We are thrilled to share with you what’s been happening this year so far! Here are just a few highlights from the first few months of 2021.
1. Operation JPC | Mexico
O.U.R.’s Ops Team is proud to have supported Mexican federal authorities in arresting a fugitive child predator, an American citizen, who was wanted by both U.S. and Mexican authorities. Three young survivors were rescued, and are now in the care of the aftercare team who are facilitating counseling and services to the girls and their families.
2. Thailand Trainings
O.U.R.’s Team Members taught a two-day training course to 20 prosecutors assigned to human trafficking and child exploitation prosecutions. The training covered understanding digital evidence, online chats, common defenses, and case studies.
3. Our Hero, “Mother Martha,” Returns Home
Mother Martha is a modern-day hero, who after experiencing the injustice of slavery in the Mediterranean, has advocated for the freedom of others in similar scenarios. She selflessly helped numerous women escape from the vicious cycle of exploitation in that region. Last month she was finally able to return home to her home country in East Africa as a free woman! O.U.R. Aftercare was there to greet her at the airport and help her set up her new home.
4. K9 Graduation
In March, our partner Jordan Detection K9 trained and certified five handlers and their detection K9s, who are now working in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Kentucky, Wisconsin, and Minnesota! These O.U.R.-funded dogs help law enforcement find hidden storage devices that contain child sexual abuse material.
5. Hope Center Indy Ground Breaking
O.U.R. is fortifying relationships with homes such as Hope Center Indy, which offers residential programs focused on the recovery of women from domestic abuse, addictions, and human trafficking. Recently O.U.R. funded a new training facility for Jordan Detection K9 that will be built at the Hope Center campus. This program will also provide residents vocational training for those who are interested in dog grooming and veterinarian skills.
6. 34 Survivors Fly Home
Between January and March, O.U.R. and its regional partners are honored to have helped repatriate 34 migrant domestic workers from the Mediterranean who have been exploited and trafficked on the job and support their journeys back to their home countries in West Africa.
7. K9 numbers
From January to March, O.U.R.-funded K9s assisted in search warrants that led to 113 arrests and 27 survivors identified across the U.S.
8. Thailand Operation Casting Call
With the support of the O.U.R. Ops Team, Thailand’s Department of Special Investigation (DSI) seized about half a million files of child sexual abuse material (CSAM), the largest amount O.U.R. has ever seen seized in Thailand at one time.
9. Survivor Story - Latin America
“Clara” is a survivor from South America who was exploited on Pornhub, and the O.U.R. Aftercare Team has been supporting her through her journey of healing. In recent conversations with the O.U.R. Aftercare Team, she said, “Thank you for everything. I never thought I would meet someone who would help me so much.”
10. Survivor-founded Aftercare home
Thanks to the generous donors, we are able to support an amazing survivor-founded aftercare home in South East Asia that supports ten girls with legal support, counseling, educational support, and COVID-19 relief.
11. Partnership with Green Valley Aussies
O.U.R. is excited to announce our new partnership with Green Valley Aussies! They will be raising, training, and donating their puppies to become Therapy Dogs for survivors to help them in their healing in aftercare homes.
12. K9 ASCII Finds Hidden Camera in a wall outlet
K9 ASCII, an O.U.R.-sponsored K9, assisted on a search warrant at the residence of an 18-year-old girl in Colorado who was being photographed and filmed in her bedroom. During the search, K9 ASCII indicated on a wall outlet where the hidden camera was placed.
13. O.U.R. Supports AIM Operations
In January, O.U.R. supported three AIM operations, which resulted in the arrest of 3 predators and the rescue of 16 survivors.
14. Tampa Bay Superbowl Outreach
It was an honor for the O.U.R. Aftercare Team to serve alongside incredible teams and organizations in Tampa to combat human trafficking during Super Bowl weekend. It was a weekend of survivor-led outreach, local and national nonprofits offering long-term, holistic aftercare, and law enforcement working in unity to help everyone live in freedom.
15. Operation Vallis Liberandum
In South America, “Megan” was offered a job as a waitress in a nearby country, and upon arrival, realized it was a falsified job and was exploited in a local brothel by traffickers. O.U.R.’s Ops Team assisted law enforcement in arresting 12 traffickers and identified two additional survivors who were being exploited.
16. Survivor Immersed in Equine Therapy
“Angela” has been taking equine therapy thanks to our partnership with the Metropolitan Equestrian Team. Director of MET, Jane DaCosta, and O.U.R. Aftercare Team Members have been honored to guide the survivor through her path of healing.
17. Operation Barbarosa
14-year-old “Lily” was exploited throughout her childhood in nightclubs and by both her mother and by a local gang in Central America.
Three years later, during an operation the O.U.R. Ops Team supported local law enforcement as they rescued ten survivors, and Lily was one of them. Lily now has a thriving business of her own and O.U.R. has gladly provided the resources to help her thrive.