To Catch a Predator Part 2

About the Podcast

Welcome to another powerful episode of Liberating Humanity. The podcast that delves into the unsettling reality of human trafficking and the perpetrators behind it. Your host Paul Hutchinson, shares chilling anecdotes of traffickers who appear as ordinary individuals. Emphasizing the importance of recognizing behavioral patterns rather than relying on stereotypes. 

The podcast sheds light on the methods used by traffickers to exploit vulnerabilities, such as targeting tourists through social media or grooming victims in their own neighborhoods.

Paul highlights the precautions parents can take to safeguard their children, particularly when traveling internationally and the misconception that only affluent families are at risk, stressing that traffickers often prey on vulnerable children from broken homes or impoverished backgrounds. He underscores the need for building children’s self-esteem and fostering open communication to empower them against potential threats.

Paul emphasizes that the root cause of such atrocities lies in unresolved trauma, advocating for a holistic approach to healing that addresses not only the immediate rescue of victims but also the long-term rehabilitation of survivors and perpetrators alike. Through initiatives like healing retreats and trauma therapy, this aims to break the cycle of abuse and create a safer future for generations to come.

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Chris Avena [00:00:30]

American outdoor news and today we have a repeat guest Paul Hutchinson. We spoke a little while back about your work that you’ve done with trial trafficking working with the government breaking up child trafficking rings, so important. We didn’t cover last time, we ran out of time. What is the profile of some of these people that you’ve encountered?

Paul Hutchinson [00:01:11]

Well Chris, that’s the scary part. Most of these traffickers and pedophiles that we’ve taken down, you wouldn’t notice that they are any different than the guy next door in a lot of cases. People think, let’s be careful of guys who have big beards and dark glasses. No, these are guys that try to blend in. I can’t tell you how many times where we’ve taken down bust and the traffickers look like any other guy on the street and so what you need to be looking for though is more of the behavior of your kids because when they make themselves out as a victim then they’re a bigger target. So teaching healthy self-esteem in your children is one of the most important things you can do. Teach them to look people in the eyes and not walk around on their cell phones, looking down all the time and hunched over  and acting like a victim. Put them in some self-defense classes so that they’re confident in their ability to deal with an issue if that ever happens. That’s super important, it’s also important to teach your children that indeed there are hundreds of thousands of predators online right now looking through social media for kids and looking for potential opportunities and victims. I’ll tell you an example years ago we had a rescue that was in a beach town in Latin America and we had scheduled this over New Year’s because there was a federal agent said there was a lot of trafficking going on around the holidays, around New Year’s in this area because a lot of wealthy Americans would come down for parties or whatever. So we went undercover for a few weeks to identify where the traffickers were so that we could set up the sting over the New Year’s weekend. I was dating a girl at the time and she wanted to be with me over the holidays, I’m like no, I’m doing this work. I’m traveling. She just let me come and I can just stay at the resort that’s close to where you are. So we can be. so I said okay. So we flew her down. She was staying at a resort away from where we were. She had her cousin with her. Now her cousin had just turned 18 but her cousin looked like she was 14. She looked a lot younger and she was down there advertising on her social media. Hey we’re down here in this beach town area, we’re just having a fun time. She comes to me and she shows me her phone and she said Paul, look at this guy, he’s a guide and he saw me posting that we were down here and he wants to take us, me and your girlfriend on a free boat ride and tour around on the the islands and around here and he has jet skis and he wants to take us for free. This looks fun and she showed me his picture. Chris, this was one of the traffickers, this is one of the guys that was selfless children as young as seven years old and he was he was reaching out to tourists that were down there that in his mind looked like they were down there without parents and reaching out to them because I guess on social media streams you can identify people who are in the area, who were just posting. So he was profiling people that looked like they were there without parents to see if he could bring them into his network. This is how he was bringing in some of these children. It’s super important to be extra vigilant about what the children are posting online and what kind of information is out there to the public because you don’t know what these guys are looking for.

Chris Avena [00:05:49]

That brings us into a whole different category. I’ve traveled all over the world with my son as an infant. He’s an adult, we travel. What  precautions can a parent take? Taking their children overseas to the islands going to Europe or wherever they’re taking them. How can they save you being with their child ?

Paul Hutchinson [00:06:16]

I’ll tell you, to put people’s minds at ease. The percentage of children and victims that we rescue that were abducted from affluent families when they are traveling or even at their homes is very low. Now it doesn’t mean that there’s still not a big problem. The majority of children that are trafficked are taken from broken homes, are taken from the foster system, from runaways. A runaway child is brought into that world within days of running away because they are the highest profile, they’re ones that nobody cares about. You’re not going to have the wealth of a family that’s putting massive resources into looking for a child. If they’re coming from a super broken home or from a situation where they’re in a state-run home those are the one ones who are the highest victims or unfortunately in a lot of these third world countries they’re very poor families in Southeast Asia and Thailand more than half the children We rescued in Thailand were sold by their own families and so there’s challenges like that from a poverty standpoint where you’ve got to deal with. The number one problem and this is super important, you have a thousand times higher chance of your child being a victim of sexual abuse in your own home in your own neighborhood than you ever will having them abducted and taken. Now the parents think the worst thing ever is if my child is actually physically taken from me and sold. Yes, that’s a horrible thing but you have to understand that worldwide right now they’re approximately 8 million children who are being sold in trafficking. Physically owned children that are sold by these traffickers. Eight million sounds like a big number, however there’s over one billion women on this planet who were a victim of sexual violence as a child. In fact there’s over 200 million men who experienced sexual violence under the age of 10 years old and most of them in their own homes. This is where the biggest problem is. In fact this is the reason why I’ve decided to go public because I’ve realized that just going undercover and rescuing 20 children at a time was never going to fix the problem because if we didn’t do anything to fix the demand then it would just create another vacuum. By teaching people how to keep their children safe in their own homes or by helping adolescents and young adults who had experienced that kind of trauma as a child and if we can help them heal before they pass on that trauma in any form will save millions of children because some of them grow up with low self-esteem and issues with themselves others grow up and pass on that trauma with either sexual abuse or physical abuse or even just verbal abuse is still passing on that to that next generation and so the number one thing that you can do as a parent is to build that self-esteem in your child not only so they don’t get abducted but so they can be strong against uncle Harry or whoever is gonna be babysitting them. So they can know who they are and be super careful what kind of people are alone with your children ever because that’s where that goes happens and that’s going to affect their entire life.

Chris Avena [00:10:38]

Yeah, Those numbers are really staggering that it could be just about anybody, it could be your neighbor, your soccer coach, a family member which I think is more prevalent than abduction. 

Paul Hutchinson [00:11:11]

It’s not just the guy that’s working at the strip club in Colombia. This could be a next door neighbor. I understand about one in every four households in the world have situations in their own homes where children have been abused and so it’s a scarier world out there than just having your child taken in a third world country because it’s affecting their entire life when that kind of travesty is allowed to happen. Building your children’s self-esteem helps them be super careful of what they’re posting online and helps them respect their body and others as well. Understand what healthy barriers are, what boundaries are, that it’s not okay to cross. Have those conversations with your children when they’re young so that they can feel comfortable coming to you and saying hey this guy makes me feel uncomfortable this is what happened. That’s what’s going to keep them safe and there’s a lot of children that get groomed in their own neighborhoods by people who would try to get them to be involved. We did a rescue once, this little girl, she was 12 years old and just turned 13. Actually her babysitter was her aunt. Her aunt became friends with some of these traffickers and her aunt started showing this little girl pornography when she was babysitting her and to desensitize her and then she told this little girl ‘Hey, you know you’re gonna lose your virginity sometime anyway if you lose it to these rich Americans then you can earn 500, well she was charging us five thousand dollars for this poor little girl in this sting operation, the mother had no idea what was going on. It was the aunt. It was babysitting this little girl that was desensitizing her with pornography and working with the traffickers so this kind of thing happens a lot. We had another little girl who was an American. She and her sister were being raised by the grandmother and their grandmother was a loving lady but not very attentive. This little 13 year old and her sister who was 17 told the grandma “hey we’re gonna go travel internationally. We’re gonna travel together. So during the summer they left for about a month. Grandma said okay be safe, have fun. When these two little girls ran out of money, they didn’t want to call their Grandma and tell her that they’re out of money. So the 17 year old had found this guy, who was grooming her. He was a trafficker but made her think that he could really be her boyfriend. She started doing some parties and stuff with them and then her little 13 year old sister was taken by the traffickers and drugged her and we’re trafficking this little girl. This is the kind of situation, grandma just thought they were out on vacation and was just extending longer and so there are predators everywhere and those predators could be in third world countries. They could be your next door neighbor, they could be your brother or brother-in-law. There’s a lot of predators that you just need to be aware of, especially if your next door neighbor or your brother-in-law had some kind of trauma themselves that has been unresolved as children. Sometimes that trauma comes out in healthy ways. they’re like,  I’m gonna do some great things in the world and prove to the world that that’s not me. Other times it comes out in unhealthy ways where their perception of intimacy is really skewed and they end up passing on that trauma and verbal physical or even sexual abuse to other children. Those are what our goal is, to help people heal before it gets passed on in any form. 

Chris Avena [00:15:49]

What kind of child behavior should a parent look for? if they suspect something is going on. 

Paul Hutchinson [00:16:06]

Any kind of changes to your child’s self-esteem should be looked at very carefully. Too many parents think “oh my child’s self-esteem is down because they’re being bullied at school. No, maybe they’re being bullied at school because their self-esteem is down,because there’s some abuse situations that are happening. That’s more common than not. So if your child is dealing with some self-esteem issues and they’re not getting along well with others at school.  They’re having a hard time with their homework, they’re having extra nightmares, they are becoming socially distant not only in school but in situations in your own family. Those are signs to be looking for that needs immediate intervention in making sure that you as the parent are spending time with that child, building their self-esteem, building your relationship with them so that they feel comfortable in coming to you with any kind of issues. If that relationship isn’t there they’re very isolated and they’re probably being told by the predator that they will harm their family or they will be harmed themselves and so there’s fear there so if there’s a there’s an undue amount of fear that your child is having about things that doesn’t make sense to you. Why are they scared of this, why are they scared of talking to people, why are they scared? If there’s extra fear,  that fear is probably being propagated by a predator who is manipulating them with fear to hurt them and take advantage of them. Those are all signs to be watched for with the children’s low self-esteem, changes in their behavior and their social interactions and fear that’s coming out from any kind of direction are signs that there may be some underlying issues that need to be dealt with. So spend that time with your child, build that relationship with them, build their self-esteem and figure out really what’s going on.

Chris Avena[00:18:38]

Well I know in the U.S, roughly 2 300 children are abducted per day. The number of children that are sexually abused has to be astronomical.

Paul Hutchinson [00:18:57]

Oh it’s yeah, absolutely. Here’s the thing 40 of all the women in America have been a victim of sexual violence. 40 percent, almost half.  40 of all women in the U.S and the average age of somebody who comes out and says this is what happened to me as a child. The average age is 52 years old. They’re holding this inside of them their entire life. They’re raising their children and working their jobs holding this trauma inside of themselves. Now the number with men is a little bit lower but it’s still one in five. 20 percent of all men that still have been a victim of sexual violence. It’s still super high.  You look at those kinds of numbers, you realize this is an epidemic. This is why I’m focusing on this kind of healing because when I started looking into the cause, the demand of child trafficking, I came to an understanding that I thought it was just addiction to pornography that was leading to it. Where you take a woman from a divine feminine to an object and you start going down a dark road. Sometimes these guys who are addicted want something harder to have that same fix and for some of them harder is a little bit younger, a little bit younger, pretty soon they’re fantasizing about things they wouldn’t have even though  it was attractive five years ago. I thought that was a demand, that’s what we have to fix is pornography and I’ve realized that no, that’s a symptom as well. Just like trafficking is a symptom, the pornography is a symptom of a deeper underlying issue and that deeper underlying issue is people who have had some type of trauma in their life that is causing that behavior. If we can get down to that root cause and it’s not just people who are sexually abused. There are people who never had an angry word in their home, they were never physically abused they were never sexually abused but they ended up with their own type of trauma in their houses as well, maybe their father never said I love you, maybe he never gave them a hug, maybe they had an absentee mother or father in their home, whatever they were dealing with some emotional issues that they held and felt guilty for even though it wasn’t their fault. Being able to help them let go of that judgment, let go of that guilt and recover and heal that’s what it’s going to take to help literally transform a generation, so we’re not creating generational abuse and creating this demand for the trafficking world that we’ve been fighting. 

Chris Avena [00:22:11]

So there’s always some kind of root cause of the abuse. 

Paul Hutchinson [00:22:22]

Yeah, That’s the root of it. Hurt people will hurt other people. Shield people will help heal people and that’s really what it’s all about, creating that healing. A lot of my focus right now is that the Child Liberation Foundation has been helping to eradicate child trafficking for many years and the majority of the money of that foundation would go to rescue efforts and rehabilitation and safe houses things like that. Our new focus with that foundation is to not just help fund the rescue of traffic children but to help rescue the 10 year old child inside of a 30-40 year old man or woman, who’s been dealing with some of that issue for the majority of their life. Not only are we helping to build safe houses, we are helping to create healing retreats for adults, who want to shed some of the childhood trauma that they’re dealing with. They’ll come in for a two or three or four day intensive healing opportunity, where we’ll use everything from animals with Equine Therapy to drum healing and breath work and deep meditation. Even some of the ones that we’re doing in Jamaica and Mexico and others using different types of plant medicine to help release that trauma and get through that in a way where we can create real long-term change within a period of a few days of intensive trauma therapy. That’s what we’re working with and that’s what I’m putting a lot of my focus and time into. These healing retreats and these healing opportunities where we’ll bring in adults who want to overcome some challenges of their childhood and help them within 24 to 48 hours have more breakthroughs than what they’ve seen with traditional therapy in 10 plus years.

Chris Avena [00:24:49]

So that’s trading depression anxiety and everything else that comes along with it.

Paul Hutchinson [00:25:04]

Yeah.  We specialize in PTSD especially for operators, our special forces guys or Green Berets, Navy Seals that we’ve worked with on a lot of our missions. Having PTSD Focus helping people with anxiety and depression. Even if that anxiety depression didn’t come from their childhood, helping them work through that, helping people with anger issues,  helping people learn how to love themselves, especially if they dealt with some kind of childhood trauma. There’s a lot of lack of self-love that people deal with year after year and so being able to help them redefine themselves and not define themselves by the trauma of their pastor, the things that happen to them or even the things that they did, help them, let that past be in the past,  focus on the present and on where they’re going, shed that trauma, let go of guilt, let go of judgment, let go of pain, let go of anger, let go of fear and step into this new light of healing, that’s what our primary focus now. Putting together and we do them almost every other weekend where we’ll pull together adults who want to have a healing experience. Some of them took a bunch of religious leaders and doctors to Jamaica in January to give them their first experience with using some plant medicine tools, some psychedelic type tools to work through their issues and it was beautiful and transformation. We have to take them there because a lot of those things aren’t legal in areas of the U.S yet. but we’re working on those. We have other ones that are here in the U.S where we have people with these intensive breathwork training and sound bowls and working with the horses where we help people transform their lives in two to three days coming away with a truly transformational experience. If I can help the adults heal from their trauma then we can, in turn they can turn around and be much better parents in showing up for their children and living from a place of the heart, leading from a place of the heart and being more sensitive to the needs of their kids so that we don’t have generational trauma that is passed on.

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