Salt Lake City, Utah, 23rd February 2023, ZEXPRWIRE, J.C. Holt, Domestic Operations Director at O.U.R. (Operation Underground Railroad) was featured in Influential People Magazine, where he discussed a number of important topics regarding human trafficking, child exploitation, and crimes related to sex offense. Influential People Magazine is a leading international business media news source, and a promotional marketing vehicle magazine that features and spotlights business owners, entrepreneurs, invisible heroes, leaders, influencers, celebrities, and humanitarian resources to the media and readers. Its content encourages readers and entrepreneurs to apply actionable advice and develop businesses into industry-leading organizations.
The mission of Operation Underground Railroad is to shine a light worldwide on the global issue of child sex trafficking and exploitation, and in so doing rescue more children from slavery and assist law enforcement to seek justice for those who violate children. They also place survivors on a path to recovery by partnering with vetted aftercare providers. During his interview, J.C. Holt explained what constitutes the sex trafficking of children and who generally is involved with it:
“I can cite from the CDC that by their definition, human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery in which victims are subjected to force, fraud or coercion for the purpose of commercial sex, debt bondage, or involuntary labor. This is a good summary statement, I feel, and would also note that while O.U.R.’s specific focus is on ending the trafficking of children, the victims of trafficking can include young children, teens, men and women and the criteria for what to do when you see or suspect is similar or the same.”
Mr. Holt also discussed how best to report any instances of trafficking and what signs to watch for in a trafficking situation and the difference between trafficking and exploitation, stating:
“The U.S. Dept. of State describes sexual exploitation as a person profiting from the use of another person’s body in a sexual manner in order to benefit (financially or otherwise). In general, the perpetrator of sexual exploitation takes advantage of their victim’s vulnerable or dependent state, including addictions to drugs or alcohol.
Although the forms of exploitation are continually changing, the Dept. of State says, the methods stay largely the same. An adult will target a child, trick them into trusting them, and then abuse their power for their own needs. This is known as ‘grooming’ and it is used for both criminal exploitation and sexual exploitation. For example, in the documentary Operation Underground Railroad recently produced, “It’s Happening Right Here,” the data shows reports of exploitation have doubled during the period of COVID lockdown, with much of the grooming occurring through online contact, such as social media and especially via online games that include chat functions, allowing perpetrators to feign interest and friendship and to groom prospective victims through assumed identities within the chat functions of online video games. As parents, we need to be more aware than ever before of the dangers posed in our own homes through smartphones and internet games.”
While assuring readers that the police take seriously any reports of human trafficking, Mr. Holt also commented on a news report about a woman who said that the police had dismissed her report, claiming that traffickers are nearly always people who are known to the victim, and that being targeted by strangers or through the use of a “date rape” drug might “make for a Hollywood plot line” but is not the way traffickers really operate.
“It is accurate according to multiple studies and reports that the majority of perpetrators are known to the victim, and especially to a child victim. For example, a study from RAIN gives interesting statistics, such as confirming from surveys conducted from 2012 to approximately 2016 that of more than 1000 sexual violence incidents followed, 59% of perpetrators were acquaintances and 34% were family members, with only 7% being strangers.
In all, it appears that perpetrators are known to their victims as much as 70% of the time. However, this is far from true of all situations, especially when the aspects of contact via social media and internet gaming come into play. In our opinion it is important to make all families and communities aware of all these situations and statistics, and to not be dismissive of anyone’s report or claim without due investigation. Again, I would recommend that you do your research and escalate any situation you must to ensure the response to a situation you witness or experience is appropriate and accurate.”
Overall, J.C. Holt’s expertise and experience have been invaluable in helping Operation Underground Railroad achieve its mission to end the trafficking of children. As a private organization that works closely with law enforcement agencies across the United States, O.U.R is committed to stopping the sexual exploitation of all vulnerable people, with a focus on helping children. Through partnerships with local authorities, funding for resources, and education about trafficking and exploitation, O.U.R. is making a real difference in the fight against this horrific crime.
Readers with additional questions can visit the Operation Underground Railroad page on YouTube for additional resources and information and can reach out to O.U.R. via the info contact page at OURrescue.org.
About J.C. Holt, Domestic Operations Director at Operation Underground Railroad
J.C. Holt is a retired law enforcement officer and PIO. Currently the Domestic Operations Director at O.U.R. (Operation Underground Railroad). In his role, Holt heads up a team whose focus is on building relationships and support for all Domestic operations of O.U.R. with U.S. law enforcement agencies. As a primary example, O.U.R. provides funding for resources to law enforcement agencies across the United States to assist them in their efforts of investigating human trafficking and child exploitation and sex offense-oriented crimes. Some of these resources include computer hardware and software, training scholarships and Electronic Storage Detection K9’s. This greatly helps these agencies with budgetary shortfalls and empowers a model of helping our law enforcement officers across the country.
Holt and his team receive several reports each month from these law enforcement agencies they assist in highlighting their work in this space with the resources their group provides. Because O.U.R. works only as a supporting group with local law enforcement and is a private organization, his team works to provide continual education about what constitutes trafficking or exploitation, and when it is witnessed (or suspected), as well as what community and family members can do for the most effective and immediate support possible.
Disclaimer: The views, suggestions, and opinions expressed here are the sole responsibility of the experts. No Study Champ journalist was involved in the writing and production of this article.