Safe and Sound2018-04-28T10:57:39+00:00

Safe and Sound Program

Human Trafficking in the United States

Rising International has been involved in the anti-human trafficking movement internationally for several years in countries such as India, Thailand, and Nepal. We enable female survivors of this horrific crime an opportunity to rebuild their lives through an artisan entrepreneur program. In 2014, our founder and executive director, Carmel Jud, was contacted regarding a human trafficking incident in her own backyard. The call compelled her to investigate the prevalence of human trafficking on the Central Coast of California. Her findings ultimately led to spearheading the re-launch of a local anti-human trafficking Coalition that was started by two Nuns in Santa Cruz, but lost momentum when the nuns left the area in 2010. Carmel’s findings also inspired the development of Rising International’s Safe and Sound Human Trafficking Prevention Program.

Here’s what we’ve been learning about local trafficking:

• In 2015, an estimated 1 out of 5 endangered runaways reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children were likely child sex trafficking victims. Of those, 74% were in the care of social services or foster care when they ran.

• A pimp can make $150,000-$200,000 per child each year, and the average pimp has 4 to 6 girls. (U.S. Justice Department, National Center for Missing and Exploited Children)

•The highest number of human trafficking cases reported to the National Human Trafficking Hotline is in the state of California. (www.humantraffickinghotline.org/states)

• [This will be updated shortly to reflect recent progress on this issue] According to the U.S. Senate, Backpage.com rakes in an estimated $9 million in profits every month from “adult services” ads, which include ads that sell children for sex. A 2017 Senate Report indicates that 73% of all child trafficking originates on Backpage.com. It is so easy to post ads on Backpage.com, that minors have been able to sell other children for sex there. (Legal Momentum)

We believe that what is happening to our runaway children is one of the worst tragedies today. To address this problem we’re currently participating in 3 initiatives:

1) Executive Committee Member, Coalition to End Human Trafficking in Santa Cruz and Monterey Counties.

2) National Coalition Member #KidsRNotSafe. This is a national effort to stop Backpage.com and other websites from facilitating the sale of children for sex. In late 2016, Rising International held a holiday card writing campaign urging the U.S. Supreme Court judges to hear the Jane Doe vs. Backpage.com case. Several hundred Rising supporters sent cards, and your efforts made the 6pm NBC-TV News! Unfortunately, the Supreme Court denied hearing the case. Our work is far from over. We’re now planning to bring the new documentary “I am Jane Doe” to Northern California. If you are interested in helping, please contact Carmel Jud: carmel@risinginternational.org

3) Founded Safe and Sound Human Trafficking Prevention Program. We’ve created a new local-global program to keep youth “Safe and Sound”. Program participants learn the business of jewelry making, earn stipends from creating the Safe and Sound bracelet, and learn to keep themselves and others safe from potential exploiters. The program was launched with the generous support of: LinkedIn Corporation, 100+ Women Who Care – Santa Cruz, actor Adam Scott, and American Idol contestant James Durbin.


To donate to this program:

Go to our ‘DONATE‘ page and select ‘Safe and Sound’ in the ‘Select Cause’ option.
  • By Phone: Call 831.429.RISE (7473)
  • By Mail: Make your check payable to Rising International
    and send to: 300 Potrero Street Santa Cruz, CA 95060
    Please write “Safe and Sound” in your check memo.