PUBLICATIONS, INTERVIEWS & ARTICLES

The Unlikely Story of a Sex Trafficking Survivor and the Instagram Account That Saved Her Life

ARTICLE
  • Megan Lundstrom understands more than most the conditions that force women into dangerous situations—she also has the key to help them escape. There are three types of pimps: the boyfriend pimp, the CEO pimp, and the gorilla pimp. Megan will tell you that she’s experienced two of the three pimps. But that’s just the beginning of her story. The 36-year-old Coloradan gained most of her knowledge about the so-called Life after her escape, having traveled an unlikely path from sex work to sociology. Throughout her journey, she carried a secret that would send her career soaring.

Legal Deserts Report
ACCESSING LEGAL SERVICES FOR SURVIVORS OF SEX TRAFFICKING

REPORT
  • Human trafficking victims who are exploited in the commercial sex industry are highly likely to be arrested for offenses catalyzed by their victimization. The resulting criminal records shadow survivors out of trafficking and serve as barriers to achieving sustainable independence. Securing legal services can be a time consuming, trauma-inducing, and sometimes impossible endeavor. This report analyzes the accessibility of various forms of legal services for survivors of trafficking. The resulting data showcases a dramatic gap of providers able to assist survivors, leaving survivors in a legal desert.

The Significance of Context: How Survivor-Led Collaborations Can Inform Anti-Money Laundering Efforts

REPORT
  • Financial institutions are in a unique position to detect, disrupt, and prevent the illegal profits generated by human trafficking. But just because it may be possible to detect potential trafficking through financial records does not mean it is easy. Trafficking is often still a cash-based enterprise, does not use a single comm on business model, and is adaptive, with traffickers evolving their strategies to meet changing environments. The details matter and effective anti-trafficking financial crime programs require a nuanced understanding of this complex subject matter.

White Paper Regarding Adult Females Convicted of Sex Trafficking Related Offenses of Minor Children

WHITE PAPER
  • This white paper, co-authored by The Avery Center co-founder Dr. Angie Henderson, is written to provide guidance to Colorado Sex Offender Management Board (SOMB) approved providers when evaluating and treating females who are convicted of sex trafficking related crimes in which the victim is under the age of 18, and discusses victims of trafficking being charged with sex trafficking-related offenses, and recommendations for intake, assessment and treatment in DOC and therapy.

Reno group protests child sex trafficking

ARTICLE
  • Sex trafficking is a real and growing problem in the U.S., particularly in Las Vegas. Interviews with Save Our Children Reno members indicate the group has attracted well-meaning and passionate people who care about children. But some of the information disseminated is inaccurate or misleading. That worries anti-trafficking activists, who warn that spreading unsubstantiated information harms the credibility of a movement. “Outrage is fine, that’s a good place to start. But education should be the very next step,” said Angie Henderson, PhD., a professor of sociology at the University of Northern Colorado and co-founder of The Avery Center.

Memes don’t define missing kids

ARTICLE
  • Some anti-human-trafficking activists quote jaw-dropping statistics to define the scope of the problem and publicize details of horrific individual cases involving children, to evoke outrage and inspire public reaction. The issue of sex trafficking and the exploitation of children is large, and growing, experts said, but also is complex. It can’t be captured in a social media meme or a boldface headline. Further complicating matters is the jigsaw puzzle of federal, state and local jurisdictions involved, the diverse methods used to assemble statistics, and the knowledge that sex crimes are underreported. Veteran investigators have the experience to know who the perpetrators of child exploitation usually are and how they operate.

IBM Assists in the Fight Against Human Trafficking

ARTICLE
  • Bridging public, private and not-for-profit sectors worldwide, IBM makes technology such as Watson Discovery and Natural Language Processing available to help fight human trafficking. The Avery Center for Research & Services will be collaborating with the IBM Traffik Analysis Hub to build a database of trafficking-related data in Colorado. This “Colorado Trafficking Collaborative” is launching in 2020.

Chief Chat
KRFC Radio

PODCAST
  • Chief Chat is a discussion with those in the arena who work hard every day to make sure their communities are safer and more inclusive for everyone. Join Fort Collins Police Chief Jeff Swoboda and Neighborhood Enforcement Team Officer Rob Knab in a conversation with Angie and Megan about sex trafficking: what it is, its impact on the local and national levels, and what people can do to spot it in their communities.

Understanding Trafficker Recruitment Strategies Through Cultic Theory

ARTICLE
  • Sex trafficking research has been plagued by the lack of reliable data, limiting the ways we understand the billion-dollar industry. To remedy this, Angie conducted in-depth interviews with over 50 women across North America who identified as survivors or current victims of sex trafficking. Using cultic theory as a framework, the research investigates their experiences of recruitment and control while being trafficked.

Third Annual Survivor-Led Symposium: Engaging Survivors of CSE

ARTICLE
  • Survivor leaders from across the county convened at the Inn at Villanova to lead a series of workshops ranging from a discussion on historical and contemporary manifestations of oppression, to an exploration of social media’s role in recruitment, to trauma-informed law enforcement interview strategies. Throughout the entirety of the event, the recognition that the survivors voices are imperative to success of the anti-exploitation movement was paramount.

A Sample of Applied Research in Anti Sex Trafficking Work Across Sectors

PAPERBACK
  • With over a decade of combined lived experience, direct service provision, and academic research, The Avery Center co-founder Megan Lundstrom offers case studies, pilot project analyses, mathematical models, and framework created between 2015-2018 aimed at equipping professionals (such as first responders, law enforcement, medical & mental health professionals, and direct service providers) to disrupt demand and serve victims and survivors of CSE and ST.

Human Trafficking Survivor and Activist on Victims of “Victimless” Prostitution

ARTICLE
  • Ask Megan Lundstrom how she reacts to those who believe prostitution is a victimless crime and her response fierce and swift. “That’s totally uninformed, and it really gets my hackles up,” says Lundstrom. "As a young adult and single mom, I was trafficked for about five years," she adds. "I was arrested eleven times on prostitution charges, and on the arrest sheets—I will never forget this—there's a line where the officers write if there was a victim. And on one of them, it said I had victimized society."

Bear in Mind Episode 43 – Sex Trafficking in Our Backyard

PODCAST
  • The Avery Center co-founder Dr. Angie Henderson discusses how data collection contributes to learning about the sex trafficking industry in Northern Colorado and across the United States.

Walking the Cycle of Change - Alternate Endings Podcast

PODCAST
  • Human trafficking is something many people may not think happens in their own hometown. Megan Lundstrom introduces us to her team’s work helping survivors of human trafficking in Northern Colorado.

Sex Trafficking in Weld: Survivor’s advocate thinks back to life in sex trade

ARTICLE
  • People often think of human trafficking as victims from other countries packed into shipping containers and sold against their will. Stories such as Lundstrom’s are far more common.

Educating the community
on human sex trafficking

ARTICLE
  • The oil and gas industry in northern Colorado is where most people are trafficked because of the high demand of commercial sex. Trucking allows incoming clients at truck stops to gain access to victims. During ski season, victims are trafficked in cities located in the Rocky Mountains. Due to the growth of the tech industry in Denver most victims are sold in downtown Denver.

Giving Hope: Founder knows too well the nightmare of sex trafficking

ARTICLE
  • Every month, The Avery Center sends out hundreds of care packages. The women who receive them are some of the hundreds Megan Lundstrom connects with via social media, trying to help them see their own worth and escape “the life.” Lundstrom’s also on a mission to explode myths about sex trafficking. One fact she wants to drive home: it can happen to anyone.