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Guardian Group Highlights National Anti-Human Trafficking Awareness Month with Community Awareness Events in January

Guardian Group is a one-of-a-kind nonprofit organization comprised of former elite military and special operations personnel who partner with law enforcement agencies enabling them to put an end to sex-trafficking in the United States. The organization, founded by veteran and former pastor Jeff Keith in 2010, hires retiring U.S. Veterans, specifically those from the intelligence, analytical and tactical division. The approach complements resource-constrained law enforcement, ensuring sex-trafficking safe-havens are disrupted and eliminated. The team draws upon decades of experience fusing intelligence and operations to achieve counter-network effects against sex-trafficking on the national level, focusing on predators and their networks, specifically those involved in child sex-trafficking.

The intention is singular—to gain an offensive advantage against this problem. While the rescue and recovery of children is paramount, our offensive advantage enables us to disrupt the exploitation cycle before rescue becomes necessary. To date, Guardian Group has completed numerous successful sex-trafficking engagements in direct support of law enforcement and families that need our help. And this organization gets results: for every 1 predator that is prosecuted, 5-6 children or young men and women are offered a path to freedom.

This January, Guardian Group is undertaking a comprehensive community awareness campaign in conjunction with National Human Trafficking Awareness Month and will host its largest-ever training on January 11th, 6:30 to 8:00 pm, at Journey Church. Sponsored by War Tribe and Clark’s University of Martial Arts, the event is designed to be accessible for the general public (ages 12 and up) as well as special interests, and can accommodate several hundred people. The evening will open with pizza and refreshments, and then feature the 35-minute Human Trafficking Prevention Training. After this, participants will be invited to visit one of several breakout sessions designed for various interests, including business and hotels, volunteers, law enforcement, community leaders and the CSEC (Commercially Sexual Exploited Children) Response team. The event is being promoted to PTAs, businesses, churches, schools, nonprofits, and other civic groups with the goal of having a critical mass of professionally trained eyes on the problem. Concurrently, Guardian Group is working to ensure that all first responders, law enforcement, hotels, restaurants, and tourism venues (where trafficking happens most often) also receive the Guardian Seal® training to equip them to recognize the signs of trafficking. And although sex trafficking is something no one wants to consider, it affects hundreds of young people in Central Oregon every year. The exact numbers related to this crime are difficult to pull out of the shadows. Through its offensive work in training and education, Guardian Group intends to establish Bend as the first Sealed City™ ensuring the near impossibility of carrying out sex trafficking within the city.

Also, in January, Guardian Group will host its free women’s self-defense seminar offered in partnership with Clark’s University of Martial Arts, on Wednesday, January 16th, from 5:30-8:30 pm. To register, go to https://theguardiangroup.org/january-2019/. (These seminars are very popular, so preregistration is suggested.)

Additionally, a three-part webinar series is being created and will be offered on Wednesdays at 2 pm, January 16, 23 and 30. Webinars will provide a more in-depth look at the crime and the solutions.

Bend Chamber honored Guardian Group with two SAGE awards this past September, Non-Profit of the Year and People’s Choice. No one organization has ever garnered so much goodwill at this event, which is indicative of the support and partnerships that Guardian Group is attracting regionally and nationally in its eighth year of operation.

To learn more about the January programs, visit Guardian Group at https://theguardiangroup.org/january-2019/. To get on their mailing list or learn more about the organization’s strategy, visit www.theguardiangroup.org.  To support Guardian Group, reach out to Gina Williams, Development Director, at gina.williams@theguardiangroup.us.  Like them on Facebook @theguardiangroupus or on Instagram @theguardiangroup.

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