This transcript is taken from a Stand in the Gap Today program originally aired on 5/18/22.  To listen to the program, please click HERE.

Sam Rohrer:                      Well, the results of yesterday’s primary elections held in multiple states, will be the subject of considerable discussion and analysis, in political circles for weeks to come. At least one race that was nationally watched, the US Senate race here in Pennsylvania, remains too close to call as of this moment and it may actually drag out for a couple of days, it’s potential. And on the program, we’ll likely give some post considerations in the days ahead, as we look back on what’s been happening in the primaries. But as we often state on this program, our hope is not in man or government or the political process. Our hope is in God above.

And since it’s God who raises up and God who puts down all in positions of authority, I encourage us all to be confident, watchful yes, and prayerful in all things, regardless of how we think the results turned out yesterday or will yet turn out.

So today on this program, I decided some weeks ago to invite in a guest to discuss what is in reality, one of the worst scourges on mankind, and that is slavery. That’s right. Slavery. Where one person owns and exploits another for personal gain.

And you might say, “Well, slavery? That’s no longer with us.” Well, unfortunately, sadly, that’s far from true. Modern day slavery takes many forms and exists in official ways in many countries, particularly Islamic countries, it’s a matter of fact. Yet it exists also here in America today, as I speak. My title and focus for today’s program is this: the scourge of human trafficking, modern day slavery at its worst.

And my two guests are involved in ministry established to help restore freedom and dignity to people caught up in the cesspool of human trafficking. Janelle Esbenshade and Megan Fulmer, of North Star Initiative located in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, will join Gary Dull and me, as we share the ugly reality of this modern day slavery, and the hope that women caught in this net can experience healing and freedom and still walk out their God given destiny.

And with that, let me welcome in right now. Janelle Esbenshade. Janelle, it’s so good to have you with us. I know that you’re currently serving as the interim executive director of a residential ministry located in Lancaster County here in Pennsylvania, called North Star Initiative. And from your website, Janelle, your mission is stated as this: North Star Initiative, supports women who are survivors of domestic sex trafficking by providing physical, psychological, emotional, and spiritual care through a Christ centered focus.

So let me start here with you, Janelle, if I can, would you define the problem of this modern day slavery? What is human trafficking and is it the same as sex trafficking?

Janelle Esbensh…:            Yes. Well, thank you, Sam. Human trafficking is a multi-billion dollar form of international organized crime, constituting as modern day slavery. In the United States, traffickers are targeting the most vulnerable people and grooming them for profit. It does happen in all 50 states. And what I want to share is that, Pennsylvania is ranked 12th, for the highest human trafficking cases.

When we break down what exactly human trafficking is, it can include aspects such as recruiting, harboring, transporting, providing, obtaining, patronizing or soliciting a person for labor or sexual services against the victim’s will. And there are different methods of how that’s done. Those methods are forced, fraud and coercion. The forced piece can include torture, rape, branding, confinement, it could be starvation as well as deprivation of sleep, shelter and clothing.

The fraud piece is, the deceptive offer of employment, education, a romantic relationship or even a promise of a better life.

And the coercion piece is the threat, it’s where the trafficker causes their victims to fear them, to fear that harm will come to their families or their livelihoods, isolating them and exploiting their weaknesses. There’s a lot of psychological manipulation that takes place as well, and then confiscating their identification. So that is the gist.

Then you asked about, that’s what human trafficking is. And we talk about why human trafficking exists, and we’ll talk about that more a little bit later, but on the essence, it’s all about the money.

What I want to share about sex trafficking is, as I mentioned, sex trafficking is soliciting an individual for sexual services. But I want to read with you, to you, a quote from one of our survivors, her name is Survivor SK. This is what she said about sex trafficking.

“Sex trafficking is modern day slavery. Every day, girls like me are sold over and over to make money for the trafficker. To my trafficker, I am not human, I am a product. I have no say in what happens in my life, my trafficker controls my life, I belong to him, he owns me. And that’s what it means to be trafficked.”

Sam Rohrer:                      I’ll tell you what, this is a very serious thing, Janelle. We’re delighted to have you with us. But let me ask you here in just a minute or two that we have left in this segment, how extensive of a problem is this across the nation and around the world? And in addition to that, is this focus primarily on women or young girls? And is it limited to women and girls or is it also directed toward boys and men?

Janelle Esbensh…:            Yeah. So the extent of the problem is, so human trafficking has become the fastest growing criminal industry in the world, coming in at number two under drug trafficking. So it is really extensive and it is growing rapidly within the United States. As far as who is targeted and is it primarily women or young girls, yes, it is primarily young girls, however, young girls and boys, as well as adult females and males can be trafficked as well because of the different types of vulnerabilities. And some of that vulnerability, the majority of the population of runaways and children in the foster care system, those are the most targeted and vulnerable young women and children that have histories of abuse. They’re extremely vulnerable.

Sam Rohrer:                      This is a very tough thing that we’re talking about Janelle, and I’m glad that you’re in that field trying to help. But you mentioned it briefly, motivation. Let me go there. What drives, other than the evilness of man’s heart which we know that’s underneath all of it, what is actually driving this evil human trafficking slave trade right now?

Janelle Esbensh…:            Yeah. And that is money and greed. So it’s all about profit making money. One thing I will add is that, I want people to understand when we talk about how evil it is and how an individual can do such a horrific thing to another human being that God has created, most traffickers themselves have been abused to some degree as a child, which ultimately they grow up and that’s all they know. And so then to them, there’s no remorse, to be able to just turn around and do the same thing and abuse somebody else, it truly doesn’t mean anything to them. And again, we go back to, it’s about the money

Sam Rohrer:                      Ladies and gentlemen, our theme today is this: the scourge of human trafficking, modern day slavery, really at its worst. Our special guest Janelle Esbenshade, will come up in just a minute. Megan Fulmer, both from North Star Initiative here in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. And we’re going to begin talking about (in the next segment with Megan) the trauma of trafficking.


Sam Rohrer:                      The scourge of modern day slavery in the form of human trafficking, is nothing short of incredibly evil. It’s hard to even talk about this. But the fact that tens of thousands of people are caught up in the trap of sexual exploitation, where someone literally owns the body of another to do with as they see fit, should be abhorrent to all people.

Yet, according to the numbers, this slave trade is growing. It’s lucrative to the slave owners ranking in financial size, only to the worldwide military establishment, the industrial complex, perhaps in the illegal drug trafficking cartels, it’s big money. And this blood money, as predictable though comes at a very, very high price to the lives of the victims, who according to the research, once officially part of this slave trade, those who become a part of it, have a life expectancy of only seven years. Unbelievable. Can this evil slave trade of human trafficking happen right here, in our own land of the free and the home of the brave.

And with that, I welcome in right now, Megan Fulmer. Megan, so good to have you and Janelle with us today. And Janelle did a great job of opening and explaining, laying down the foundation. But I want to go more into some specifics here and put some personality and face on these numbers, because as a certified clinical trauma specialist in sex traffic and exploitation, your role at North Star Initiative, combined with your past experience prior to coming to North Star, puts you in, I would say, a rather unique position to comment on the trauma created in the lives of these human trafficked victims.

So I’d like you to go here first. Can you share perhaps just a few of the key cultural factors which contribute to this, I’m going to say, this cultivated climate, where a person young or old, would even consider for a moment, the deceptive invitations of the human trafficking slave trade? There are people there and something’s coming their way, which is convincing these people. What are some of these factors?

Megan Fulmer:                 Yes, absolutely. Thank you so much. So I think we can view this a little bit like an onion. So we have lots of different layers here that ultimately adds up to the individual risk factors that we can look at in a little bit. But if we first understand the societal risk factor, there’s a lack of awareness of commercial sex exploitation and traffic. There’s also the sexualization of children, the lack of appropriate resources and services, lack of housing, lack of detox and mental health services, and a lack of ultimately, understanding how to coordinate a response to what we’re dealing with here in the world of human trafficking. And when you get below that layer of viable risk, we see community risk, peer pressure, social norms, this idea of exchanging sex for goods. Social isolation, gang involvement, or ultimately under resourced neighborhoods communities.

And then under that layer is the relationship risk factors. We have to understand family conflict, the disruption, the dysfunction, generational factors, as well as the promotion of prostitution or trafficking in and of itself within the family, with parents, older siblings, boyfriends. And then finally you get to the center of the onion, which looks at the individual risk factors. So when we put this all together, we can really see that there are so many layers that we can’t just look at one layer at a time.

Sam Rohrer:                      This is amazing, Megan. And I mean, it’s a terrible thing to even consider, let alone talk about, but it’s something that we do need to talk about to make our people aware of. And so, we’re delighted that you’re with us today. Can you comment further, please, on describing the profile of the people most often targeted by the human trafficking and slave trade? This is terrible thing, but what is the profile of those targeted?

Megan Fulmer:                 Absolutely. And those are those unique individual risk factors that build on all of those other risk factors we just talked about that makes them so vulnerable. So we’re looking at individuals that are living in poverty, most likely, or they have limited education, there’s language barriers, low self-esteem. There might be some real or perceived opportunities for a better life, some false advertisements, making them think that, this next step isn’t exactly what it’s going to turn out to be.

There’s also a history of abuse, which will lead people to feeling like they have limited options and this is something that they’ve had to experience before in their life, they can see how maybe for a period of time, this might be an option for them and then of course it evolves into something very different.

And then there’s also mental health risks. So depending on the specific mental health struggles that each individual is going through, it’s going to make them vulnerable to the specific tactics that these slave owners theoretically are using. And then there’s also substance abuse disorders, whether it be for that victim or for their parents, there’s a broken family structure, very limited support, limited resources. And then as Janelle mentioned earlier, we have the runaways, children in foster care.

So ultimately it can happen to anybody, but when we understand the individual risk factors, that’s really who’s being targeted here. And if we look at it, the average age of a child exploited through prostitution is 15. So imagine a 15 year old coming with all of these vulnerabilities, how are they going to approach life and all of the different risk factors that they’re already facing?

Sam Rohrer:                      Megan, you’re painting a picture there when you say 15. And my guess is, the average age of going 15 was that, these young girls mostly were already being cultivated perhaps or groomed, prior probably to the age of 15, so this didn’t just come at 15, but it probably culminated at 15. Would I be right in saying that?

Megan Fulmer:                 Absolutely. And that’s one way to view these risk factors and vulnerabilities. It’s actually a level of a grooming process that was put in place before a trafficker finds their victim. These are the things that they’re looking for, so that they can build on because of their specific tactics are going to stick best, as some people that have been groomed in life in this way.

Sam Rohrer:                      Okay. So let’s just walk a little bit further, and there’s so much, we can’t cover this entire subject here in this hour, but we’re just trying to hit some high spots. But one question I think that a lot of people would have, would be, “Okay, so a person is deceived into becoming a part of something, promised something big, but delivered something horrible. So now they’re in this setting and they’re finding out that this is really bad for them, and this is not what they expected. So the logical question is, why don’t they just get up and run away? Why don’t they yell out for help?” Do they, can they run away? What kind of control do these slave masters have? What kind of power do they exercise over these people? Or in fact are many of them actually running away or once they’re in, are they stuck? Tell us.

Megan Fulmer:                 Absolutely. There’s a lot of layers here of psychological enslavement, so it’s difficult to understand, but we can kind of explain it to the best of our ability here in the time that we have remaining.

But if we look at it and why they feel like they can’t leave once they figure out what’s really going on, first, we see that they went through this grooming process of life, so to speak, that made them vulnerable. They now have been targeted by this trafficker, who knows exactly what he or she are doing, they are typically narcissists, sociopaths or psychopaths. So they have very limited empathy and they know how to target these victims and they know how to make them work for them. So one of the first types of psychological enslavement here, it’s important to understand why they’re using this, because it’s cost effective and it’s low risk, right? So they’re not attracting unwanted attention from law enforcement and it’s also why these victims don’t seek help.

So their thoughts, their beliefs, might not always match up with their emotions of what’s going on, so the survivors going to be very confused. And again, understanding how young a lot of these survivors are, it puts them in a place of feeling like they don’t have options because of the psychological enslavement, so that’s dehumanization, they’re treated as a commodity. And again, this all compounds on top of all of the struggles that they’ve already gone through and the grooming that they’ve already been exposed to in their victimhood. They’re forced due to degrading acts. There’s also this idea of a worst case scenario. So like, “If you don’t do this, I’m going to hurt your family,” so it puts them in a place where they understand that if they step out of line, there are consequences that they trust will happen and they do not want to happen.

There’s also this distrust of others where they can be isolated from important family and friends. They keep a close watch on them, they go to all of their appointments with them, so that there isn’t any opportunity for them to get free. They also avoid that physical abuse, so it makes it hard for them to prove, and they may even threaten to call the police, because they have had these victims to complete crimes that ultimately they can then hold over their head and\or the trafficker himself might do a crime in that person’s name online, so that they can hold that idea that they will lose their freedom if they try to leave, and so it’s kind of the best of two evils.

It might also give them a hopeful timeframe, helping them think, “Just do this one more thing and then you can go. You only owe me five years and then you can be free. I only need this much money. That’s your debt.” And ultimately, reminding everybody again, that traffickers are not stupid and are experts at the psychological manipulation. So as we get to know these tactics and understand that the trafficker becomes everything to this person, is huge, it’s absolutely huge.

Sam Rohrer:                      And Megan, as you’re describing this, again, I introduce you because I know your experience is vast, you’re speaking from experience and that’s part of what your ministry at North Star is able to actually deliver and bring to people who are caught in this and that you can actually tell them the truth and bring them. Hopefully, in the next segment, I’ll be able to have you explain just a little bit of, if someone comes to your residential facility, what you actually do to help move them from dependency to independence.

Ladies and gentlemen, we’re talking today with Janelle Esbenshade and Megan Fulmer, of North Star Initiative here in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, helping women and primarily women, involved in human trafficking. It’s a big issue. We’ll be back after this break and we’ll talk more about the trauma.


Sam Rohrer:                      Well, we’re focusing today on a theme that we have really not covered on this program to date, but it’s an issue of extraordinary importance. I’ve titled the program today: the scourge of human trafficking, modern day slavery at its worst. It’s a hard subject to talk about, but it’s real. And probably all of you listening to me right now are very much aware that it is very real. And if not, we’re sharing it so that you become aware of how real it is. And it’s not just on the other side of the world, it frankly could be right up the street. And it’s very possible that some of you listening right now, may have been involved. Maybe you’ve been caught up. Maybe you know somebody who is. But we’re going to try to deal with all these things of somewhat to do in the balance of the program and particularly in the last segment, when Janelle comes back with me.

Now, both Janelle and Megan, the guests here today, they are involved with a ministry called North Star Initiative, and that has a website So it’s pretty easy And you can find out a lot more information there on that site.

But the trauma of trafficking, we’re just talking about that with Megan, she described a lot of that. It’s deep. It’s extensive, you can imagine. But when it comes to the human slave trade, whether for the purposes of the exploitation for labor purposes, which Janelle mentioned at the first part, there is an aspect of modern day slavery that does put a hold on people’s lives for labor purposes. But the bigger part of that, of modern day slavery, is for the purposes of sexual exploitation, the human trafficking part and that aspect of it.

But there are common characteristics, as I look at these two. For instance, for the exploited slave on either, there’s no liberty, there is bondage, there’s no freedom, there’s a total control of choice and expectation by that master. For the exploited slave, where the master holds no fear of God and places no sacred value on life or gives any consideration to God given aspiration for life and liberty, the remain is only hopelessness and fear and pain and misery of all types. That’s part of the trauma of slavery.

So Megan, you deal daily with victims of the sex trafficking slave trade, we’re talking about that now, can you identify some of the effects? Let’s go this now to the effects that you are witnessing and you see on a person who is a victim of human trafficking.

Megan Fulmer:                 Absolutely. I think one of the biggest effects that we see is the trauma bonding, which the difficult part here is, where we left off last time talking about how the trafficker can actually become everything to the victim. Everything good, everything bad, all in the same relationship. It can become so isolating, but at the same time, depending on the type of trafficker and the psychological techniques that he’s using, can be very difficult to fully really pull apart for that person, because our minds and our bodies can actually become conditioned to this type of treatment.

So when you have one person taking care of all of your basic needs, you become bonded to them and see them as the one that keeps you alive and sometimes your savior. And then, on the other side of that, they are the worst evil. And so in going through therapy, it’s really trying to understand, first of all, you were trafficked, this is what happened, this is what made you vulnerable, this is how you got there and these are the things we can make so it doesn’t happen again.

But the ultimate thing is seeing that trauma bonding, as well as, the complex trauma that we have to cope and deal with, that makes it so difficult, because complex trauma is done through relationship. So it’s not just one trauma, it’s trauma, trauma, trauma, trauma, all added together and multiplied that can really only be healed, when we look at it, through therapy and through relationship.

Sam Rohrer:                      Megan, you’ve already indicated to us that the average age of a young person, a young girl who gets taken into this is about 15 years of age. And it’s amazing to me that after they are taken into this, that their life expectancy is only seven years. That’s a tremendous thing to take into consideration, but who are the vulnerable populations most frequently targeted by these human traffickers?

Megan Fulmer:                 Sure. Minors, those in the LGBTQ community, homeless, immigrants and refugees, are going to be the main vulnerable populations.

Sam Rohrer:                      So Megan really, in defining what you’re talking about, you’re really talking about people who do not have an intact home, no father, no mother, no attachment. I mean, I am hearing that I’m looking at it from a biblical perspective and saying, “Well, you put anybody outside the framework of what God has established as father, mother, children, loving relationship, modeling the pattern that God has laid out, the further away you get from that, it seems to me that what you’re describing, is the more vulnerable a person becomes to the deceptions in the allures of the world, which only ends up in tragedy.”

Megan Fulmer:                 Yes, absolutely.

Sam Rohrer:                      So let’s go on here just a little bit. I mean, just a reminder for all of us listening, there is a reason why when we follow a biblical worldview and we do what God says, because God says it works out. But anytime we try to put in our own thought and come up with another way, “It may look good for a moment, but it is disaster.” Why? Because that’s the nature of sin, and that’s why we say biblical worldview, looking in. That’s why we’re trying to point this out. These things we’re describing are all a result of a system, a culture, people, individually, parents, others, adults who have thrown off a biblical worldview and said, “We’re going to go our own way.” Okay. Never ends up well.

Now, while most likely vulnerable populations and you just mentioned a couple of those LGBTQ, interesting, homeless migrants, refugees, you just talked about that. People listening right now may say, “Well, I’m not one of these groups, so my young children would likely not be targets,” but is that true? So I like to ask this question, can you give some advice to moms and dads and grandmas and granddads listening right now about how the slave trade is tempting, not just those in this vulnerable categories, but actually could be tempting children even in intact homes. Is that possible? Talk a little bit about that, please.

Megan Fulmer:                 Absolutely. And being a minor in and of itself is vulnerability enough, as we know, and if we look at how a lot of recruiters are targeting, we’re talking about the world, social media. So social media is coming in, traffickers, pedophiles, target children through private messaging on social media. We’re taking a look at understanding all of the potential dangers here. So it’s extremely important for parents to remember, to have conversations with your children about online safety and the danger of online predators. You have to create a space where you and your children aren’t ashamed to come … so that they can come to you if they mess up and they send a photo or a video that they regret.

Again, this is tempting, this is pure pressure, this is sin, in the world coming into every household. So we need to use it as a teaching tool and create a space of grace, trust, safety. And please know who your children’s friends are, if you have them over to the house, they seem nice, that doesn’t mean that their parents are safe and trustworthy people. So unless you know the family really well and are friends with them, please be careful and do not let your kids stay overnight at houses of parents you don’t know. Girls can also recruit into trafficking, so be very aware of all of those different layers.

Sam Rohrer:                      I noted one thing, Megan, on some of your materials that one of the social media, allures these tools being used to communicate and groom, I’m going to use that word groom, young girls is TikTok. I’m amazed at how many young kids are following TikTok, but there’s a lot of stuff on that, so build that out just to bring it really home, to how easily it is for good kids to be groomed.

Megan Fulmer:                 Sure, absolutely. TikTok is currently the most popular social media app. So many of its daily users are minors. It’s an endless stream of 15 to 60 second videos. It’s a predator’s playground as the platform enables easy access to children by strangers, so this app also has a direct messaging, which is the dangerous part specifically, where users can talk in a separate chat room. So there’s definitely dangers with TikTok as well as Snapchat gaming app, Twitter and Instagram.

Sam Rohrer:                      All right, this is an impossibility. Impossibility. You only have about a minute left, but could you just give the framework for how you actually work with, if someone comes to your facility, some steps you walk them through. I mean, just highlight the high points if you don’t mind.

Megan Fulmer:                 We’re a very developmental program in and of itself, so for me, specifically in therapy, what I’m concerned with is developing an attachment based relationship. And that’s what that complex trauma is, they need to heal through relationship just like Christ, he heals through relationship with us. So it’s about creating safety, where they can feel both physically and emotionally safe. Helping them understand that past is gone, present is now here. Addressing those vulnerabilities. Helping them integrate who they are, like who are they even? And then ultimately helping them find the resources that they need to address the triggers that they have long term. Get them jobs. Help them find healthy friends to connect with in the future. Really focus on the developmental layers that are going to come as they really get healthier. You’re going to have to go through this and get stronger at every new layer at every new challenge.

Sam Rohrer:                      You did a tremendous job, I didn’t think you were going to get all that in. But it shows that there is a process. A process works. Fortunately, God’s been giving you all a very, very great success rate, but again, delivering truth to people in need is exactly what happens and that it can bring recovery and independence, once again.


Sam Rohrer:                      When we come back, in just a moment, ladies and gentlemen, I’m going to bring Janelle Esbenshade, she’s the executive director of North Star Initiative. She’s going to go back with me and we’re going to talk about some solutions, embracing some solutions. Whether you are not a part of this problem, nor know of somebody, or maybe you are a part of this, we’re going to give some solutions from both.

Well, we’re into our solution segment here right now. We’ve laid out a problem. A very big problem. Human trafficking. Big issue. Driven by money, greed, people’s lives are literally devoured by human modern slave holders, who care nothing for the lives of others, some cases because maybe their own lives were of no value, they thought. And as we’ve heard, many cases the slave holders themselves were abused as individuals.

But in any event, it’s by people who don’t know the freedom that comes through Jesus Christ. People who are in bondage themselves to sin and are driven by the craved human heart. Well, that’s evil. And we see it. It’s been a battle from the beginning. And as I consider, as we try to approach the conclusion here, like so many things in life, evil often comes in many forms. Sometimes it comes dressed up like an angel of light. The Bible says, “Sometimes a beautiful creature …” as in the garden of Eden, when Eve was tempted by this alluring creature, but really was the dragon, the devil himself, the destroyer of life.

The Bible says that, “Because of our sin filled heart, we are drawn into sin through our own lust and the allures of the world and the flesh and the devil.” Yet Jesus warned, there would be masters of his day, to beware that they did not lead a child astray or keep from a child the truth, for it would be better for them if a heavy stone was chained around their neck and they were drowned in the sea. You see the eternal judgment against all of the slave trade masters of all times and of today included will be severe. And the wrath of God will be felt in that day.

Well, in our day, Jesus came to bring hope and salvation, and a new life, forgiven and restored in that hope and that’s the good news. That good news is what we communicate here on, Stand in the Gap, today. And it’s at the heart of the ministry demonstrated by the actions here of North Star Initiative for their ministry focus, the wounded and the targeted victims of the human trafficking slave trade.

So Janelle, in this closing segment, I’d like for you to provide some solutions to some very real problems we’ve described today. First, I’d like you to do this, give some warning, some counsel, some advice, recommendation, however you want to look at it, and hope to people listening now, so as to equip them to guard themselves, guard their families, guard their children’s or friends from this evil in the culture. And I’m talking about people here who may not have already come in contact with this evil trade or not directly knowledgeable of people who may feel rather secure, frankly, from this evil, but as we’ve already heard, they’re not all that secure. So talk to some of these people in this category first, if you could.

Janelle Esbensh…:            Yes, I would love to. And one of the things that we say, often say is, education is vital. There are people that still have a lack of awareness or even understanding to acknowledge that trafficking is happening all around us, even in our own backyards. Even to think that modern day slavery still exist. So education is key. We encourage everybody to get that education. And it’s a big piece of what we do as an organization, because we know the importance of that, because once you have the education, it gives you the opportunity to share with your sphere of influence, whether that’s your family or friends or coworkers, then you can start sharing. And once you’re educated, you’ll know, what are the signs to look for? What does trafficking look like? And all of that.

Next, I want to talk to the parents. Parents, our children, I believe that God has equipped us as parents to teach our children the ways of the Lord. Ultimately, to teach them that how much their heavenly father loves them. But then, God has equipped us as parents to also demonstrate that love to them. And it’s important to create a safe space for our children, that they feel comfortable in the moment that if something happens that puts them in a vulnerable situation or makes them uncomfortable, that they can come and talk to us. We want to be very careful when they make a bad decision as a child or as a youth, not to shame them, because this is the type of thing that’ll keep them from coming and confiding in us as parents. So it’s important to create that safe space.

And then again, parents, once they get the education, then I think it’s important that they have those hard discussions with their children. And I want to say this, it’s never too early to start communicating and having discussions with your children about the dangers of the world. We can break it down in simple terms. And that can be from just talking with your children at an early age, even about their bodies and being honest in terms of what that means. And then, even the fact of not putting them in situations, giving our children choice, if they don’t feel comfortable hugging somebody, they don’t feel comfortable with that physical contact to give them that freedom of choice at a young age, to be able to make that decision. So I think it’s really important.

And as your children have cell phones, parents, regularly check your child’s phone and be aware of their social media, that they’re on, the messages that are happening, especially between the ages of 12 and 16. This is the age range when many of our survivors that we serve in our Harbor Restoration Programs that were first sexually solicited. And even though you may trust your child, that does not mean that you can trust everybody else on the internet and we all know that we have vulnerabilities, Megan talked about those vulnerabilities, as children and as youth. And traffickers can be incredibly intelligent and they know just how to target our children.

Sam Rohrer:                      Janelle, that’s some excellent advice. And again, we are very thankful for what you do. But in just a minute or two here that we have left, could you speak to those people who are listening, who may be victims themselves, or maybe they know of someone who has been a victim of human trafficking. Speak to them, what should they do and how can North Star Initiative be of help to them?

Janelle Esbensh…:            Yeah. So I want to say if you are a victim, recommend that, there’s a resource out there for you to call the national trafficking hotline that numbers 1-888 373 7888, or you can text the word help to 233 733. There is also an app that you can download it’s, The See Something Send Something App. It is available for iPhone and Android phone users. It is an app that provides a platform that you can snap a photo or take a picture of any suspicious activity, and it’s directly sent to the Pennsylvania Criminal Intelligence Center, within Pennsylvania, if it’s happened locally.

As far as resources that North Star Initiative has to offer; we do have a restoration program, a home that is a safe, loving place, where victims and survivors can have resources and supports that they need to address their physical and emotional trauma. And it is our heart at North Star Initiative that we can help as many women experience, hope, healing and restoration in Jesus Christ.

Sam Rohrer:                      And that is ladies and gentlemen, the ultimate hope, as I laid out. The hope for all of us, because we’re all in bondage to sin until we come to Christ in salvation. Human trafficking is just a deeper form, perhaps, of bondage. But we’re all in bondage unless we know him, Jesus Christ, but he can set us all free., certainly for folks in Pennsylvania who are hearing, there are other groups across the country, not many though. You may be listening in California. I don’t know. I can’t give you anything, but be aware there are some, but there are not many who are helping in this area and they need to be founded in helping and starting first with freedom in Jesus Christ. That’s where it starts from. And then from that help, that can be given.

National human trafficking hotline, we’ll give that number again. 888 373 7888. And I think we’ll try to put that probably on our website here, as in the archive of this program.

So Janelle Esbenshade and Megan Fulmer, from North Star Initiative, thank you so much for being with us today. Thank you for what you’re doing and just pray that God will give you the strength and the ability to help many other people who are victims in this, current modern day slave trade.

Thank you ladies and gentlemen, for being with us today. Pray for us. Give this week. And Stand in the Gap for truth where God put you. We’ll see you back here tomorrow …