By Sheri L. Stuart, Staff Writer
A human trafficking case involving a Flint teen who was kidnapped in Chicago and wound up in California is symptomatic of deep-rooted psychological issues displayed by both men and women who victimize vulnerable members of society believes Terry Boykins, CEO of StreetPositive and Daughters Lives Matter, a national initiative that educates communities on victimization prevention.
“We are not equipped to talk about sex in this country,” said Boykins who is based in Southern California and travels the country producing events that advocate healthy father/daughter relationships and address the conditions that lead teens into dangerous situations. “Men who set out to victimize are insecure and see women as a commodity rather than a valuable member of society. They see an opportunity to make money through a sex trade.”
In the case of the Flint teen who was held against her will, published reports said she contacted a crisis text and line and reported her location in San Jose, California. She was rescued from a hotel along with two other women. Three suspects were arrested.
“People are always looking for opportunity. It’s imperative that we teach our youth to always be aware of their environment. That includes your physical as well as emotional environment. Predators can sense when you’re weak and struggling emotionally. Many young women have been enticed by flatting words only to be led into a sex-trafficking ring,” Boykins explained.
Daughters Lives Matter has been on the front lines since 2014 educating communities on victimization prevention and producing events that provide a safe haven for fathers and daughters to bond. An annual essay contest held in partnership with Women Wonder Writers provides an opportunity for young women to express themselves through a literary arts curriculum. The 2019 Daughter’s Lives Matter Tour kicks-off June 22 in Atlanta, Georgia.