ICM child advocates actively campaigned in favor of HB228, to raise the age at which children can marry from 16 to 17.
HB 228 would not only raise the age to 17, it also would require 17-year-olds to complete at least six hours of premarital education from a professional.Read More
All photos below were created by Emilie Steele: view her work.
Call him what he is: A Predator
Join in to Shut off Demand
ICM and its multi-faith partners are spreading the word about a provocative billboard campaign just launched by the International Human Trafficking Institute.
“The goal of ‘Truth in Trafficking’ is to eradicate the demand for selling and buying children for sexual and labor exploitation,” says Deborah Richardson, Executive Director of IHTI.
We say it’s time to Call them what they are: Predators. Society has called them “buyers” or “johns.” But those who pay money to rape children are doing irreparable physical and mental harm to these children. They are Predators.
It’s time to shift public will so that the predator is arrested and convicted to the fullest extent of the law. If predators know that their acts have consequences, they will stop. If there are no customers, there is no exploitation.
Let's talk to our spouses, co-workers, and friends about this issue. There are Predators who work with us, who go to our places of worship, who are even in our own homes. They are raping our children.
If we let our elected officials know that this is a priority for our community, they will give law enforcement the support to identify and arrest Predators.
More details about the campaign
The digital billboard ads will be on display in 23 locations across Metro Atlanta from Cumming down to South Fulton, West Cobb to Gwinnett, crossing Major Interstates 1-85, 1-285 and 1-20, with total weekly impressions estimated at approximately 9 million. MARTA will also display the ads on buses and trains. The campaign will run through June 16th.
Deborah Richardson, Executive Director of IHTI says, “Our intent is that the campaign will spark the conversations that men, co-workers, faith communities, and civic groups need to have around this pervasive issue, not only on a local level, but on a national one. Our goal is to eradicate the demand for selling and buying children for sexual and labor exploitation.
Those who pay money to rape children are doing irreparable physical and mental harm to these children.
IHTI believes we need to greatly decrease the demand by understanding the motives, justifications and mindset of the buyer. In short, we need to the change the perception of a harmless, mutually beneficial encounter into the reality of rape, horrific incarceration and ultimate loss of life as he knows it.
Specifically in United States:
Average victims age is 11 to 14
Approximately 80% are women and children bought, sold and imprisoned in the underground sex service industry
Average lifespan of a victim is reported to be 7 years (found dead from attack, abuse, HIV and other STD's, malnutrition, overdose or suicide)
Commonly the child victim is from a sexually abusive home (parent or grandparent) but not always. Victim could be a runaway escaping home life, non-acceptance of gay lifestyle, or the victim could have been sold by parent at young age for cash or drugs.
It's time to dispel the myth of who the Predator is. Research has found:
Many come from affluent homes.
Many of them fathers themselves.
These Predators are in denial that they are doing irreparable physical and mental harm to these children.
This is not an urban issue; it's not a suburban one, nor a rural issue.
Wherever you have Predators with disposable income and access to the internet, children are being exploited for sexual purposes.
Support the Campaign
To learn how you can spread the word and what to say, send an email to info@ICMGeorgia.org.
ICM will send you the “Truth in Trafficking” Interfaith Tool Kit (soon available).
We’ll connect you with the ICM Interfaith Collaborative that is actively working to end the demand for paid-for sex with children.
The “take it viral” social media campaign wants your help also.
The ICM Board of Directors is excited to announce that Tara Hall, an experienced executive director of non-profits, has been appointed Executive Director of the Interfaith Children’s Movement.
With experience directly serving traumatized children and women, Ms. Hall said:
“I’m ready to work in the ‘advocacy’ dimension. I know deep down in my soul about the trauma that shuts down life possibilities for children. I have seen it one-on-one for many years. Now I want to promote advocacy. The goal of advocacy is make good public policy so that children do not experience the trauma that steals the magical gifts every child is born with. People of faith… and worship communities…. when they work together… have a powerful voice for children. I’m passionate about helping them use it."
Tara Hall's leadership at ICM began May 6.
Please plan to meet Tara (and sign up for a volunteer role… and become a member) over the next few months.
As people of faith,
we are alarmed and deeply saddened by the news of the senseless killing of people when they are worshiping, their most sacred and safe spaces. The senseless killing has emerged repeatedly with the recent killing of Muslim worshippers at Al Noor Mosque and Linwood Mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, the October 2018 killing of Jewish worshippers at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, PA, the 2015 massacre of Christian worshippers during a prayer service at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in downtown Charleston, South Carolina, and the ongoing display of hate the plagues our world.
We are outraged that our children must witness a world full of so much hate and hurt. We grieve and offer heartfelt prayers and condolences to the families of those that lost their lives and those that were injured. May acts of hate like these remind us all of our human responsibility to kindly speak the truth, respect differences, dispel myths, stand for justice, and maintain peace and security.
There are conversations that we all should have with one another and with our children. We owe it to our children to move beyond our prayers and words as each of us take actions to make our world great and safe for all children.
- Interfaith Children’s Movement
During our last Day at the Capitol on Monday, March 4, 2019 we organized together to meet district legislators and address proposed legislation or issues of community concern.
We want you to be the voice for children who have no voice - that is part of being in a Movement and we encourage the youth especially to observe the government in action and make their voices heard.
ICM invites faith communities, civic organizations, and companies to participate in Child Abuse Prevention month by holding a pinwheel planting to bring awareness to this issue.
Ways to Promote Child Abuse Prevention Month in April and Beyond...
This document provides for other meaningful ways to promote Child Abuse Prevention month and safe and healthy children and families at your faith community.
During the rest of December through January, ICM wants to bring awareness to the impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) and traumatic events on children. Below is a list of informational resources. We encourage you to share these with your faith communties, friends, family, and neighbors. Together we can become more Trauma-informed. This in turn will help us be better advocates for resources for our children that restore.
We are happy to announce our 4th annual Celebration of Children Educational Conference on February 1, 2018.
This year's theme will focus on the effects of trauma on children and how we can instill hope and reduce violence in the aftermath of traumatic events.
We currently have space for up to 20 exhibitors. Sign up today to reserve your space.
A State law revision to the Human Trafficking Poster went into effect on July 1, 2017. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) has developed a poster which can be used to meet this obligation.
The notice must be posted within government buildings with public access, specifically in every public restroom and in a conspicuous location either near the public entrance to the building or where similar notices for the public are customarily posted.
This is the new poster that will be used at our Post It Up events designed to make sure hotels and retail businesses have them posted too so that more people have access to the hotline number and can call for help.
The Georgia Budget and Policy Institute has released their analysis of the effect of projected cuts to Medicaid under AHCA. Click here to read.
"Children served by Medicaid are from low-income and working-poor families. They face more health risks than children from families with higher incomes. Taking away health care benefits and reducing services available could force students to miss more class and fall behind in school.
Schools in Georgia would also feel the strain from Medicaid cuts, as many districts would lose money used to cover services special education students need, such as speech therapy, occupational therapy and medical equipment."
CALL TO ACTION NOW! Please send / call it in the following statement to Sens Isakson and Perdue.
Senator Johnny Isakson
Senator David Perdue
"Dear Senator _____,
Children under 18 make up about 63 percent of the Medicaid members in Georgia, so any sizable change to the structure or funding of Medicaid or PeachCare (Children’s Health Insurance Program) could impact more than half of the children in our state.
As an advocate for juvenile justice reform, Medicaid is the one thing we can count on for the children under the supervision of the Department of Juvenile Justice. We know that they will receive the necessary health and behavioral health counseling they need, both when they are in the state's care, and when they return home to our communities.
Community-based resources are critical to the well-being of this population of children -- in the community is where they need the most support. And our community-based service providers can't provide this help without the support of Medicaid. We know that if we fail in our responsibility to provide our children and youth with the robust services they need through Medicaid, they will more than likely re-offend and wind up back in the juvenile justice system. We don't have to place our children and our communities on that path.
Medicaid is a win-win for everyone...it helps to make our children healthier, while at the same time, it makes our communities safer.
Please continue to pay attention to the needs of children as you consider the American Health Care Act. Thank you for your service and your work on behalf of the children in our state."
In addition to a $600+ billion cut to Medicaid, the President's proposed budget eliminates funding to other key services to children and families.
Thanks to Niv Elis for the analysis. http://thehill.com/policy/finance/334768-here-are-the-66-programs-eliminated-in-trumps-budget
Here they are:
Agriculture Department — $855 million
· McGovern-Dole International Food for Education
· Rural Business-Cooperative Service
· Rural Water and Waste Disposal Program Account
· Single Family Housing Direct Loans
Commerce Department — $633 million
· Economic Development Administration
· Manufacturing Extension Partnership
· Minority Business Development Agency
· National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Grants and Education
Education Department — $4.976 billion
· 21st Century Community Learning Centers
· Comprehensive Literacy Development Grants
· Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants
· Impact Aid Payments for Federal Property
· International Education
· Strengthening Institutions
· Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants
· Supporting Effective Instruction State Grants
· Teacher Quality Partnership
Energy Department — $398 million
· Advanced Research Projects Agency—Energy
· Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing Loan Program and Title 17 Innovative Technology Loan Guarantee Program
· Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility
Health and Human Services — $4.834 billion
· Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
· Community Services Block Grant
· Health Professions and Nursing Training Programs
· Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program
Homeland Security — $235 million
· Flood Hazard Mapping and Risk Analysis Program
· Transportation Security Administration Law Enforcement Grants
Housing and Urban Development — $4.123 billion
· Choice Neighborhoods
· Community Development Block
· HOME Investment Partnerships Program
· Self-Help and Assisted Homeownership Opportunity Program Account
Interior Department — $122 million
· Abandoned Mine Land Grants
· Heritage Partnership Program
· National Wildlife Refuge Fund
Justice Department — $210 million
· State Criminal Alien Assistance Program
Labor Department — $527 million
· Migrant and Seasonal Farmworker Training
· OSHA Training Grants
· Senior Community Service Employment Program
State Department and USAID — $4.256 billion
· Development Assistance
Earmarked Appropriations for Non-Profit Organizations
· The Asia Foundation
· East-West Center
· P.L. 480 Title II Food Aid
State Department, USAID, and Treasury Department — $1.59 billion
· Green Climate Fund and Global Climate Change Initiative
Transportation Department — $499 million
· National Infrastructure Investments (TIGER)
Treasury Department — $43 million
· Global Agriculture and Food Security Program
Environmental Protection Agency — $493 million
· Energy Star and Voluntary Climate Programs
· Geographic Programs
National Aeronautics and Space Administration — $269 million
· Five Earth Science Missions
· Office of Education
Other Independent Agencies — $2.683 billion
· Chemical Safety Board
· Corporation for National and Community Service
· Corporation for Public Broadcasting
· Institute of Museum and Library Services
International Development Foundations
· African Development Foundation
· Inter-American Foundation
· Legal Services Corporation
· National Endowment for the Arts
· National Endowment for the Humanities
· Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation
· Overseas Private Investment Corporation
· Appalachian Regional Commission
· Delta Regional Authority
· Denali Commission
· Northern Border Regional Commission
· U.S. Institute of Peace
· U.S. Trade and Development Agency
· Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
If you are a faith leader, please seriously consider the following request. If you are not a faith leader, please seriously consider sharing this request with persons in your network who are. Start with your own pastor, rabbi, imam, priest, reverend, spiritual leader, shaman, leader, etc.
Interfaith Children's Movement is a member of the Protect Our Care Georgia coalition and the Together Medicaid health care campaign to raise awareness within the greater faith community of the need to protect health care for Georgia's children and vulnerable families. And it is time to bring the collective voice of our faith leaders to Georgia's U.S. Senators, Sen. Johnny Isakson and Sen. David Perdue. They represent the millions of Georgia children and families whose lives will be adversely impacted by the proposed cuts to Medicaid.
Please click on the link below and sign onto the letter by midnight Monday, May 29, 2017. Then, share the letter with other faith leaders in your network.
Let us raise a moral voice in defense of the most vulnerable in our society -- children in foster care, children and adults with disabilities, children living in poverty and the elderly.
Please click the link below and sign on today!
Additional information provided by Georgia Budget and Policy Institute:
What actions are we asking you to take?
- Sign onto the letter to Sen. Isakson and Sen. Perdue by midnight Monday, May 29, 2017
- Re-distribute this sign-on action letter to clergy in your network;
- Have a moment of prayer/meditation for health care for our children and families in Georgia;
- Visit www.protectourcarega.org to become a part of this effort;
- Follow Interfaith Children's Movement on Facebook (@InterfaithChildrensMovement) and Twitter (@ICMGeorgia) for more information and action steps.
Most faith traditions offer paths for their followers to achieve a “peaceful mind”— whether that is in the recognition of a higher power or in the reconciliation of one’s own sense of self. Peaceful minds make for stronger, healthier families and children. Yet, as members of the interfaith community, we know that achieving a peaceful mind can be impacted by life’s changes and challenges, and sometimes, we need additional help to get us through our struggles. Mental health and substance use disorders can often go unseen and untreated because of stigma and shame. However, sacred texts recognize that medical help is essential to our whole well-being – body, mind and spirit. And mental health struggles can be addressed with access to the right resources.
More than 14% of Georgians carried the burden of mental illness or addiction with them in 2014. Medicaid provides access to mental health services for our most vulnerable populations and is the largest payer for behavioral health services in the U.S. These services range from screening and treatment for children with ADHD or depression to post-partum mental health screenings for new moms and needed therapy for adults with developmental disabilities. With the rise in opioid abuse and addiction in Georgia, Medicaid provides a pathway to recovery and treatment for those with substance use disorders. We must unite together to take care of struggling community members by making sure that Georgians continue to have access to the mental health care that they need and the hope of achieving a peaceful mind.
You can help to ensure all Georgians have access to needed mental health services. Call Senator Isakson at 202-224-3643 and ask him to reject cuts to Medicaid and repeal of the Affordable Care Act.
Visit protectourcarega.org for more information and to take action!
May is Older Adults Month, and whether we call them seniors, older adults, or the elderly, they are the carriers of our families’ histories, the teachers of our faith traditions, the ones who our sacred texts call “the wise” and “the elders.” We are bound by our faith to care for and protect the generation who cared for and protected us. Yet, honoring that responsibility can be emotionally and financially trying for many Georgia families.
Georgia’s Medicaid program helps to relieve the stress and burden for many seniors and their families across the state. It helps to fill in the gaps left by Medicare, by covering the premiums and co-pays of more than 300,000 low-income Georgia seniors so they can use their limited resources for other needs like housing and food. Medicaid also covers services like homecare workers and home modifications that allow older adults to stay in their homes instead of moving to a costly institution. If the time comes when a higher level of care is needed, Medicaid is the primary payer for 75% of nursing home stays in Georgia, a service not covered by Medicare. Georgia’s Medicaid program provides the supports that ensure that seniors in our state can live dignified, comfortable and healthy lives in their later years.
As members of the interfaith community, it is important that we support systems that help take care of our elders. You can help to protect the thousands of Georgia seniors who rely on Medicaid for their care and comfort today. Call Senator Isakson at 202-224-3643 and ask him to protect older adults in Georgia by rejecting cuts to Medicaid and the repeal of the Affordable Care Act.
Visit protectourcarega.org for more information and to take action!
I am Medicaid GA - Children in Foster Care
All of the major faith traditions call for their members to protect children – especially the most vulnerable. Sacred texts in Christianity, Judaism, and Islam command us to treat well the “fatherless” or “motherless” child; to take care of the “orphan;” and provide for the sick and the poor among us.
Did you know that in a given year, there are more than 12,000 children in foster care in Georgia? Families who open their hearts to become foster families for children who have suffered abuse or neglect exemplify these sacred texts. However, they do not always have the financial means to cover all of the child's needs on their own.
Medicaid plays an important role in the child welfare system by providing comprehensive health coverage to all children in foster care. This ensures that the amazing families who care for this vulnerable population of children can afford to take them to the doctor when needed without exhausting essential “daily living” resources.
Children in foster care often have critical health care needs as a result of traumatic childhood experiences. These needs could range from behavioral health to chronic conditions or developmental disabilities. Today, the Affordable Care Act requires that children in foster care are covered by Medicaid until the age of 26, so that they can grow to be thriving, healthy adults. Why would anyone want to change that?
The interfaith community plays an important role in speaking up on behalf of the needs of the children in Georgia. We must continue to put our faith in action and exemplify our respective sacred texts to protect our children from unnecessary harm and protect programs, like Medicaid, that provide the necessary support they need.
You can help to protect 12,000 of Georgia’s most vulnerable citizens today. Call Senator Isakson at 202-224-3643 and ask him to protect foster children in Georgia by rejecting cuts to Medicaid and the repeal of the Affordable Care Act.
Visit protectourcarega.org for more information and to take action!
Interfaith Children’s Movement is a member of the Together Medicaid health care campaign to raise awareness within the greater faith community of the need to protect health care for Georgia’s children and vulnerable families. While we understand that there is no perfect policy, we are concerned that the health care protections currently provided to Georgia’s children and families through Medicaid may be lost in the repeal and replacement process.
Therefore, we are promoting a Mother’s Day campaign to raise awareness of the phenomenal responsibility Georgia mothers carry as the primary caretakers of their children, their own aging mothers and the security of health care that Medicaid affords to them.
This Mother’s Day, May 14, 2017, we are asking you to share the "Moms Need Medicaid Flyer" and graphics on our social media pages. Also below we have listed additional “actions to take” that will draw attention to the needs of Georgia mothers. It is an opportunity to honor our mothers by advocating on their behalf and letting them know that we are paying attention to their real needs.
What actions are we asking you to take?
- re-distribute the electronic copy of the informational leaflet to members of your network, through your faith community listserve and/or to the leaders and members within your ministry/organization;
- have a moment of prayer/meditation at your Mother’s Day service for health care for our children and families in Georgia;
- Share at least one Medicaid Advocacy message with your network on Mother's Day, May 14th;
- tag @SenatorIsakson and @sendavidpurdue when you re-Tweet ICM’s Mother’s Day Twitter message or any twitter message with the #IamMedicaidGA hashtag; and
- follow Interfaith Children’s Movement on Facebook or Twitter for more information.