wp content/uploads///Genise Shelton

Genise Shelton Brings Awareness To Sex Trafficking Through Her Foundation ‘Our Children’s Keeper’

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Oct. 3 2018, Updated 8:15 p.m. ET

wp content/uploads///Genish Shelton
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When I first started my foundation I was fortunate enough to interview a traffic offender that was part of the jail system.  He told me that he’d make over $30K a week trafficking our children.  And what’s so hard for me to accept is the fact that the predators get arrested but when it comes down to the buyer, they are not held accountable….they often get off scot free.

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When I first started my foundation I was fortunate enough to interview a traffic offender that was part of the jail system.  He told me that he’d make over $30K a week trafficking our children.  And what’s so hard for me to accept is the fact that the predators get arrested but when it comes down to the buyer, they are not held accountable….they often get off scot free.

Genise Shelton is a loving mother to 6 kids, who are her everyday motivation. She has spent years trying to bring awareness in Atlanta and the trafficking that takes place in many familiar neighborhoods.

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Atlanta is considered the Sex Trafficking capital right now. My foundation, puts on different fundraiser events to help families financially when it comes down to private investigator fees, attorney fees and unfortunately burial costs. We want to be able to help these families take care of their loved ones if they pass away.

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Atlanta is considered the Sex Trafficking capital right now. My foundation, puts on different fundraiser events to help families financially when it comes down to private investigator fees, attorney fees and unfortunately burial costs. We want to be able to help these families take care of their loved ones if they pass away.

We recently got a chance to talk with Genise Shelton about her foundation and her goals that Our Children’s Keeper believes in. Knowledge is power, and the more we know, the better help we can become by getting involved. Read down below to hear what Genise Shelton had to say and how we can become involved.

What inspired you to create Our Children’s Keeper?

I created my foundation Our Children’s Keeper a year and a half ago. I was first approached to do it  by the Black and Missing Foundation. They contacted me because they wanted me to come to DC and be a spokesperson for their event. While I was there I heard so many unsettling stories about so many of our black and brown children that have gone missing with no media attention surrounding them.  That was very hurtful for me.  There are more than a million kids that go missing every single year and the majority of those kids are children of color.  So being on Married to Medicine and being able to create this amazing platform and being a mother of 6 black children myself I feel like its my duty to raise awareness to this epidemic. 

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What do you want the kids in your foundation to understand the most?  

We really focus on the prevention aspect of it too. What we have to do is figure out why these kids are so vulnerable? This is a business, it’s a 50 million dollar business. So what happens is, the trafficker sits back and studies the profile of a victim. So they know exactly what child they want, they study their patterns, they study their family background. So with that I wanted to start working on the prevention side: How do we help them rebuild their self esteem and their confidence and let them know how beautiful they are so they wont fall vulnerable to these guys? It’s so dear to my heart because I share some of these risk factors with some of these. I could have easily been one turn away from being trafficked as a child. Growing up not feeling loved,not knowing my biological father, my mom and I not having a strong relationship, looking for love in all the wrong places, having a guy tell me that he loved me and I’m thinking, “ OMG he loves me.” Just hearing somebody tell me that they loved me meant the world to me then. It didn’t matter who it was. It was the fact that someone told me, “I LOVE YOU” And thats misguided love. These girls are looking for love. All you have to do is just say those words and we are gullible to fall into the trap.  The police hands are tied sometimes because we can know that a child is being trafficked but because that child is so loyal to that trafficker they’ll protect them saying, “Thats my boyfriend and he loves me.” It’s that misguided love that we have, so we work on the prevention.

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There is no real way to determine what a predator looks like, so how can we be cautious about who they are?

The face of the predator has changed. We used to think of older white man. You have predators in the face of a madam, madams are grandmother figures and aunts and older women. Because women have natural mother instincts, kids are drawn to them. What’s happening is that the predators will get arrested but the buyers, the guys who are buying to have sex with these kids, they will go on with no charges against them. They are rarely even found.

When you think about sex trafficking, you think of a younger girl caught in the situation. But can you tell us more about young men that get caught up in this industry?

Boys are at risk the most, boys don’t talk about it, they cry in the dark. They are embarrassed, they are ashamed, and they won’t talk about the fact that they were molested. The boys from the ages of 10 and 12 are  like a commodity, there are guys who will fly in from out of the country and they’ll pay 10 thousand dollars a night to have sex with a 10 year old little boy.

After recovering the child from the predator and providing them with shelter and comfort, what happens next?

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We have to work on the rehabilitation process with these kids, because it’s a blessing to find them. Once we can recover a child, it’s a blessing, but they are not the same ties that they were before they walk out that door. That’s one of the things that the state of Georgia is lacking, you have to find the resources to rehabilitate these children. That’s where my foundation comes in, not only is my foundation a place where people provide financial assistance, but I’m working with the state so that I can create a city of rescue. The kids that come into the center they can get medical attention, psychological attention, they can get pap smears done, they can get dental care done.

How can one get involved? 

We can be contacted via our website www.OurChildrensKeeper.org . We can also be reached via Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.  We respond to our emails immediately!  We’re also putting on a huge gala on November 3rd.  The gala is to honor all of our survivors and all of the kids who have come through such horrific experience.  

Genise Shelton we thank you for standing up and speaking out for all young people, but also for opening our ears to the danger that is happening to our children, brothers, and sisters. Your hard work and dedication to save and rebuild children who have been sex trafficked, will create awareness and shape future generations to prosper.

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