40 years of helping children.
40 years of helping children.

I recently reached out to Lieutenant Wendy Reyes with the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office Commerce Township Substation, to ask her about the state of child safety during COVID-19. Lt. Reyes is a long-time partner of CARE House, and has worked substantially to support victims of child abuse and human trafficking in our community. She has some important advice which we can all use to keep the children in our lives safe.

Q. How is law enforcement approaching cases of abuse during this time?

We are in a period when many of us are spending more time with our families than ever before, which has advantages and disadvantages. This series of blog posts will try to address common concerns that can arise in periods of stress, and to provide solutions to keep your family safe and healthy.

With schools closed and classes taking place remotely, many of us have had to take on roles that we never anticipated. Depending on our life circumstances, our temperament, or even the specifics of any given moment, these new demands can be very stressful, and that stress can take a toll.

We are in a period when many of us are spending more time with our families than ever before, which has advantages and disadvantages. This series of blog posts is designed to address common concerns which can arise in periods of stress, and to provide solutions to keep your family safe and healthy.

As parents and leaders of our households, we are used to solving all sorts of problems at home. It’s a skill many of us are working overtime on right now – and some of us may even find present circumstances are forcing it to its limits.

We are in a period when many of us are spending more time with our families than ever before, which has advantages and disadvantages. This series of blog posts is designed to address common concerns which can arise in periods of stress, and to provide solutions to keep your family safe and healthy.

One of the toughest things about living under a stay-at-home order is the loss of social connection. We might not have noticed it until it was gone, but many of us have come to rely and depend on our friends and family.

We are in a period when many of us are spending more time with our families than ever before, which has advantages and disadvantages. This series of blog posts is designed to address common concerns which can arise in periods of stress, and to provide solutions to keep your family safe and healthy.

In the spring of 2020, it’s hard to imagine that any person whose regular routine hasn’t been totally upended. If you’re finding it difficult, or like you’re dealing with a lot more stress than you’re used to, you are not alone.

This April, for National Child Abuse Prevention Month, we made a push to plant pinwheel gardens throughout Oakland County – more than we’ve ever done before.

The pinwheels, spinning and whirling in the breeze outside our building, helps to remind people of the carefree, happy lives all children deserve to have.

They also remind us of the reality children face – that tens of thousands of them kids in our very own community will be sexually or physically abused before they turn 18.

image by WDIV-TV

You may have heard people talking about the Oakland County Child Killer recently; maybe you’ve seen something on TV, or conversation happening on social media. There were two documentaries that just aired that provide a detailed narrative of the crimes: Children of the Snow on Investigation Discovery, and a four part special on Channel 4. They are not easy to watch or listen to.

So many things are still unknown about the case, but there are two things we know for sure: it involved multiple horrific incidents of child abuse and it happened right here in Oakland County.

On Thursday the 24th, we held the 23rd Circle of Friends Luncheon at The Townsend Hotel in Birmingham. Over 300 individuals from across metro Detroit gathered to learn more about how human trafficking, and child sex trafficking in particular, has impacted lives in Oakland County.

As described in our previous post, our guest speaker, Theresa Flores, was able to draw directly on her own experience as a sex trafficking victim while attending high school in Birmingham.

This year’s speaker for the 2019 Circle of Friends Luncheon is Theresa Flores.

Theresa is a licensed social worker, author, international public speaker, expert on human trafficking, and a survivor, with a story rooted right here in Oakland County.

As a teenager, she was drugged, raped, and trafficked into sexually slavery – a situation she remained in while living at home with her family, completely unaware, in Birmingham.

At the Circle of Friends Luncheon on January 24th, she will share the account of her survival, and of what she’s done since to help rescue other victims of human trafficking.