5 Things You Should Know about Human-Trafficking in STL and How you can help now:)

  1.  That it exists  A lot of times when we hear the word trafficking we think of places overseas and yes that’s what I thought as well until I learned that there are over 300,00  child victims in the U.S. alone.  I then didn’t think it was so close to home until I read that St. Louis is in the top 20 cities where trafficking takes place.  We are number 17 to be exact!  There’s a highway called highway  35 that runs through St. Louis and you can virtually get to any state from it which makes it easier for these children to continuously be shuffled around so that no one finds them.   The average age of entry into this sick industry is 13 however, the earliest reported victim in St. Louis was in the second grade and the earliest reported victim ever was 2 years old ;-(.
  2. What their life is like  Sex-trafficking is defined as a “commercial sex act induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such an act has not attained 18 years of age.”  Their life is pretty much hell.  In order to groom these victims they make them watch hours of pornography as well as dance in strip clubs.  When they are ready, victims have reported having to  service up to 40 clients a day.
  3. Know the signs  Teachers you may have a victim in your class whose parents sell them on the weekends for drug money.  Here are some of the signs, but for a complete list visit here.   Social Interaction:
    • Inability to speak to individual alone
    • When addressed, answers seem scripted and rehearsed
    • Inconsistencies when describing or recounting events
    • Unable or unwilling to give local address of or information about parent or guardian
    • Refers to sexual situations beyond their age level or maturity
    • Avoids eye contact

    Physical Signs:

    • Signs of physical and/or sexual abuse, physical restraint, confinement or torture (may be reluctant to explain)
    • Untreated illnesses or infections, especially STDs
    • Appears malnourished
    • Lacks healthcare and/or dental care
    • Tattoos/branding on neck, lower back
    • Always wears same clothes regardless of weather or situation
  4. There’s help for victims  Thank God that there are people in this world dedicating their lives to rescuing and restoring victims of sex-trafficking and we have a wonderful organization right here in St. Louis, MO called The Covering House.  The Covering House is a place where victims can seek refuge, transitional housing, therapy, prevention and out-client services.
  5. How you can help  There are a number of ways that you can help.  The Covering House is a great place to start.  Whether donating money, time, or talent, they can definitely use your help.  If this issue pricks your heart like it does mine, take a look at their website and see where you fit in.  One of their biggest fundraisers is coming up called the Race For Refuge on September 5th at Tower Grove Park.  Kenny and I will be there and we hope to see you too!

My husband and I are also doing a Beauty Drive.  The Covering House has this beautiful home in an undisclosed location where victims can have a safe place to rehabilitate.  They are in need of African American Hair products such as, shampoo, conditioner and styling products.   We have two drop off locations one at a Cosecha Coffee  7360 Manchester Rd. in Maplewood and in St. Ann ALISA’s TKO Barber and Beauty Salon 9774 St. Charles Rock Road.   We are collecting these products now through Saturday, Septmber 12th. Small acts like this are  a way to restore these girls beauty inside and out.  Show them that love is dope!

Beauty Drive

Race for Refuge L

My Austin top 5

 
 

So I just got back from a Really cool trip from Austin with my husband, Kenny, and baby Shiloh. My husband came down for a work trip and everyone told us how much we would love It there and  I didn’t  want to miss out, The Shiloh and I tagged along.  While my husband worked Shiloh and I hit the town.  We went on a not so traditional bus tour.  It was called the Austin duck adventures and it actually rounded out it’s tour by diving literally in Lake Austin (pictures below).  I also got to visit one of my favorite online store’s brick-and-mortar location, which is Free People.   If you know me you know I would probably wear anything in that store. I had a great experience at the location.  During the evenings when my husband was free,  we went out checking to see all that Austin has to offer. There’s a great Music life here,  always things to do, and I love the fashion. However, I’m still looking for the good food.  The food that I tasted was mediocre at best. Except for the sweet potato fries. They are masters at those!! Yummmm so good!!!!   Aside from the food we had some pretty awesome firsts.  We used lyft, uber and rode in a pedicab and I gotta tell you that catching rides from really nice strangers was pretty fun. 

 
While being in Austin, I loved observing the summer fashion.  I would describe it as a festival girl meets country. So I’ve put together a list of 5 items you should bring to Austin to wear during the summer.
1.  Cowgirl boots of course
2. A mini skirt
3. High waisted jeans or cut offs (aka mom jeans)
4. A cow girl hat
5. A peasant dress
6. Anything floral 
 
 So, have you ever been to Austin? What am I missing from my list and what good food joints did I miss?  Below are some highlights of my trip! Enjoy!
 
 
In the airport 

 
 
Shiloh did so awesome on the plane and he got his first flying certificate! Thanks Southwest!
 



 
 

 

 
 
 
One of my fave stores! Free People
 

 

 

 




I got to tour Austin on land and on water!

 
 

 

 
 



 

 

 
 
Two of the best meals I had in Austin. Salmon and turkey avocado burger! I loved the sweet potato fries!

 

 
 
 
 
Awesome boutique I found on 5th street. The designer makes her clothes right in the boutique. There are also some awesome local jewelry designers’ merchandise in the boutique. #handmade
 



 
 
 



 
 
 
 
Cool artwork on 6th street
 
 

 

 
My babe!