Dear Oakland teens and adults,

Do you really believe that not paying attention to an important topic is gonna make it go away? Do you enjoy seeing teens and children  get kidnapped and explloited into sex trafficking? What would you think if one of your loved ones was kidnapped into sex trafficking? Or even worse you! For this reason we are writing to you because we believe that our own community is responsible for the sex trafficking hapening in the Oakland community.

Based on our research Oakland is a target for sex trafficking and people cant even distingish what sex trafficking even looks like and that affects the teens and children who are at risk of getting sex trafficked

Child Sex trafficking is a very important issue because it affects so many Oakland youth every single day and it seems like no one else is talking about this important issue.This issue matters because it’’s disgusting to think that children and teens are being exploited to have sex with older men. This also is a concern because this shouldn’t be an issue in the community. We should be able to help each other to prevent this Not only does this cause physical pain to the  and teens but it also causes mental health issues to the kids. The kids who have experienced this have been traumatized and can no longer live their lives in peace without having to think about the awful trauma  that have happened to them.The people who are mostly harmed by this issue are children and teens. The people who benefit from this harm are the traffickers who exploit the children. I believe it shows ageism because older people are taking advantage of the young children and teens. In an article titled  “Who Buys a Trafficked Child for Sex? Other wise Ordinary Men” by Tim Swarens who is a  common ground editor, he state “A 2016 study by the Center for Court Innovation found that between 8,900 and 10,500 children, ages 13 to 17, are commercially exploited each year in this country. Several hundred children 12 and younger, a group not included in the study, also suffer commercial sexual abuse.”  This issue had caused a huge amount of harm in the children and teens life and the comminity as well. Some articles even mentioned Oakland as being a big target in the community and that impacts how other people see our community and make it seem like it’s a bad place.Teens who live here in Oakland are affected the most by sex.This shows Interpersonal oppression because it’s happening between each other and no one is really doing anything about it. 

Our community has noticed where are the most targeted places to kidnapp children into sex trafficking.  In the article How Oakland Became A National Hot Spot For Sex Trafficking by Mytsi Zumach a Okland resident who witness sex trafficking happen while driving down town. She explains,“They say that a hub like ours makes it easy for traffickers to move their victims in and out of the many airports, like the ones in San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose, which are all international airports.” This has caused a lot of harm to the community. It has caused anxiety and sometimes mental health problems when you have witnessed something so terrible happen where you live.There have been many cases in which victims believe that they are going with their lover somewhere else and escape with them but they ended up being victums of sex trafficking. To illustrate, Brookee Axtel a victim and survivor of sex trafficking wrote an article, “Combating Child Sex Trafficking In the Unated States” she wrote “relationships to protect them from the most common tactics traffickers use. Here are a few common red flags that I have witnessed in both dating violence and traffickers posing as boyfriends” This causes a lot of harm for the victims families and for the victim itself the trauma that they caused by being exploited and the trauma they have been caused by being manipulated by someone who they thought they could trust.

We made a survey that asked Oakland Teens their opinions on child sex trafficking and their responses were pretty shocking. 20 people responded to the survey.

Forms response chart. Question title: Have you ever seen sex trafficking in Oakland?. Number of responses: 20 responses.

Figure 1: Have You Ever Seen Sex Trafficking in Oakland? 20 Oakland residents were asked if They had ever seen sex trafficking in Oakland. 25% of people said Yes, while the other 25% said that they weren’t sure.

Forms response chart. Question title: Do you know anyone that has experienced this or is experiencing this ? . Number of responses: 20 responses.

Figure 2: Do you know anyone that has experienced this or is experiencing this?

Oakland residents were asked if theyve ever known anyone whos expiriencing sex traffucking or if they know of someone who is experiencing this now. 25% of people didn’t know if they knew someone who was experiencing this. While 75% said No.

Forms response chart. Question title: Do you think that having more jobs opportunities for victims of ages 13 -18 will prevent sex trafficking?. Number of responses: 20 responses.

Figure 3: Do you think that having more job oppotunities for victums of ages 13-18 will prevent sex trafficking? 30% of people said yes having more jobs for teens will prevent sex trafficking. While 20% of people said no having jobs won’t help sex trafficking be prevented. The X-axis refers to  how much people agree to the question 5 means strongly agree and 1 means strongly disagree. The Y axis represents how many people chose each option

I am concerned that a lot of people haven’t seen child sex trafficking because it is very common in Oakland so it makes me concerned that a lot of people dont know what sex trafficking is or looks like. I suggest that more people need to be more knowledgeable on this topic because it is a serious issue that more people need to know more about.   

Based on the research and surveys, as an Health Advocate and Upstander for Child Trafficking I would educate the Oakland community and political justice.

Aim #1 Virtual: Making a Document to share to as many people as possible

My document could be an aim because most people during this quarantine are on their devices and are bored all the time because they don’t have anything to do. Now if I make a document about this information that I already have the people are most likely to take their time off and read it. And I could also ask them in the doc if they can please share it with other people so more people are informed on this topic and no one can have any confusions on what sex trfficking is and if they see it happening then they can immidietly take action and call the police.The steps are for me and my team or just me alone to work on the doc and put all my information on there. There is no budget because posting and making a doc is completely free. I would contact Dr. Frank and ask her if she could share it to everyone on remind and for them to share it and spread the word as well. Therefore it’s easy for people to know about this topic just by me making a post about it and hopefully people will repost and spread the word. I expect for people to take their time off to read my doc and help spread the word. It would really mean a lot to me and my team even if they don’t do it with me. I’m sure they will appreciate the people who have helped spread the word.

Aim #2 If we were in school normally without shelter in place:

if it were in school I think me and my team could’ve possibly have done our presentation in our class and in our advisories to make sure that people are informed on this topic. I know that by just doing some classes it’s not a lot of people but anything could help if we’re trying to help the community. I would just need my computer and the research that I’ve already done. My budget is zero because I wouldn’t be needing any money to make a presentation for my classmates on my topic.I would expect that the people who are hearing me present are taking this topic seriously and I expect for them to listen and have questions and talk to other people about it.

Aim #3 If there were unlimited resources and access:

I would have the goverment make a pause on everyone’s social media and make him do like an amber alert but in video form so that people are forced to look at the  video that I had make with celebritys from all around the world taking about how bad sex trafficking is and how we need to make an end to this and use emotional manipulation so people could l listen to the topic more.I will need access to the government and to be able to talk to the people incharge of the amber alerts so the video I make can happen globally. Next I will need to be able to  be in contact with celebrities from around the world and talk to them and make them be in my video. And finally I will need to be able to publish this and make it happen.I expect people to not care about what my topic is about.I will know by seeing if people have posted on my topic and if people have responded to my video.I will measure my success to see how much change has happened in the last month that I have posted the videoI. I want it to be successful in the month that I have for publishing the video so I could be able to determine if people have made a difference and have made action by themselves.I would just like to remind people that they aren’t helping for no reason I want people to know why they are helping out and that it will eventually make a change.

Oakland teens and adults are you listening now? Are you going to join me in this fight? #stopsextrafficking #survivors 

Johana Aviles

Work Cited

Axtell, Brooke. “Combating Child Sex Trafficking in the United States.” CNN, Cable News Network, 9 Apr. 2019, www.cnn.com/2019/04/09/opinions/brooke-axtell-child-sex-trafficking-us/index.html.

Cagle, Amy. “Human Trafficking Advocacy Book.” Issuu, issuu.com/amycagle/docs/humantrafficking_issuebook.This is about how sex traffiking has affected a lor of people and it is showing their stories on ho they have delt through it.

Swarens, Tim. “Who Buys a Trafficked Child for Sex? Otherwise Ordinary Men.” USA Today, Gannett Satellite Information Network, 30 Jan. 2018, 

Zumach, Mysti. “How Oakland Became a National Hot Spot for Child Sex Trafficking.” Medium, The Bold Italic, 22 Oct. 2019, thebolditalic.com/how-oakland-became-a-national-hot-spot-for-child-sex-trafficking-b7496f67fe2e.

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