Tonight's special guest is Charles (Chuck) Paul from San Antonio, Texas, a survivor of child sexual abuse and family violence, and an advocate and expert in cases of human trafficking, missing persons, and child abuse investigations. Charles explains, "My expertise was developed through experience, formal education, and twenty-two plus years of civil service. I became familiar with international human trafficking as an agent on the United States Southwest Border." According to Chuck, the majority of human trafficking in the US is domestic and the majority of its victims are also child abuse survivors. Chuck was a child of teen parents who separated when he was in first grade. His mother's household was one of alcoholism and domestic violence, and in fifth grade he moved in with his father and step-mother. While living there from age 11-13 a female babysitter sexually abused him. When Chuck disclosed the abuse the reactions were victim blaming or minimizing the abuse such as stating that he was “lucky” to have sex with an older girl. Chuck shares how the affects of his own abuse have increased his ability to recognize and understand youth victims in his work. In addition to his consulting and investigative company, in 2016 Chuck founded a non-profit called Centro Seguro (meaning "safe place"), the first non-detention placement facility for child sex trafficking victims in Texas. He also developed an online training course in domestic sex trafficking. The message Chuck brings to other survivors is "that to fight modern day slavery we need to join forces across disciplines, across borders, and into hearts."
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