A Real Life Story of Freedom: Part 1

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Freedom

The following is a human trafficking success story as told to Every ONE Free by a local law enforcement officer. 


We recently recovered a 15-year-old girl from the streets. Luckily, she was located shortly after she arrived in our city and had not been able to successfully negotiate any “dates” yet.

I provided her with one of the last Freedom Bag backpacks I have from the ones given to me by Every ONE Free and she immediately located the feminine products, which she was in need of. She also put on the pants and sweater over the very skimpy clothing she was wearing. I made sure to comment on how much more age appropriate this clothing was compared to what she had been wearing. She immediately transformed into a typical looking 15-year-old girl once she had changed her clothes.

This girl already has an open file with DCFS and another human trafficking rescue organization from the city where she had originally been recovered. We released her into the custody of her social worker and the representative from the rescue organization who has been working with her since she was originally recovered.

As a department, we have made incredible progress in the past couple of years in working to change perceptions and attitudes through knowledge and understanding human trafficking. Society is still largely behind when it comes to the evolving approach we are trying to take towards being victim centered. Change comes slowly, especially in law enforcement.

Several of us here at our police department have worked very hard to introduce the information we have taken the time to learn regarding prostitution and human trafficking. We have passionately pushed the new approach, which is based on why and how these girls come into “the life” and the factors that led them here, rather than simply seeing them as the problem. My enforcement style is based on addressing everyone I believe to be involved in the problem. This includes the pimps, johns, prostitutes and even family members.

I am the current expert on the Major Crimes Task Force and organize all of our operations in the high prostitution area. The Command Staff has been incredibly supportive of our efforts to both understand and change how we treat and address the problem of prostitution there. It is because of their support that change is taking place in our police department.

Find out how to make a Freedom Bag that will go directly to a rescued female victim of human trafficking and sexual exploitation.

Tamiko Chacon
Tamiko Chacon is the director of Every ONE Free and Pastor of Justice Ministries at Purpose Church. She considers it a privilege to lead her community in responding to injustice and speaking out against what breaks the heart of God. She lives in Pomona with her husband and their two boys. Tamiko graduated from Fuller Theological Seminary in 2008 with a master’s degree in Crosscultural Studies. She enjoys listening to the ocean waves, breathing in the smell of kettle corn, drinking iced coffee, hearing her boys say “I love you,” hiking local canyons, baking cookies with her mom, discovering new music, connecting with old friends, building new relationships, and listening to stories of people set free.

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