#sextrafficking | Local group gathers in Idaho Falls to protest human sex trafficking | #tinder | #pof | #match

Nate Sunderland, East Idaho News.com

IDAHO FALLS — About 30 people crowded along the Broadway Bridge Saturday night to protest human sex trafficking locally, statewide and across the nation.

The #SaveTheChildren event was organized by locals Jenesa Sasinouski and Tia Reynolds, who feel strongly about the issue.

“We want to raise awareness and spread education about human trafficking,” Reynolds says. “It’s a huge problem in our world … and it is a problem in this area. I think people have a hard time believing and understanding that.”

One of the things that inspired Sasinouski and Reynolds is the story of Karla Solomon, a Texan who was trafficked, but was eventually able to escape.

She has since started the Mercy Gate Ministries in Ingram, Texas. It’s a non-profit “dedicated to demonstrating the life-changing gospel of Jesus Christ to those affected by human trafficking and sexual exploitation,” according to its website.

Nate Sunderland, East Idaho News.com

Solomon inspired Sasinouski and Reynolds to begin developing their own non-profit group — called the Solomon Effect — in Karla’s honor. Eventually, the two women hope to open a rescue home for victims called the Solomon House.

Saturday’s rally was the first step toward the creation of the non-profit, Sasinouski said.

“It’s really important that people learn the signs of human trafficking,” she said. “We just want people to understand and get education, and consider whether you kids might be at risk.”

One of things that brought sex trafficking to the forefront of their minds was the online conspiracy that links Wayfair, an e-shopping home retailer, with an alleged human trafficking operation. The Wayfair theory has been proven to false.

Nate Sunderland, East Idaho News.com

Sasinouski and Reynolds say they aren’t sure the believe the theory, but it did make them look at the problem of sex trafficking more closely.

Conspiracy theories about human sex trafficking have gained increasing popularity in 2020, partly due to Qanon, a far-right wing group that believes in a supposed “deep state,” and various conspiracies that link world business and political leaders with a massive global pedophilia ring.

The local #SaveTheChildren event, was held in conjunction with similar events around the country Saturday. But a number of the events — including one in Salt Lake City — were postponed due to concerns about the protests being hijacked by Qanon.

There were no indications of their presence in Idaho Falls, and Sasinouski and Reynolds said they have no interest in spreading conspiracy theories, or making human sex trafficking political.

“We aren’t going to spread things that aren’t true,” Reynold said. “But this is going on in our world and lots of people turn a blind eye to it, because it’s an uncomfortable topic … and we can do more by educating ourselves ”

For more information about the Solomon Effect group visit its website.

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