The Victims Project
Slavery Ended in 1865? That Myth Puts our Kids in Danger

By Tina Frundt  founder and executive director of Courtney’s House

Anyone who paid attention in a high school history class has heard this story: Slavery ended in the United States in 1865 when Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. It’s got all the features of a great story — patriotism, triumph over evil, and a tall, handsome hero with a penchant for cool hats. The only problem is, the story isn’t exactly true.

Slavery didn’t end in 1865, it was just made illegal. But modern-day slavery, now called human trafficking, still exists across America. The U.S. State Department estimates up to 17,000 people are trafficked — enslaved — in the U.S. each year.

Modern-day slavery is just as horrific as historical slavery — people are forced to work on farms, in factories, or in the commercial sex industry. They have no rights, no ability to leave, and no control over their situation. And this industry affects school-age children — onestudy from the University of Pennsylvania found up to 300,000 American children at risk for modern-day slavery in the form of child sex trafficking. So why do textbooks still teach the myth that slavery ended in 1865?

Incorporating modern-day slavery into school curriculum is important to me as a survivor of modern-day slavery, a mother, and an advocate for trafficked children. That’s why I support the campaigncalling on McGraw-Hill, one of the largest producers of history textbooks in the U.S., to amend their teaching that slavery ended in 1865 and include information about modern-day slavery. If we can correct this misinformation in textbooks, we’ll be taking the first step toward educating children on modern-day slavery.

On a personal level, this issue matters to me as a person who was enslaved in America long after 1865. I was enslaved by a pimp at age 14, who used the vulnerability an unstable and abusive childhood in foster care had given me as a tool to force me into prostitution. He offered me attention and love, so I ran away from home to be with him. The abuse started almost instantly, and I survived it for over a year before escaping.

Now, as a mother, I’ve watched children learn about trafficking the hard way. My oldest daughter graduated from a prestigious high school in Northern Virginia. As a teenager, she has referred two of her classmates to Courtney’s House, the Washington, DC shelter for child sex trafficking victims I run. As my daughter watched her peers become trapped and enslaved by pimps she asked me “Mom, why don’t we learn about this in school?” It was a good question without a good answer.

But it’s not just my daughter’s high school teaching the myth that slavery in America ended centuries ago. Most high schools, middle schools, and elementary schools in the U.S. teach the same thing. And it’s written in most history textbooks that slavery has an expiration date, and that date is far, far passed.

McGraw-Hill has several textbooks, including United States Adventures in Time and Place, World Issues, and Social Studies World History, which directly or indirectly present the end of the Civil War as the end of slavery in America. In doing so, they not only present an untrue statement, but miss a critical opportunity to educate children about how to protect themselves from modern-day slavery.

Kids and teens need comprehensive education about slavery so they can make informed decisions to protect themselves and their peers against would-be exploiters. That education starts with modern-day slavery in textbooks, but also includes the age-appropriate material in curriculum and education for parents. Education about human trafficking is key to preventing it, key to making sure I don’t get any more referrals of child sex trafficking victims from my oldest daughter’s high school or start getting them from my youngest daughter’s middle school.

In less than a month, I’ll be speaking to over 10,000 educators about the importance of teaching children and teens the truth about modern-day slavery, giving them the tools to make safe decisions, and educating them about the dangers they and their peers face. I hope to be able to announce that McGraw-Hill is taking the lead and working to set the record straight: that slavery didn’t end in 1865, but still happens in America today.

Slavery still exists. 


The Click Five partnered with MTV EXIT to produce a music video to their track “Don’t Let Me Go.” With a message of hanging on this video aims to raise awareness about human trafficking and the role we can all play in breaking the chain.

The Blind Project -

Teen Rescue founder talks human trafficking at the Radisson Hotel Whittier

Posted: 01/08/2011 05:44:28 PM PST


Soroptimist International of Whittier presents lunch with Phil Ludwig, founder of Teen Rescue, at noon Tuesday at the Radisson Hotel Whittier, 7320 Greenleaf Ave.

As a former San Diego law enforcement officer, Ludwig dealt with human trafficking.

Ludwig has witnessed teens with United States citizenship sold into sex slavery in Europe and Mexico.

In 1989, he started Teen Rescue to protect these teens from becoming vulnerable to these heinous crimes.

Tuesday is national Human Trafficking Awareness Day.

Lunch is $12.50 per person.

For information or reservations, contact Teresa Molina, membership, at 562-233-5786 or

Send submissions for “Around Whittier”

Read more:Teen Rescue founder talks human trafficking at the Radisson Hotel Whittier - Whittier Daily News

This is a really awesome interactive website about the products of slavery and where they come from and information about them.

I highly suggest you check it out. 

Five Arrested for Webcasting Sexual Torture of Mentally Disabled Woman

by Amanda Kloer - September 10, 2010

Five men were indicted in Missouri for sexually torturing a young, mentally-disabled women on live Internet webcast, forcing her to dance at strip clubs, and other heinous abuses. While the details of this case are some of the most gruesome that have ever been revealed, it serves as a textbook example of several of the most common and critical components of sex trafficking cases. And some of the men involved are well-known community leaders.

Editor’s Note: The details of this case are especially disturbing, even for this blog.

Five years of unspeakable torture ended for one Missouri woman this week, when her abusers were arrested and charged with a nauseating smorgasbord of crimes. The victim, who is referred to as FV only, met Edward Bagley, the alleged primary abuser, when she was just 16. She had lived in foster care her whole life and suffered from mental disabilities, so he easily convinced her that he could help her become a model and a dancer. Instead, he forced her into a life of sexual slavery, rape, torture, humiliation, and abuse. Traffickers prey on the vulnerable, and that includes young people, people with disabilities, and people without strong support systems, like foster children. FV fit the profile too well.

Bagley allegedly made money off FV in a number of ways, many of which were online. He advertised for sexual torture sessions with her online and broadcast them on streaming webcasts. He forced her to dance at strip clubs around Missouri. He traded her to his friends for cigarettes and steaks (yes, steaks). Traffickers increasingly use the Internet to advertise and exploit victims, but some exploitation still takes place the old-fashioned way, in strip clubs and by men exchanging meat for meat.

The men who are indicted for paying for these live or online torture sessions were not random creeps off the street, either. One of them is the Postmaster General of Nevada. Another is a national representative for disabled American veterans. We often think of the people who pay for sex with children or trafficked women as trench coat-wearing, mustache-twirling bush-lurkers. But they’re our fathers, husbands, brothers, bosses, and friends. These men were upstanding citizens, at least, when they weren’t paying to torture a woman for fun.

Bagley also used many of the techniques pimps and traffickers use to control their victims, only to the extreme. On FV’s eighteenth birthday, he forced her to sign a contract declaring her his “sex slave for life”, and convinced her it was legally binding. He killed her pets in front of her. He tattooed her to mark her as his property, with the Chinese symbol for slave. So many trafficked girls and women are branded this way by pimps and traffickers, some organizations have a fund for laser tattoo removal set aside.

Finally, FV’s horrific abuse was ended because people were paying attention. A law enforcement investigation was started after electrocution during a torture session sent FV into cardiac arrest at the age of 23. The doctors who treated her knew something was seriously wrong. Doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals are often the only people outside traffickers and buyers a victim may see, so their role in identifying and removing victims to safety is critical

Craigslist: Defying the Laws of Math, Abusing Workers, or Lying? by Amanda Kloer

When Craigslist changed the name of the “erotic services” section to “adult services” last year, they claimed they made a number of other changes as well, including creating a policy that staff would manually review each adult services ad before it was posted. It would be a good policy, if it were actually happening. But it’s mathematically impossible for Craigslist to actually do what they are claiming to and review each post by hand.

Last year, Polaris Project spent several months counting the number of erotic/adult services ads posted on Craigslist across the country. They came up with a conservative average of about 10,000 unique ads a month, though some months had over 13,000 ads posted. That’s a lot of ads to manually review. According to a factsheet on Craigslist’s website, they have a staff of 30 people working out of their San Fransisco office who keep the company running on a day-to-day basis. That’s a pretty small staff to review all those ads. Now we get to revisit elementary school math class to see if 30 staff reading 10,000 ads a month is even possible.

If all 30 staff members (including CEO Jim Buckmaster) are actively reviewing adult services ads, that means each of them must manually review around 330 ads per day. If Craigslist employees work standard eight hour days, that means they’re reviewing 42 ads an hour, or a new ad every minute and a half, without stopping. During the heavy months when they get more than 13,000 ads, they would be reviewing an ad a minute for eight hours a day, every day, with no breaks. That is a grueling schedule; if I worked for Craigslist and this was actually the policy in place, I’d quit.

In reality, the 30 staff members of Craigslist are doing all sorts of things to keep the company running other than screening adult services ads. That means that the number of ads per employee per day jumps to an impossible number. So what’s the deal, Craigslist? Are you a magical company able to defy natural law? Or are you overworking your small staff to the point of exhaustion? Or are you lying about reviewing all the adult services ads you receive by hand? A lot of people would love to know your secret.

You can be one of almost 10,000 people who have asked Craigslist to stop lying, to actually reform their adult services section and really review ads. Unless, of course, it turns out Craig Newmark is a magical leprechaun who has imbued his company with special powers, which I guess is always possible.

This is an amazing article and we hope it sheds awareness of how Craigslist isn’t doing as much as it can to prevent people and children being used for sex trafficking and slavery. 

Please share this with all your friends, family and coworkers!