Episode Summary:

Many think human trafficking is just a third-world problem, but that’s just not true. I’ve come to realize that it happens right in our own neighborhoods. Many don’t know the signs of human trafficking or how to prevent human trafficking. The movie, “Sound of Freedom” has helped open the eyes of many to this very large-scale problem, but there’s still so much education that is necessary. Join me with John DiGirolamo as we talk about the signs of human trafficking and how to prevent human trafficking.

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Quotables from the episode:

  • Human trafficking is an issue that hides in plain sight.
  • Human trafficking is one of the most underreported issues of our day, that cuts across all economic, social, racial and political boundaries.
  • 50% of those who are exploited through human trafficking are minors. Of those, less than 5% are kidnapped. While 40-45% of those are male.
  • 60% of those who are exploited through human trafficking are done so by someone they know.
  • Three most common goals of sexual predators 1) extort for monetary gain; 2) want to meet for a sexual encounter; 3) want to gain pictures to manipulate and use on pornography websites.
  • Red flags that may indicate a minor is being groomed by a predator are change in their behavior, secretive relationships, having a second phone or alternative social media accounts, and unexplained gifts.
  • The three most common human trafficking scenarios are: 1) Familial trafficking (often including sexual abuse by a family member); 2) vulnerable populations (such as those who are bullied, unsupervised, runaways or homeless population); 3) online through private chats with manipulation to gain access to an individual.
  • Today’s teens are 1-2 steps ahead of their parents with respect to technology. Parents need to know about secret folders and secret photos within common apps like SnapChat that has a folder “my eyes only.”
  • Social media apps are frequently where predators hang out. Parents need to control what gets downloaded on their kids’ phone.
  • Kids may not be looking for trouble, but trouble is looking for them.
  • By their high school graduation, 90% of teens have sent or received sexually inappropriate photos through sexting or some other method.
  • It’s important that parents teach their children to memorize at least five phone numbers of people they know and trust in case they ever get in trouble and lose access to their contacts.
  • Everyone needs to know the red flags and grooming signs because someone you know may be exploited.


Scripture References:

  • Proverbs 31:8-9 Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.
  • Psalm 27:1-2 The Lord is the light and my salvation, whom shall I fear? The LORD is my life’s refuge; of whom should I be afraid? When evildoers come at me to devour my flesh, these my enemies and foes themselves stumble and fall.”
  • Isaiah 58:9-10 Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; you shall cry, and he will say, Here I am. “If you take away from the midst of you the yoke, the pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness, if you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday.”


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John DiGirolamo, authorJohn DiGirolamo is an author, speaker and anti-human trafficking advocate. It’s Not About the Sex featured stories from an advocate, law enforcement officer, survivor and a brothel madam’s tale of redemption. DiGirolamo wrote the book because he believes that human trafficking is one of the most underreported issues of our day, that cuts across all economic, social, racial and political boundaries. He focused on stories from rural and suburban America, seeking to shine a light on and create awareness of the evils of human trafficking.



Hosted By: Dr. Michelle Bengtson
Audio Technical Support: Bryce Bengtson


Many think human trafficking is a third world problem, but that’s not true. It’s happening right in our own neighborhoods. It’s hiding in plain sight! 50% of the victims are minors. 60% are exploited by someone they know. Do you know the signs of human trafficking or how to prevent it? Tune in to our eye-opening discussion with John DiGirolamo.