was there a specific moment where you started to understand the enormity of the problem?
Eric Colton: Yeah. Once we started to do the research and realized that there was over 800,000 kids that were going missing every year, and those are just – that’s just on record. There’s a lot of the kids that go missing that are not on record or that or not reported. And then there’s over 500,000 predators online, at any given time, that are targeting children these days. It’s a multi, multi, multi-billion dollar industry, I believe, $135 billion industry worldwide. And, you know, kids have become a product or a commodity to be sold. And so, they get snatched up. They get groomed. They often get drugged or, you know, had been given alcohol and then they’re sold. And sometimes can make anywhere between $150,000 to $250,000 per child tax-free in America by being sold for sex.
And so, you know, as a man of faith and I think I’m a pretty good guy and a leader, I had to do something. I had to. You know, there’s a story of the Good Samaritan in the Bible where, you know, there’s folks that chose not to do something, but the Good Samaritan did. And so, in this type of a scenario, I and our team, we would consider ourselves like the Good Samaritan, ones that take our faith, put it into action, take our resources, put it into action, take our backgrounds, put them in action, so that we can help untraffic America, so that we can help equip Americans to know how they can untraffic America, one home at a time, one neighborhood at a time, one community at a time, one city at a time, state at a time, and so, forth.
And this is our goal and we’re exhausting our resources. We’re mobilizing teams, people, using platforms on the internet, and our website, using other platforms that are there as well, and technology, deep Intel resources in order to be able to accomplish our goals. And we’ve been very successful so far. We’ve been around – the whole concept started about three years ago and then UNTRAFFICKED was registered just about two years ago.
Linda J. Hansen: Well, the growth is incredible, but it also shows the need for organizations like this. I have featured on the podcast some other conversations regarding this issue. I interviewed Chaplain Krista Hull and she runs Redeem and Restore Center in the Milwaukee area and it’s for victims of sex trafficking, and she just has a beautiful ministry. I’ve also had several interviews with people regarding our border and the trafficking at the border, not only the child sex trafficking but the trafficking of adults, and the trafficking that has occurred, especially as it’s risen within this administration, and what has happened at the border is just horrendous.
And you mentioned the Good Samaritan, we can’t really, like, turn our back on this, right? So – and I think of the quote, too, from Edmund Burke, who said, “The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.” And I know, while my role to try to help this issue and help victims is different than yours, I think that we can all do things that can help protect vulnerable, young people and even adults that might be caught in sex trafficking, but we can all do something. And one of the things that I loved about your organization is you have a way to engage people by your Guardian Program. Can you tell people what your Guardian Program is?
Eric Colton: Sure. First thing I want to say is that the caveat is that it has not been launched yet, and so, we’re just a couple of weeks away from launching it. And so, we spent a tremendous amount of time and energy, and resources to be able to put together a program that will effectively equip families to untraffic their homes and their neighborhoods, and communities in a very creative way where we’re not just focused on the problem. We do not want to scare people into reaction.
We want to be able to give them hope, so they know that upon this equipping, they can make a difference, a lasting impact and literally build a movement that gets adopted into their communities, into their households so that it literally becomes a part of life on how to be able to – you know, it helps facilitate healthy conversations between parents and children, which are very difficult to have right now because there’s so many distractions. And we wanted to be able to equip families to do this, give them the reality of what children are being exposed to every day, in a number of different circumstances and scenarios, and give them the ability to have victory.
And so, the Guardian Program teaches the Guardians on what sex trafficking and grooming is in the United States, how to identify signs and changes of behavior in their children due to this grooming, and then learn how to address their children with love, with care and respect, and then learn how to monitor their children online and social media activity, their phone calling, text, chat activity, their interactions with their friends at school and after school, with their sports and their teammates, with their coaches. A lot of this trafficking is done by people that they know. Sometimes it’s an uncle, sometimes it’s an aunt, sometimes it’s a coach, sometimes it’s a neighbor. Often these people are hyper-sexualized, either by being abused themselves or they’re addicted to porn, or the traffickers are just out there to make money. Just like they’d sell drugs, they sell children.
And so, we teach them how to initiate these healthy talks with their children, about schools, parties, friends, and strangers as well. What happens if a stranger comes into your neighborhood? How do you respond? And so, we want to give them a preparedness that’s there, so that they would have a fighting chance on being able to escape this very, very quickly growing epidemic.
And then, you know, the last part is in being proactive is how to teach the Guardians how to impart good boundaries on their children, so they can learn how to stop the grooming by these traffickers and predators. Once those good boundaries are there. You know, they’re really hard to stop and in a child, once they have these good boundaries that are put in place, and they have this psychological state and emotional state that has been prepared, then they can see the traffickers and the groomers coming from a mile away, and they know how to be able to turn away from them.
And so, UNTRAFFICKED is built on four pillars. One of them is awareness, where we’re just getting the word out there on what sex trafficking is because most parents and grandparents, aunts and uncles, most adults, they just don’t know. And then the second part is the prevention and this is the Guardian Program that we’re launching. The third part is intervention, where we have a very capable team, where we have already rescued and recovered many, many, many children from actual trafficking situations. And then, the fourth part is restoration, where we don’t have a safe house or a care facility under our direct operational structure, but what we do is – over the last three years is that we’ve learned from over 100 different care facilities that are out there in organizations.
And we wanted to be able to bring to them and serve the restoration part of this of the anti-trafficking segment, and be able to level-set and put together a gold standard, that would level set that continuum of care from coast to coast, from north to south, east to west, so that if any child is trafficked, then they’re recovered, whether it’s by us or anybody else, they can be sent to one of these care facilities and get a consistent level of care that is compassionate, complete, done with excellence across the board. And so, we’re actually assembling a manual to be able to bring back out to those care facilities, so that that continuum of care is going to be in place.
And so, again, the – and, you know, going back to the Guardian Program as part of the prevention side. And the prevention side is something that really has not been addressed, is how do you prevent children – anybody can say, “Hey, you need to talk to your kids,” but how? What tone of voice should I use? You know, is this going to be an emotional operation? Is this going to be a psychological operation? What is this? Is this going to be, you know, critical awareness training? And the answer is yes to all of these things.
And so, we’ve put them together in a handbook that will be available at no cost online at Untrafficked.org. You just simply click the button, say, Become a Guardian. It’s free. There’s an online e-book that they can read and it will actually be recited to you and narrated to you so that for those that don’t know how to read or those that are not good readers – I struggled with a reading disability when I was younger myself – can have this read to them. And they can go back every day if they want to and they can get retrained. And then, there’s little tests they can print out and they can go through a checklist to make sure that they’re interacting with their children appropriately and making sure that the way that they interact and the way that they train their children is complete.
Linda J. Hansen: That’s wonderful and that prevention piece is so important too. And I love the way that you approach this in that it takes it from a variety of different angles. Because you know, people have different personalities and different ways of communicating, and being able to show how it can be addressed with, you know, within different family structures, you know. It’s great.
The Guardian Program – so, you said it’s not quite ready yet – so, listeners, you can still go and sign up. You can sign up on the website, Untrafficked.org to become a guardian. You’ll get information. You’ll see things there. But then as this Guardian Program where the resources are completed and things, you will be among the first to have this. And so, you can truly be a guardian for your children and other children that you know to help prevent this. On the website, too, there’s so much great information to help people understand the enormity of this issue but also, like you mentioned, you do bring hope.
I mean, this can be a very heavy topic and a lot of times it’s not discussed because it’s just too heavy. Like, you know, it just – people can’t comprehend it and they don’t even know what to say. You break these things down so well on your website and I invite listeners to go again. It’s Untrafficked.org. You have a section on grooming. You have a section on abduction, critical response, investigations, critical intervention, recovery, survivor counseling, and family counseling. I think that last piece is really, really important in the recovery process because it never just affects the victim.
There are many victims when a child is trafficked or abused, the ripple effects throughout the family are very harmful and can impact generations to come. So, it’s really great that you bring this down so many steps where the survivor gets counseling, but the family gets counseling, too, because it is a horrific problem that, you know, people like to shove under the rug and they hope it’ll go away but it won’t go away. So, these are wonderful resources. Can you tell us a little more about these topics on the website? So, even though the Guardian Program is not quite rolled out yet, people can begin to learn by going here and reading and getting more information.
Eric Colton: Yeah, they sure can. And one of the things that you had mentioned was family counseling. And so, this is one of the key elements of aftercare. It is so important because a lot of the times – for instance, we had a 15-year-old girl, she was adopted when she was five. She got into an argument with her mother – her adoptive mother, when she was 15 and she had fallen in love with a 16-year-old boy through Instagram. And she just decided, “You know what, Mom? I don’t want you anymore. You don’t understand me. I don’t understand you.”
And she thought she was leaving with a 16-year-old boy. The 16-year-old boy per se said that his aunt is going to come pick her up and it was a 42-year-old woman who was a known trafficker, who had been grooming her, acting like she was a 16-year-old boy. They never had a phone conversation together and when she was gone, we received the phone call. And through our technology and our intelligence platform, we were able to track her and partner with local law enforcement, both at the place of abduction and over 300 miles away at the place of where the child landed and at the home of the perpetrator.
The perpetrator was arrested. We rescued the young lady and then the work had to start. And so, we brought her to a local care facility. And in this case, it was Refuge City of Dallas and it’s a wonderful organization. It’s one of our many affiliates that we have and they do have care. They provide education for the residents who live there as well. But they have a very, very well-built platform for family counseling. And so, they can invite families in to try to figure out where the breakdown of communication happen, where the breakdown of trust happened, where their daughter would choose to leave with somebody whom she’s never really met before over wanting to stay with her own mom and trying to figure that out so that when the results of that counseling are discovered, then that family has a better chance of preventing this from ever happening again.
And there’s professionals that are involved all over the United States. And this is what we call in anti-trafficking measures – we call it aftercare. And so, it’s fairly important that this is there. And it recreates an intimacy between the children that have been trafficked and the parents. It reestablishes trust and it literally gives them a roadmap, where both of them have homework to do, but when they do that homework, it creates a tighter bond than they’ve ever had before.
And so, although there are things that are meant for evil, and really meant to hurt, again, we focus on the hope and the victory that that family unit can be stronger than ever. And so, we really want to push for that, you know, and I really – when we look at this and I often compare it to, you know, looking at the problem of sex trafficking, I compare it to like a really bad advertisement for texting while driving. If I see a car that goes under a semi-truck and it’s obvious that that car’s roof has been taken off and the people have been decapitated, the first thing I want to do is shutter away and not look at that advertisement, because it puts me into shock. I don’t want to just know what the problem is in trafficking because it puts people into shock. It’s too hard to listen to.
And so, you know, through this very sophisticated organization and operations that we have, we want to be able to say, “Yeah, there is a problem, but there’s hope and there will be victory.” And we take every single family through this process so that they know that they can land on victory. They know that they can land on bringing a child to becoming whole again. You know, it’s so sad when somebody gets violated. It’s so sad and in every single day, we’re learning more and more and more. We humbly want to learn because we humbly want to be able to respond and aggressively with strength respond to this issue, but always landing on hope and victory.
Linda J. Hansen: Absolutely. That’s wonderful and I know well UNTRAFFICKED is not necessarily a Christian organization. You are a Christian believer and some of the people that work with you are, and I know that you pray for these people. You have seen God work in amazing ways and feel free to share a story or two, where you have seen, you know, real healings and, you know, miracles happen because you prayed and God intervened.
Eric Colton: Sure. First, how we got the name UNTRAFFICKED was a miracle in itself. And so, there’s a book publishing company in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Bob Whitaker is the CEO of that company. And I was meeting with him in his boardroom and he had to take – he had to respond to an e-mail. And so, I just looked around at his books and I saw a book called Untrafficked. And this – I was talking to him about – it was a regular business meeting. It had nothing to do with my passion for stopping child sex trafficking and he didn’t know that I was involved in that. And so, when he put his phone down, I said, “When did you write the book on, you know, sex trafficking?” And he says, “We’ve never written a book on sex trafficking,” and I pointed and it disappeared.
And so, I grabbed my phone and I said, “Bob, I think that God might be doing something. You know, you’re a CEO of a Christian book publishing company. I assume you’re a man of God.” And I said, “Please don’t think this is weird but I needed to look at something,” and I grabbed my phone and I went to Godaddy.com to see if Untrafficked.com or.org was available, completely believing that it would have been taken, you know, by a bot because it’s such a great name, and they were all available. I bought the entire suite, .com, .org, .net, dot all of them for $74. And, to me, that was a miracle.
And I heard a voice say, “I saved this for you.” And I got chills up and down my body and I knew that there was an opportunity to do what God had wanted me to do. And so, it’s – this was not about building a business. This was not about making money. This was about serving the least of these. This is about serving those who need the most amount of help. This is truly about being that good Samaritan and being able to go in, and to be able to A) you know, protect those that are vulnerable and then B) to be able to rescue and restore those that have been abducted.
And so, you know, the second real miracle is the people that are involved in this. You know, the Lieutenant General John Campbell, he was Associate Director of the CIA, very capable Scott Lawler was the Director of the Defense Information Systems Agency. You know, Director Alpers, he was the head of Psychological Operations at Special Operations Command for the United States, on and on, and on. The former head of the FAA for tracking all the flights that had to do with trafficking is on our Advisory Board. Counselors are on – you know, Dr. Shannon Crawford is with us and she has studied the mind of the pedophile. She helps those who want help and don’t want to get involved in hurting others, and a lot of these people have been trafficked before.
And so, the way that all of these people have been sowed into the fabric of this organization, I would also consider it to be a miracle. And, you know, you stated we’re – you know, we’re people of faith but this is not a Christian organization. We are people of faith and this is an organization that is led by faith, but we want to be able to reach out to everybody. You know, if you believe in God, you don’t believe that he’s only going to help Christians.
Linda J. Hansen: Exactly.
Eric Colton: He so loved the world. He so loved the world. It doesn’t say he so loved Christians or he so loved a certain denomination. He so loved the world. He loves all of His children and we’re just simply his hands and his feet. We’re a beacon of hope or a beacon of love, but we’re also, you know, a beacon of excellence in what we do and we have to work in faith. We have to give them our burdens so that we can operate both in peace and in love in order to be able to build this accordingly.
Linda J. Hansen: That’s beautiful. I mean, it’s just –
Eric Colton: Well, let me say one thing, our arms are open to everybody. Yeah.
Linda J. Hansen: Yeah, your arms are open to everyone. That’s a beautiful statement that really expresses what you’re trying to do. And, you know, as believers, we do – we want to serve everyone. I mean, Christ came to serve, not to be served, and we are here to help others and UNTRAFFICKED is – started to serve others and you’re doing – it’s just such an amazing organization and I see the hand of God on it.
And it’s a beautiful organization that I invite listeners to pray for. Please pray for Eric and his leadership team, and all people involved with UNTRAFFICKED. But also please go to Untrafficked.org where you can learn about these things that we talked about. There’s, you know, these several points, you can learn to understand what grooming looks like. You can learn all these different points through the process of what happens when a young person is trafficked, and then how to bring that to a point of healing and restoration for the individual and the families.
You can sign up to become a Guardian there. They’ll be unrolling their Guardian Program soon. You can go there to become a Guardian and that is not – I want to make sure people know that it’s not something that costs them any money. They don’t have to, you know, commit to so many hours a week or anything like that. It’s more of an educational opportunity where they can go and they can learn how to protect their own children and others from becoming victims of sex trafficking. So, this is a wonderful opportunity and you have amazing –
Eric Colton: That’s right. And they can do that from the comfort of their own home. They can do that, you know, according to their schedule. You know, we did not want to have any rigidity here whatsoever. You know, there will be opportunities to buy hardcover books if they want, but the online e-book version is going to be available to them, 24/7, 365, at all times. And again, it’ll be recited to them as well. So, if they don’t want to have to read it, they don’t have to.
Linda J. Hansen: Right. So, you can listen to this great book when you’re out driving or jogging, or biking, or whatever you do. You can listen to it and become educated on how to become a Guardian of your own children and children in your community so we can end this horrific abuse of young people. It affects not only the individual and their families but future generations because it affects relationships, it affects behaviors, it affects views of their own sexuality, sometimes their spirituality if they don’t understand how God wants to help them through this, or they just don’t understand things.
They can really get stuck and the trauma of this abuse can really become a stuck point in their life. And they – it’s just as hard to heal. So, you really opened the path to that healing and for people who may be involved in helping with rescue and restoration of children, they should also go to Untrafficked.org and they can, you know, work hand in hand with you. So, whether –maybe someone’s listening and you have a home or a center, or a ministry seeking to help victims, please reach out to UNTRAFFICKED if you’re not already connected so you can work hand in hand to help individuals be restored.
So, I just have one other question for you, Eric. And that is, you know, with Prosperity 101, I do try to, you know, not only educate everyone on how all these dots connect to life, but also in the workplace. This affects people’s employment. It affects people’s work performance, their emotional health, everything. But what would you tell employers about how to talk about this issue to their employees and vice-versa? If there’s employees who are aware, what would you recommend they do to go to their employer to help raise awareness?
Eric Colton: That’s a great question. Number one, if anybody wants to reach us, if there’s an emergency, they can go to firstname.lastname@example.org. If there’s an emergency or if they want to learn more, or if they want to volunteer, they can contact us through email@example.com, number one. Two, for employers, we are working with a couple of very large national organizations that employ – that are connected to you and have oversight over tens of thousands of businesses, and it’s really been an honor to be able to work with them. And so, we both train their staff and then we also train patrons of their organizations and – in order to be able to do this.
And the best way to do that is one, you know, for smaller organizations, tell your staff to go online, to sign up, to become a Guardian, to take the pledge, and they can go ahead and learn on their own time. And they can be educated on how to be able to untraffic America, through their home and through their neighborhood and community. And so, that’s the easiest way to be able to do it.
You know, if there is a – you know, a larger organization where they would want us to come in and train them and take them through a seminar, we can do that as well. We’ve done that quite a few times already and we take them through the program, but we can actually customize it through their type of business, so if they touch any type of end-consumers or if they touch other businesses that are out there, they’ll know what to look for. You know, they’ll be able to see within their own organization if any of their employees are trafficking victims, which this often happens.
Some employees, they’re being trafficked right now. You know, they get home at 5:00 from work and there’s somebody who’s forcing them to meet them at 6:00 until 10:00 every single day at a hotel to be trafficked, and they’re threatened – gun to their head, “If you tell anybody, you’ll be killed or your parents will be killed,” whatever the case is. And so, we take them through the training in order to be able to respond to us in a way and for us to be able to do the intelligence work to ensure that we do – we intervene in a very protective and a very careful way in order to be able to A) removes the threat, bring in law enforcement to do that, and then B) to be able to ensure that that person is safe.
And so, there’s so many different scenarios that are out there where people are unfortunately being trafficked. Sometimes it’s by a neighbor who is addicted – severely addicted to porn and they want to live out the fantasies that they’re watching online. These things happen all the time. And sometimes it’s the children of your employees and you want them to be able to learn how to be able to protect their family.
And what this is going to do, this is going to take us from being, you know, a society that has no idea how to respond to this epidemic to a very well-informed, very caring society, and workforce that literally builds intimacy within the workforce, within employee structures, and within their families. And so, it literally takes something where it goes from being a void to actually something being fulfilled with love, with care, and with support. That’s absolutely required, so that these family members and these children are protected. And if they’re, again, involved in trafficking, to be rescued and restored.
Linda J. Hansen: That’s wonderful. So, business leaders and employees, anyone, I invite you to go to Untrafficked.org. One other point, obviously, we need law enforcement engaged in this fight. We need policies that will keep people accountable, you know, so as things go up through the courts, people get appropriate penalties for such actions and harming minors in such a way, or adults. You know, sex trafficking is harmful to adult as well.
So, I would really encourage everyone listening, please contact your elected officials and share your opinion, educate them, educate them on these issues. A lot of times elected officials at local, state, and national levels, they really have no idea. Unless they might have been on a task force or a committee that had this focus. Their lives are so full, they don’t always know, and they might not even know the extent of the problem. So, you can help to educate elected officials and that can help bring about better policy for not only this generation but future generations.
Eric Colton: Yeah, that’s right and that’s a great point. And we are in the beginning of conversations to discuss forming an alliance with a policy institute here in the United States to be able to build policies that are going to be supported by our Guardians. And if you could just imagine the more guardians that we have, it is one collective voice to be able to influence policy, to be able to influence how to stop what we all consider to be very aggressive grooming activities that are happening, whether it’s through the public school system, whether it’s forcing them to have, you know, a type of education, way too young of an age with regards to any type of sexuality whatsoever, and you become a Guardian. You become a voice that is part of a much, much bigger voice.
And we already have a significant amount of leverage in who we’re talking to with regards to our elected officials. And so, we do encourage you to reach out to your elected officials individually but again, by becoming a Guardian, we will have the voice of many and we will have the support of many, and then we will be able to find wherever there is an issue and be able to combat that issue, one issue at a time, one location at a time, one school district at a time, one city at a time, one community at a time, whatever the case may be. And in order to be able to A) support law enforcement because they’re doing a great job, but they’re just overwhelmed and under-resourced.
Linda J. Hansen: Right.
Eric Colton: Right. So, that’s number one. Two, how do we help better package the cases so that the judges are more informed. So, the judges can make a better decision based upon what we deliver, what we help law enforcement deliver, what we help the legal system deliver to them, so they can make a, you know, an accurate verdict. And then number three, we’re going to push for more maximum penalties as well. And that’s one of the policy – you know, positions that we have is that we want to make sure that those that are trafficking children, they don’t get out in months or a couple of years, that the penalties are severe.
Linda J. Hansen: Right.
Eric Colton: You know.
Linda J. Hansen: Before we close, I know we don’t really have time to go into this because our time is up but I just want to reach out to anyone who might be listening, that may be the perpetrator, they may be the customer, they may be tempted to traffic someone, they may be addicted to pornography, they may have desires that they don’t understand how to control, and I invite those people, male or female, young or old, to reach out to you at Untrafficked.org as well, and you can help them to get the resources they need to move forward in their life positively to get past this and not become so much a part of the problem, but become part of the solution.
There’s healing for all people on this spectrum and I know this particular episode has focused on the victims. But you don’t have victims unless you have someone who is the perpetrator, who is the oppressor. And so, we want anyone out there who is an oppressor or who is tempted to be one to take advantage of children or adults in sex trafficking or pornography or anything, we want you to know there’s hope and healing for you as well and we want you to reach out, and we can help you get the help that you need.
Sometimes it may be there is a law enforcement penalty that’s involved, but there’s always a brighter side on healing. So, we want you to know there’s help for you, too, if you’re struggling in that area and are addicted to pornography or anything. So, please reach out to Untrafficked.org and we can all make this a better place for our children and grandchildren to grow up and have healthier relationships and healthier communities. So, thank you, Eric. Do you have any last thing to say before we close?
Eric Colton: No. I’m just grateful for everybody that’s listening and you can partner with us to be able to make a difference. I want to give you the hope that – you know, that it does not take a lot of time, does not take a lot of energy, but it just takes a decision to be able to walk through the process and to learn. And once you learn, you know, you’re now equipped. And you’re – you see differently, you think differently, you feel differently. And you – especially parents, you are the protectors of your children. And, you know – and like Linda said, it was a wonderful gesture that you just made – if anybody is struggling or if anybody wants to turn away from their evil ways, contact us and we will have private conversations with you. And if you really, really want help, we can walk you through being able to get the help that you need.
And so, we want to untraffic America. It is our heart to do that, you know – and again, in many cases in my life, I was a problem. And some of the girls that I dated, guess what? I was not the good guy. You know, I was far from perfect and you know, in my younger years and I had been redeemed since then. But you know what? I had people that took me under their wing, and that helped me, that mentored me, and, you know, I became a pretty good guy and now, I’m a force for good and you can be as well. So, I just wanted to give everybody that encouraging word that you can be a force for good. Guys, it’s time to untraffic America. Join us. Be a part of this movement. We love you and we’re grateful for you. And we’re just – yeah, we thank you.
Linda J. Hansen: Well, thank you, Eric. Yes, it is time to untraffic America. So, listeners, please go to on Untrafficked.org and sign up. And if you have a need, please let them know. Go firstname.lastname@example.org, whether it’s an emergency need or you just want more information, or you’re just struggling with something, even if it doesn’t have relationship to trafficking. They have connections with ministries and organizations all over the world really that could help you.
So, we not only want to untraffic America, but we want America and the world to be free. You know, Christ came to give us freedom that we might be free indeed and we want people to have that freedom and that emotional wellness, spiritual wellness, and not just political freedom but individual freedom that allows them to flourish and thrive. So, thank you, Eric. It’s just a pleasure. I hope to have you back again. We’d love to hear more about the Guardian ministry as – or the Guardian Program as it grows and just thank you for your work. Thank you.
Eric Colton: Thank you. Thanks so much. Bye-bye.
Linda J. Hansen: Thank you again for listening to the Prosperity 101 Podcast. If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe, share, and leave a great review. Don’t forget to visit Prosperity101.com to access the entire podcast library, to order my newest book,Job Security Through Business Prosperity: The Essential Guide to Understanding How Policy Affects Your Paycheck, or to enroll you or your employees in the Breakroom Economics online course. You can also receive the free e-book,10 Tips for Helping Employees Understand How Public Policy Affects Paychecks.
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