Issue #12
January 15, 2020
Help Keep Our Children Safe!
In January each year, US Homeland Security manages a campaign called Campaign Blue © to increase awareness of human trafficking in the US and around the world. Churches and non-government organizations have been asked to support the Campaign Blue awareness program so this edition of the St. Charles Child Protection newsletter is dedicated to that cause.

Human trafficking is defined as the use of force, fraud or coercion to obtain some sort of labor or for the purpose of performing commercial sex acts. Thousands of children and adults of all ages and nationalities each year are violently forced, lured, or coerced into exploitation making human trafficking the 3rd largest category of crimes in the world today. Many times, victims of human trafficking are kidnapped and forced into slavery with the use of addictive and intoxicating substances. Victims become physically and psychologically incapable of escaping their situation. estimates that 20-40 million people worldwide are currently being trafficked and in 2018, 51.6% of the human trafficking cases in the US involved children under the age of 18.

A study done in 2018 by the Ohio Human Trafficking Commission stated that social media allowed traffickers to make many more immediate connections and accomplish faster engagement with vulnerable youths than in-person connections. Social media allowed traffickers to understand a youth’s vulnerabilities faster and easier than in person. By focusing on these vulnerabilities, traffickers enticed youths with attention, praise, and gifts in order to eventually transition the relationship into one of control. The most popular social media sites for recruitment were Facebook ©, Instagram © and Snapchat ©. Other sites that were mentioned were Tinder ©, Blendr ©, Whatsapp © and KIK ©. The report outlined the following themes: connecting to vulnerable youths online; grooming youths online to form quicker relationships; using self-erasing technology and/or developing a second persona to traffic youths; and moving youths from an online relationship to in-person one. The report encourages parents to learn about social media, find out what sites their child is using, and to develop a healthy, open relationship with their child. In doing so, parents can wage a worthy defense against potential online recruitment and exploitation of their children. Your understanding and awareness of human trafficking and taking action could save a life! The educational video below explains more about human trafficking.

According to the CDC, the following are some steps you can take to monitor your children and help protect them from risky behaviors that could lead to being trafficked:

  • Talk with your child about your rules and expectations, and explain the consequences for breaking the rules.
  • Talk and listen to your child often about how he or she feels and what he or she is thinking.
  • Know who your teen’s friends are.
  • Talk with your child about the plans he or she has with friends, what he or she is doing after school, and where he or she will be going.
  • Set expectations for when your child will come home, and expect a call if he or she is going to be late.
  • Ask whether an adult will be present when your child is visiting a friend’s home.
  • Get to know your child’s boyfriend or girlfriend.
  • Get to know the parents of your children’s friends.
  • Talk with your relatives, your neighbors, your child’s teachers, and other adults who know your child. Ask them to share what they observe about your child's behaviors, moods, or friends.
  • Watch how your child spends money.
  • Keep track of how your child spends time online, and talk about using the Internet safely.
  • Pay attention to your child’s mood and behavior at home, and discuss any concerns you might have.
  • If your child does break a rule, enforce the consequences fairly and consistently.
  • Make sure your child knows how to contact you at all times.
To report suspected human trafficking to Federal law enforcement:

To get help from the National Human Trafficking Hotline:
or text HELP or INFO to
BeFree (233733)
Approved Volunteers

When organizing an official St. Charles activity involving children, please check the list below to make sure that your adult volunteers are approved to serve with children. For legal reasons, St. Charles Parish cannot publish a list of people who are prohibited from volunteering around children due to abuse. If an adult volunteer is not on the approved volunteer list, it could be for a variety of reasons. Most of the time it means that the person got behind on their bulletins and became inactive. Please have your volunteer contact Steve Morris and he can help resolve the issue. If your volunteer has not attended a Virtus ® class, please have them visit Virtus Online to create a Virtus account and sign up for a Child Protection training class. Training times and locations can be found under the training tab by clicking on the Live Training link.

The next Virtus bulletin will be published on February 2, 2020

If you witness or even suspect child abuse or endangerment in any form

call 911 immediately!

Then, if the abuse took place on parish property, also contact Steve Morris at 937-401-0521. Every report will be investigated by the police, Child Protective Services, and/or St. Charles Parish and the Archdiocese of Cincinnati! Remember, you are a key part of our Child Protection team!
Stay Up-to-Date on VIRTUS Training

The VIRTUS program is designed to educate our volunteers and parishioners on important child safety concerns. Knowledge is power but only when you put it to good use.
Stephen B. Morris
Business Manager
937-401-0521 (direct)
Linking to third party websites referenced herein does not constitute endorsement of the third party organization by St. Charles Borromeo Parish, the Archdiocese of Cincinnati or the US Conference of Catholic Bishops.
St. Charles Borromeo Parish