Placer ‘Red Sand’ event to raise awareness of human trafficking and impact on children

Published Jan. 4, 2024

Red Sand in a sidewalk crackFamilies and organizations throughout Placer County are invited to join the Placer County Children’s System of Care, Probation Department, law enforcement and other partners in raising awareness of human trafficking through the “Red Sand Project.”

January is Human Trafficking Prevention Month, and as part of the Red Sand Project staff will pour red sand into sidewalk cracks at a county location, representing victims of human trafficking who “fall through the cracks” every day.

The commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC) is one form of human trafficking and is the sexual abuse or exploitation of a child, for the financial benefit of any person or in exchange for anything of value. While all children are at risk for CSEC, predators will often exploit and purposefully target children with vulnerabilities, such as those who have experienced abuse or mental health issues and more. The Children’s System of Care is one of many community partners, including education and law enforcement, who compose the local CSEC coalition working to address this issue in Placer County.  

To raise awareness of CSEC and broader human trafficking, partners in the coalition will be spreading red sand at the Auburn Justice Center on Thursday, Jan. 11, at 1 p.m. and the public is invited to join:

Auburn Justice Center

2929 Richardson Drive, Auburn, CA 95603 (west side parking lot)

Families and community partners who wish to participate on their own can also pick up red sand during regular business hours this month at one of the Children’s System of Care offices:

Sunset

1000 Sunset Blvd., Ste. 140, Rocklin CA 95765

Auburn

11716 Enterprise Drive, Auburn CA 95603

Participants are encouraged to share photos of their sidewalks on social media using the hashtags #RedSandPlacer and #RedSandProject.

“No one should fall through the cracks,” said Children’s System of Care Director Twylla Abrahamson. “It’s important for us to recognize we have victims here in Placer, and to have some awareness of risk factors and what to look for.” 

Red flags for potential commercial sexual exploitation of children include:

  • Irregular school attendance, change in grades
  • In possession of clothing, jewelry or electronics they can't afford
  • Unable or unwilling to give local address or info about caregiver
  • Angry, aggressive or fearful
  • Withdrawal from friends and family
  • Gives scripted or defensive answers, overly protective or vague about their "boyfriend"
  • Chronic runaway
  • Sudden change in demeanor
  • Atypical promiscuous behavior

Click here for a flyer (Spanish). Learn more about the Red Sand Project by clicking here.