Hey, there faithful readers. This week we’re going to take a break from talking about plumbing and HVAC and talk about something more important – our children. We’re also going to introduce you to a non-profit organization that puts children first and, at the same time, does something powerful. They help to protect and save the world’s children.
This week, we’re going to discuss Thorn and their mission. This organization was co-founded by actors Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore in 2012. They describe themselves as digital defenders of children, and the purpose of Thorn is to put a stop to child sex trafficking not just in the US but in the entire world.
Before The Dawn Of The Internet
Before the internet, many in law enforcement thought that images of child sexual abuse were almost gone. Then came the boom of the internet in the 90s, which can be attributed to the explosive accessibility to pictures of abused children, and the problem continues to this day. Thorn’s goal is to eliminate child sexual abuse from the internet. While it’s a tall order, they’re up to the challenge.
According to Thorn’s website, a jump was seen in child sexual abuse files over the past 16 years. The site reports that in 2004 there were roughly 450,000 child sexual abuse files that were reviewed by the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. This number sprang to 70 million abuse files in 2019. You read that correct – MILLION. Thankfully, Thorn and NCMEC don’t have to tackle this alone.
“Microsoft and Facebook and Twitter and Google are competing every day in business, but they’ve all agreed to work together to find a solution to human trafficking and the sexual exploitation of children,” says Ashton Kutcher in a video on Thorn’s website.
Staying One Step Ahead Of Child Predators
Thorn understands that they need to be one step ahead of child predators who use new technology to share images of abused children. They’re mindful that technology can be a tool to help stop an abuser, and they’re helping to build software in the mission to stop child exploitation.
They’ve also developed Spotlight, a web-based tool used by law enforcement officers in all 50 states and Canada. Spotlight is used to aid in investigations by identifying and finding victims faster.
It’s used locally by the Ghost Unit with the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office. Why are they called the Ghost Unit? They say the victims of human trafficking and sex trafficking are ghosts, and their unit wants to make them whole again. The article about what human trafficking looks like from an officer’s perspective can be found on Thorn’s website as well.
“All you want to do is give them a hug and make them feel like it’s okay. And you feel like you can’t even give them a hug because that’s the exact thing that stole a piece of their innocence away,” says Kutcher, with his voice breaking in the video.
What To Learn More?
If you want to learn more about this organization and its mission, go to https://www.thorn.org/ to read their reports and donate to their cause. It is an immense amount of information, but everything on the site is essential for anyone to know.
Parents, please look out not only for your children but for children everywhere. They need us to help protect them from adults who don’t have good intentions towards them. We as a community can work together to put an end to these kinds of predators and give our kids the happy childhoods they deserve. The team with Albuquerque Plumbing Heating & Cooling believes that it takes a village to raise and care for a child, and we will protect your children with open arms as part of our family.