News Blog

Polaris Project on Human Trafficking January Report

January, 2017

Our new statistics report provides 2016 data from the National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline, Polaris’s BeFree Textline, and communications referencing overseas cases.

Key highlights and trends from the report include:

  • Reports of human trafficking in the U.S. increase every year. In 2016, we learned of 8,042 cases, a 35% jump over 2015. This is mostly due to people spreading awareness and the Hotline.

  • More survivors of human trafficking are reaching out for help than ever before. 2,042 survivors contacted the Hotline directly in 2016, a 24% increase over 2015. This year’s report dives deeper into who the victims are and how they were trafficked. We learned that sex trafficking victims were most often trafficked by their intimate partners, while labor trafficking victims were most often recruited through a job offer.

  • Labor trafficking soared by 47% but is still widely underreported. Labor trafficking often goes unrecognized compared to sex trafficking because of a lack of awareness about the issue and the vulnerable workers it affects. By identifying the specific sectors and venues in which these labor crimes occur, we can reach survivors more effectively.

Human Trafficking Back Pack Project

Human Trafficking – Soroptimist International of Long Beach supports the efforts of the Long Beach Human Trafficking Task Force to increase awareness and prevention of human trafficking and support services for survivors. The survivors of human trafficking escape their handlers with nothing. To alleviate their loss, on Wednesday, January 25, 2017, Soroptimists met and filled 27 back packs for the survivors.  In addition to toiletries and personal items packaged in beautiful cosmetic bags, we Included a change of clothing: under ware, socks, yoga pants, a T-shirt, a fleece jacket and flip flops.  For comfort we included a small blanket, a journal and pen, an adult coloring book with color pens, and a message of caring.    

Easy Money

Thanks to Terry Rose and all of our members who shopped at the Gifts From a Distance holiday boutique, our club will receive a $30 donation. (Terry donates 10 percent of our purchases back to our club!)

Be a Friend of Soroptimist International of Long Beach

 

To the Friends of Soroptimist International of Long Beach –

Are you are a former member, a friend of a member, a past honoree, a community leader or someone who expressed an interest in and share the goals of Soroptimists to better the lives of women and girls locally, nationally and internationally?

We recognize that while you have a philanthropic heart and want to be of service, the circumstances of your current position don’t allow you to make a full commitment of the necessary time required to be a Soroptimist. You support our goals, our projects, and our events.To keep you close we have initiated a Friends of Soroptimist donor designation. The annual donation will be $100.00. 100% of this donation will be used for our service projects and is tax deductible.

As a donor you will receive the following benefits:

  • Attendance at luncheon program meetings of your choice at the meal cost ($18.00) with RSVP. (As a non-member you may not attend business or Planning meetings.)
  • Opportunities to volunteer in hands-on projects, and events.
  • Invitations to social and fund raising events.
  • Subscription to the Soroptimist News club newsletter.

Through this donor program you can be in our communication network to not only learn what we are doing but why. Your support will become real and will be invaluable. Consider yourself a Friend with benefits.

What, you may wonder, will I be supporting? Our focus this year is:

  • The Soroptimist Live Your Dream Awards assist women who provide the primary source of financial support for their families by giving them cash awards to improve their education, skills and employment prospects.
  • Dream It, Be It. Career exploration workshops and mentoring programs for High School girls.
  • The Soroptimist Day of Success. The Club works with Women Helping Women to assist women who are entering or re-entering the workforce who need guidance and assistance with wardrobe and resume-writing and job interview workshops.
  • October is Domestic Violence Awareness month. At our Stuff-It Party, Soroptimists prepared 54 bags sorted by a child’s size to donate to three area shelters. A traumatized child receives a change of clothing, pajamas, books, supplies, and perhaps, a toy.
  • Human Trafficking – We support the efforts of the Long Beach Human Trafficking Task Force to increase awareness and prevention of human trafficking and support services for survivors. Members will assemble backpacks for the survivors filled with personal items as well as a message of caring.
  • The club members will help out at the Youth Exploitation Safety Symposium (YESS) event in Long Beach. This symposium will be informational on the subject of Human Trafficking and of value to parents, students and the community at large.
  • SILB established Meals on Wheels of Long Beach in 1971. The club continues to support this growing organization.

We look forward to connecting with you.

To become a Friend of Soroptimist, please visit our website at this link: 
Soroptimist-LongBeach.org/Be-a-Soroptimist-Friend

Regards,
The Members of Soroptimist International of Long Beach.
www.soroptimist-longbeach.org

Soroptimist of Long Beach Hosts a Stuff It Party to support local shelters.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness month. Soroptimist of Long Beach embraced the challenge to do something to help in a big way with their Stuff It Party. Members “adopted” a size ranging from infant to teens and filled a bag (donated by Islands Restaurant) with what a traumatized child coming into a shelter would like. The bags typically held a change of clothes, PJ’s, slippers, books, pencils and crayons, perhaps a toy, a hair brush, toothbrushes and paste, socks, underwear and a card with a few words of encouragement.
Attending the event were representatives from three area shelters in Long Beach: Su Casa, Interval House and the Women Shelter of Long Beach who shared information with us. At the end of the evening there were 54 !! bags which the shelter representatives took to share with the children.

Live Your Dream Awards for Women – Soroptimist

The Soroptimist Live Your Dream Awards (formerly known as the Women’s Opportunity Awards) assist women who provide the primary source of financial support for their families by giving them the resources they need to improve their education, skills and employment prospects.

If you know a woman who is the head of her household and needs help continuing her education, suggest that she check out the link below. If she lives in the Long Beach, CA area, she should apply for this award. 

We are accepting applications for grants until the deadline of November 15, 2016. 
Live Your Dream Application >

President Susan’s KFRN Radio Interview

President Susan Berkman’s excellent and informative interview on KFRN about our club and the Soroptimist mission. She discusses, among other things, the club’s initiatives including support for survivors of human trafficking, Soroptimist Day of Success and Live Your Dream. Worth a listen!

Soroptimist Readers’ Next Book

Book Cover - The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen - SILB Readers

The next meeting of the SILB Readers will be November 10, 2016 at 6 pm at the home of Lori Brault. We will be discussing The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen. (Read a review) All members of the club are welcome to read the book and join us for a potluck dinner and lively conversation. Reservations are required as we meet in members’ homes and we need to know how many guests to plan for. Contact Judy Hirsch or next meeting’s host.

Identify a trafficked victim

Here are a few more tips to identify a possible victim of sexual exploitation:
1. The person suddenly has expensive things (high end, name brand purse, diamond bracelet, hair and nails done on a regular basis).
2. They may have a new tattoo or “brand” of initials, his name or saying.
3. They keep their eyes down while in public.
4. They carry multiple cell phones – sometimes unnoticeable.

These tips are published by the non – profit organization in Long Beach called Gems Uncovered. This organization provides training, counseling, mentoring and long term housing for female victims of human trafficking