“In August 2014 at the Mid-­Atlantic Regional Gathering, there was a moving panel discussion on Human Trafficking. As a result it was decided that our region would get involved in combating sex and labor exploitation within our borders. Aglow International has an Anti-­Human Trafficking Ministry; and we need to follow that lead, getting seriously engaged at the local level…” – Edwin Thomas, anti-human trafficking coordinator for the Mid-Atlantic Region.

Shared Hope International 2018 State Report Cards

Shared Hope International recently released its 2018 State Report Card, which include the results from their analysis and recommendations to address gaps in each state’s domestic minor sex trafficking laws. 

Click the button below for a summary of the grades for the states in the Mid-Atlantic Region for 2015-18. Interesting to note that between 2017 and 2018, while the grade remained the same for four of the six jurisdictions, North Carolina moved up from a B-85 to an A-90 and West Virginia moved from a B-82 up to a B-87. The grade scale goes from a low of F to a high of A.  

In the region, one state earned an A, three states retained a B, and 2 jurisdictions (Virginia and DC) earned a C. Virginia, with the lowest score, has been unable to improve its grade since 2016. Our states have work to do to close the legal gaps to protect our children under 18 hears of age.

Below are the dates when the legislatures in the region will be in session in 2019. All six legislative sessions begin in January which, as you know, is also National Human Trafficking Awareness month. Urge your legislative leaders and governor to recognize January for that reason.

     DE – January 8 – June 30

     DC – January 2 – December 31

     MD – January 9 – April 8

     NC – January 30 – July 12

     VA – January 9 – February 23

     WV – January 9 – March 9

State elected officials, for the most part, get engaged in issues that their voters care about and bring to their attention.   We need to let them know human trafficking is an issue we want them to take seriously.

Recent Events in Maryland

Hogan Names Director of Anti-Human-Trafficking

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan has named the state’s first anti-human-trafficking director. Hogan announced Monday that Laurie Culkin will be an advocate on behalf of human trafficking victims. The position will be part of the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention. Culkin will be responsible for coordinating supportive services for victims, as well as enforcement activities relating to human trafficking. Culkin enters the post from the Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service in Baltimore. She served as the coordinator of the Human Traffic Prevention Project, where she led the state’s first pro bono program on human trafficking.
—Associated Press

New Maryland Law Banning Sextortion Took Effect on October First

An excerpt from news coverage states that “the impetus for the bill came from a growing problem of people using the internet to build relationships, gain others’ confidence and persuade them to provide increasingly more explicit pictures. Then, the so-called “sextortionists” threaten to share the images to coerce the victims — usually women — into appearing in pornography or having sex.

Under the new law, such actions will be a misdemeanor, carrying a penalty of up to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.”

Human Trafficking Awareness Updates

Monroe County Farmers Day Parade & AHT

The amazing thing was this came together at the last second.  My daughter called this the “ugliest float in the whole world, and if God can make it first place, He can do anything!” It was by no means the prettiest, but it got the message across.  The float did cause conversations and curiosity about what is happening here in our area. We had set up a table on the parade route, and had between fifteen to twenty people stop by.

One lady with four small children, was so surprised that trafficking existed in WV.  We told her not only in the big cities in WV,  but it was everywhere, even in Monroe County.  Monroe County has very small towns and made up of mostly farmland.

It was very rewarding doing the float and setting up an information table. The information we gave out were the pamphlets from Aglow, as well as from other organizations.  I encourage Lighthouses to get out and do something regarding trafficking. If it saves one child, it is so worth the time and expense. It may be small, but God will cause it to be BIG! – Ruth

Hickory, NC Lighthouse

The Hickory, NC Lighthouse held a meeting on July 14 with Bo Quickel, Vigilante Truth, as our guest speaker. We also had a young lady to share from Safe Harbor Rescue Mission (SHRM), Hickory, NC, who just expanded their program for homeless women to include women and children coming out of human trafficking. We provided AHT resource materials obtained from Blue Campaign* in a pocket folder for everyone who attended. We keep materials on hand all year long for people who make inquiries, especially for someone who wants a packet to take back to their pastor or church. We also included the Mid-Atlantic AHT brochure and Aglow International AHT Prayer Guide brochure.
Praise report. One lady came to the meeting specifically to meet Bo Quickel and volunteered to work in his ministry in Mooresville, NC. She has also connected with SHRM in Hickory to be a volunteer in their program for women who are victims of human trafficking.

The Dirty Dozen List

The National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) today (February 12) launched its 2018 Dirty Dozen List, a list of carefully selected entities that are major, mainstream facilitators of sexual exploitation in our society and culture.

Watch our Press Conference Below

Aglow Mid-Atlantic Region

Anti-Human Trafficking Activities

2017 – 2018

November 30, 2017

Following is a compilation of the Anti-Human Trafficking activities conducted and expected during 2017 and planned for in 2018 throughout the Aglow Mid-Atlantic Region (Delaware, Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia).

2017 – May – Stevensville Lighthouse held an event open to the public: “Innocence Stolen, Protecting Our Children Online.” 2018 – January – Stevensville Lighthouse AHT open to the public event. January – Dover Lighthouse AHT meeting and discussion.
Maryland West Area Team
Charles Town WV Lighthouse, HEAT (Help, Education, Activities, Training) REPORT 2017 – Meet monthly over and above our monthly meetings. The meetings are open to the public and we use the first part of the meeting to educate on the topic of Human Trafficking and then we plan our future activities. January – Distributed bracelets and brochures about Human Trafficking the entire month. Sponsored a conference on Internet Safety and Human Trafficking, 75 adults and youth attended. Guest speakers were representatives from the Attorney General’s Office, Special Victims Unit of the Highway Patrol and an authority on the prevention of internet predators and how predators are monitored and tracked. February – Celebrated AGLOW Founders Day by discussing its start and showing the Human Trafficking DVD, March, April, May, June, July, August – Regular HEAT (Help, Education, Activities, Training) meetings reviewing mission statement and distributing materials in communities about Human Trafficking. September, October – Changed location of meeting and had greater attendance with speaker from Advocacy and Counseling Services for Victims. She will also be speaking at the regular AGLOW meeting in October. October, November, December – Tentatively, meetings will be devoted to planning for January. 2018 – January 11 –Will have articles in the local newspaper and on the radio at Shepard University about National HT Awareness Day. February 17 – An Anti-Bullying Conference for Adults and Children and its Causes and Effects will be held. Middletown MD Couples Lighthouse 2017 – Have not been on the front lines with anti-human trafficking this year. 2018 – Human Trafficking will be part of our Middletown for Jesus prayer time. Plan to have someone come speak to our group, perhaps our local Sheriff’s Deputy or someone from Charles Town so we as a group know how to pray and be informed. We want to make participants aware that where there are drugs, even those used by teens, trafficking cannot be far away with the “paying of debts” via girlfriends, nieces, sisters,…..without being transported. We live in an affluent community where housekeepers are employed, and we know there is labor trafficking happening with waitresses at restaurants in Frederick and at the Costco Warehouse building. Cumberland MD Community Lighthouse 2017 – Pray about the human trafficking issue monthly at their prayer meeting. 2018 – Have nothing planned for the coming year at this time. Area Team 2017 – Charles Town WV is our lead on Human Trafficking so we support them in what they do and will support any other Lighthouse that takes this on. Anti-Human Trafficking Brochures were placed at the Sheriff’s office in Moorefield and will be replaced as they are taken. The balance of the Brochures will be distributed to the Lighthouses at our Area Team Meeting in November. Team members will take them to give to the Lighthouses in their areas. 2017-18 – We are praying for the Lord, the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, to show us what to do and how to do it. Worship and prayer are the keys to breaking this thing in the spiritual realm – taking its breath away. It is interesting that the Harvey Weinstein sexual harassment case broke out right after conference. I believe in worship with the one-note sound. There was something broken that allowed all of this to come out. I believe we will see much more in the near future as we continue to pray. I believe for a prayer network in every state to emerge to pray against this moral decay. I believe Human Trafficking is one of the things that God is going to effect as we continue in prayer. I believe for men to begin to be convicted and for their hearts to become pure before God. The Lord said to make sure I have a pure heart, and then pray for those in my church and the surrounding churches that are caught up in pornography, that are living together outside of marriage but in the church, that are in sexual abuse situations, etc. Then do the same thing for the towns, county and then our state of WV. That which has been hidden for so long is coming out. Just like in the Harvey Weinstein case – it is being revealed. I believe for Human Trafficking to be revealed in the state of WV and the pure hearts of the saints to cause the Lion of the Tribe of Judah to put His large paw on its throat and suffocate it to death. That is what I believe the Lord gave to me and that is what I believe will happen. God is bigger than this thing and this is a new season, a new era, and that which is in the past era is dead and the remnant is dying! I know I am MD-West, but I believe the Lord wants me to start with WV. I pray for someone to take hold of the vision in MD. We are not everything in this fight, but we are an “essential” piece.
Maryland East Area Team
2017 – September – October – Westminster Community Lighthouse distributed AHT brochures. November – AHT brochures provided to Lighthouses for distribution throughout their areas. 2018 – Monthly prayer walks and brochure distribution. March – AHT event open to the public.
North Carolina East Area Team
2017-2018 – An anti-human trafficking presentation and discussion took place at the Area Team Fall Aglow Leaders Gathering. Follow-up activities are expected during 2018. Lumberton Lighthouse Leadership is exploring ways to effectively bring attention to human trafficking in the Lumberton area.
North Carolina Central Area Team
2017 – An Anti-Human Trafficking Awareness and Prevention Seminar scheduled for November 18, to be hosted by the Henderson Lighthouse in association with the North Carolina Coalition Against Sexual Assault, was canceled for unrelated safety reasons .
North Carolina West Area Team
2017 – The Hickory, NC Aglow Lighthouse hosted an Anti-Human Trafficking (AHT) Community Action Forum on Saturday, August 13. I knew beforehand that the Lord was connecting people with their destiny. The Spirit released prophetic words of encouragement and the speakers shared heart-felt messages. AHT is truly a plan of God to rescue, restore and transform lives. The Hickory Lighthouse leadership team participated in the following: Personal on-going prayer on AHT awareness and intervention. Participation on the bi-weekly North Carolina Aglow Prayer Call which includes AHT objectives. Weekly intercessory prayer under the direction of our Prayer Chair open to anyone in the community. Selected an AHT Chairperson to oversee our interaction with the community, to maintain and distribute resources and plan future events. Our VP of Administration participated in a fundraiser event for Bo Quickel’s ministry, Vigilante Truth. Distributed AHT resource materials to individuals and pastors who requested them. Donated household supplies quarterly to Safe Harbor Rescue Mission, Hickory, NC who sponsors a residential program for women and their children. Volunteered to provide personal prayer ministry to any victim of HT in our area enrolled in a local restoration program.
West Virginia Area Team
Greenbrier Valley WV Community Lighthouse 2017 – Provided an information booth at the 4th of July parade in Alderson, WV. 2018 – Plan to make more information tables available at local events.
Mid-Atlantic Regional Director
2017 – November 4 presentation at Crossroads Church, Women’s Fall Conference.

Aglow Mid-Atlantic Region Anti-Human Trafficking Resources

Aglow International has a global Anti-Human Trafficking ministry reaching out to over 170 nations. Within the United States, Aglow is divided into regions.  The Mid-Atlantic Region is composed of: Washington, D.C. and the states of Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, West Virginia and North Carolina.

The Mid-Atlantic Region began its actions to combat human trafficking in the summer of 2014.  Some of our local groups, Lighthouses, were involved prior to that time.  Much has been accomplished during this short-time period and much more is planned.  Following is a summary of the highlights of what has taken place regionally and locally throughout the mid-Atlantic area.

Praying is at the core of every Aglow level and event including:

  • Prayer Walks and Drives to and around truck stops, trucks, highways, churches, schools, police stations, motels/hotels, restaurants
  • Prayer Conference Calls
  • Prayer in groups at local and regional meetings and with other ministries
  • Prayer for local leaders and with individuals
Conducting Conferences, Workshops, Community Meetings and Forums
Conducting Conferences, Workshops, Community Meetings and Forums focusing on building awareness of human trafficking and creating action plans to prevent and stop trafficking.  These events take many forms at the regional and local areas including:

  • Panel discussions, presentations
  • Showing and discussing movies and DVDs
  • Small group sharing and planning sessions

In addition to Aglow events there are events co-sponsored with other organizations. Aglow representatives attend and participate in many other community and church events to inform, educate and learn about human trafficking.

Reaching out
Reaching out to inform and provide educational materials to those who are or should be involved in anti-human trafficking activities:

  • Meet with pastors, youth leaders, school officials, law enforcement officers
  • Talk to and provide information to friends and neighbors
  • Develop and provide materials; for example, a six step intervention program to fight human trafficking:

Pray, Mentor, Awareness, Show that you care, Prevention, Support advocates

Taking Action
Taking Action to directly address human trafficking:

  • Give time, money, materials
  • Provide baskets containing personal items to trafficked victims and survivors
  • Place cards and posters in truck stops and other rest rooms and in hotels/motels
  • Go into strip clubs talking to the women who work there
  • Contact school boards, middle and high schools, and provide materials
  • Contact Boy and Girl Scout groups and leaders to inform them of the dangers in human trafficking
  • Partner with human trafficking agencies working with survivors
  • Reach out to the media
  • Make information available about the Human Trafficking Hot Line
  • Support proposed state and local legislation
Networking with many officials and organizations to assistance, encourage, inform, share with and learn from; for example:

  • Local and state human trafficking task forces
  • Churches
  • Civic and business groups
  • Schools and Universities
  • Providers of services to Human trafficking victims
  • Local, state and federal law enforcement officials
Using Social Media
Using Social Media, Warning about Social Media to include:

  • Make information available via websites, Facebook and other forms of social media
  • Provide information and arrange for speakers to explain the dangers of using apps, smart phones, websites etc.

Aglow Mid-Atlantic Region

The Aglow Mid-Atlantic Region serves the areas of the Delmarva Peninsula, District of Columbia, Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia

© 2018 Aglow Mid-Atlantic Region