Night Angels is providing the following “Frequently Asked Questions” to give our public a better understanding of the mission of our organization and the tactics that we employ in fighting the war against human trafficking.
What is the mission of Night angels?
Night Angels is a Christian based, all volunteer, anti-human trafficking organization based in Detroit. We stand on the words contained in the book of Jeremiah 29:11 which says, “for I know the plans that I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”.
We focus on a four-point mission bulwark that includes:
- Awareness – we try to spread information to people about the problem of human trafficking by speaking to individuals and groups about the problem globally and locally. We want people to see the length and breadth of the human trafficking problem and how the problem manifests itself in the Detroit area. We will steadfastly work to see an army mobilized to rise up and fight this terrible inhumanity of our generation.
- Assistance – we just don’t talk about ending the problem of human trafficking we are working diligently to do it! We are a “boots on the ground” effort to reach out and find human trafficking victims on the streets of Detroit and offer them a helping hand out of their plight. We seek to build sufficient trust with the victims that we meet so they will allow us to help them take steps to get out of the violent and chaotic world that they live and move on to restoration through Jesus Christ.
- Advocacy – when we are able to rescue an individual from their trafficked situation we are advocates for them. Most of victims that we meet are drug addicted and require help securing detoxification treatment from their drug habits, then we seek out long term drug rehabilitation for them so that they can be restored to the plan and purpose that God has for their life. We just don’t drop them at the curb of the street in front of a detox center; we are friends to them and mentor them through their rehabilitation and restoration.
- Apostleship – we believe that we have a model for fighting human trafficking that works and we would like to see organizations like ours started throughout the country. We are willing to help anyone start an organization like ours and join in this great fight against the evil of human trafficking.
Where does night angels minister?
We minister and work solely in the Detroit area.
What exactly is human trafficking?
Simply put when someone gives up control of his or her life to someone else the evil of human trafficking has been perpetrated. Most times this is done through force, fraud or coercion. But we also see it being perpetuated by controllers through subtle manipulations especially when the trafficker uses illicit drugs to gain control of a victim. You don’t need handcuffs, ropes, or chains when traffickers use the bondage of the heroin needle and crack cocaine pipe for control.
Does human trafficking exist in the world and the United States today?
There are more slaves in the world today than has ever existed. Although Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation in the United States back in the nineteenth century our country today has become the platform for traffickers everywhere. One can argue about human trafficking related statistics because they aren’t accurate but many respected organizations and individuals indicate that there are millions of slaves in the world today and that the number of slaves in the United States today is probably approaching one-million.
What is the difference in human trafficking, sex trafficking and labor trafficking?
The term human trafficking is a term that contains two sub-groups or categories, which we refer to as sex trafficking and labor trafficking.
- Sex trafficking - is the use of human trafficking victims for commercial sex exploitation, such as in pornography, escort services, internet-based prostitution, massage parlors and body-rub establishments, stripping and exotic dancing, and street prostitution.
- Labor trafficking - is also a sub-group of human trafficking where human trafficking victims that are used various industries including, the farming, hotel and hospitality, service, construction and temporary employment. Employers use trafficking victims as cheap labor without proper credentials and violate employment, immigration, and human trafficking laws for financial gain. We should all be wary of the services that we use in our businesses and our homes to insure that those who mow our lawns, clean our homes, or take care of our children are not being victimized. No good financial deal as a consumer is worth exploiting a human trafficking victim.
What are you tactics for finding human trafficking victims on the streets of Detroit?
We go out in a large SUV in teams of four volunteers and we look for women and men engaged in street prostitution. We do this because our experience tells us that almost all people engaged in street prostitution are trafficking victims. Our team members all have very specific jobs in the vehicle and when we pull up individuals that we believe are engaged in street prostitution, two of our team members lower their windows on the street side of the vehicle and we tell our new friend that we are from “Night Angels” and ask would they be interested in a lunch and a hygiene kit. The lunch is made up of a fresh and wholesome sandwich, various snacks, a drink, and a love note that tells them that they are a precious and special creature in God’s eyes. The hygiene kit is made up of shampoo, soap, washcloth, toothpaste and a toothbrush. If they say yes, they are interested in what we are offering and they approach our SUV, then we ask them their name and if we can pray for them. By praying with them we begin to build a relationship built on trust, and the Holy Spirit, so they will allow us to help them get out of the relationship that they have with their trafficker and on to the plan and purpose that God has for their lives.
One needs to understand before starting a ministry such as this that it is a hazardous and dangerous work. Night Angels would be more than glad to help train a group get started but understand that numerous safety procedures need to be incorporated into a group’s tactics to keep its ministry safe.
What kind of girls do you meet on the streets as you are working in this ministry?
Our friends come from all over the Detroit tri-county area, State of Michigan, many states surrounding Michigan, and throughout the greater United States. These girls come from every ethnicity, socio-economic group, and background that you can imagine. Human trafficking is not only a Detroit problem; it is a Birmingham, Mount Clemens, Grosse Pointe, and Troy problem. We have met girls from your suburb, your social circle and your ethnic background. Traffickers know no bounds to find their victims.
Are women who are engaged in high-end escort services really victims?
You betcha! No woman grows up wanting to be a prostitute. That is a fallacy that Hollywood wants to foist upon us through their misogynistic perspective. Even high-end call girls and escorts enter that on-ramp to the human trafficking super highway out of some kind of financial need or desperation. We have met many girls who have ended up as street prostitutes and have told how they got started in high-end escort services, even running those services, and virtually all of them started out of desperation.
Is pornography part of the human trafficking problem?
Pornography is one of the largest, if not the largest exploiters of human trafficking victims. Most individuals working as subjects in porn materials, both video and print medias, are human trafficking victims or slaves who have been purchased for the purpose of being raped and abused in various forms of perversions for the sale and distribution of pornography. Pornography is a powerful drug that is running rampant at pandemic levels in our culture. With the advent of the Internet, users (including young children) have free unlimited access to the most deplorable content imaginable with the click of a button. The average age is now 9 to 11 for boys and girls beginning to view porn. In using pornography we are perpetuating the evil of human trafficking.
Is child prostitution really a problem in Detroit?
The first street prostitute that we saw in our first Night Angels outreach on the streets was a twelve year old girl who was prostituting out of a hotel on the city’s west side. Many of the children on the streets working as prostitutes get there because of a dysfunctional home that they ran away from with no plan or safety net to help them. Also, many eighteen-year old girls maybe aren’t children anymore but they end up working the streets because they were foster children and aged out of that system.
Are strip clubs really part of the problem?
Strip clubs are another “on-ramp” to the human trafficking “superhighway”. Many women are enticed into great financial gain by working at a strip club. They think that although it is a seamy business that they can make large sums of money without losing control of their lives. They come to this industry through newspaper ads or underground ads for employment in this element of the sex industry. When the girls begin working and stripping in these clubs or as waitresses or shot girls, traffickers introduce them into on-site prostitution in the strip clubs in their VIP or Executive Private rooms inside the clubs. Heroine also get introduced into the dynamic and the girls wake up one morning and literally find themselves addicted to heroine, their bodies ravaged by rape and drug addiction and the drug dealer now their human trafficking “controller”. Their health continues to deteriorate because of their drug addiction and they are forced into street prostitution where Night Angels meet them.
We see massage and body rub establishments in our neighborhood are they really illegal and engaged in sex trafficking?
Although there are many fine spas and salons, which offer legitimate, massage services there are many illegitimate massage parlors and body rub establishments that are fronts for the commercial sex industry. These types of spa’s and body rub establishments are opening in most urban and suburban areas of Detroit. We see them opening up everywhere and advertising for commercial sex on-line.
How can I get a representative of Night Angels to come and speak to my group?
Contact us through our web site.
What are the signs that someone is being trafficked?
The following are some of the signs that may indicate someone is a victim of human trafficking:
- The person is accompanied by a controlling person
- The person does not speak for themselves
- The person is rarely allowed in public
- The person is not able to keep money earned
- Malnutrition is evident
- Dental problems are evident
- Bruises and abrasions are evident
- Skin branding and questionable names are contained in tattoos, and the person does not possess identification
What should I do if I see someone that I think is a human trafficking victim?
If you believe someone is in imminent danger you should immediately call 911. If an imminent danger situation does not exist then you can call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888 or Night Angels directly at 586-247-2027.
How can we help?
Please pray for us always, prayer is the cornerstone of what we do and always will be. You can contact us and provide sandwiches, lunches, hygiene kits, notes of encouragement, survivor backpacks, or monetary financial support for gas and the other financial needs of the ministry. We can always use the help! Like and share our posts on Facebook.