Keeping Our Kids Safe From Exploitation At Home And Online – Randy Watson

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Today’s guest is Randy Watson.

We go deep today talking about:

  • The shocking statistics and truth about the sexual exploitation of kids
  • How we as fathers can keep our kids safe
  • Our role as men in influencing culture and making sure our personal lives are in integrity on this issue
  • Red flags to look out for in children who may be at risk
  • The incredible work Ally is doing in this space to protect children, and how you can get involved

Randy Watson is the Founder & CEO of Ally Global Foundation, a Canadian charity dedicated to preventing human trafficking and helping survivors build independent lives. In his role, Randy provides strategic direction, leads team development in Canada, and collaborates closely with local partners in Asia to oversee operations.

With 14 years of experience spanning startups, businesses, nonprofits, and faith-based organizations, Randy excels in business development, fundraising, strategic leadership, and managing large-scale projects. His extensive background in various developing contexts, both in the Western World and the Global South, has shaped his thinking and leadership approach, enabling him to effectively connect across diverse professional and cross-cultural environments.

Find Randy online at:
Instagram: @allyglobal

Speaker 1 0:00

If you are the foundation of your family, you are the firm footing. They build their lives on. You carry a glorious burden and you never dream of laying it down. You carry it with joy and gratitude. You show up, even when you don't feel like it. You lead, serve, love and protect. You are a father.

Speaker 1 0:34

This is the Dad.Work podcast where men are forged into elite husbands and fathers by learning what it takes to become harder to kill, easier to love and equipped to lead. Get ready to start building the only legacy that truly matters. Your family.

Curt Storring 0:59

Gentlemen, welcome back to the Dad.Work podcast. This is Curt Storring, your host, and I am not going to go into too much depth with anything but this podcast, we're not going to talk about any thing extraneous. Because this is important that I want you to listen to this, this may be the most important issue that we as fathers need to be thinking about. And it is probably one of the most uncomfortable and unlikely topics that we actually do think and talk about. And so I challenge you to listen to this and to consider in your life, how you can make an impact here because I think personally, that the evil tide of the world is in fact all coming for children. And I don't say that to be over the top or to scare you or whatever I'm just saying. I think this is a fact I think there's very little that is more evil than this. And therefore, that is likely where we're headed now, not to scare you because I am joined today by Randy Watson who runs ally, the ally Global Foundation, in fact, which is a Canadian charity dedicated to preventing human trafficking, and helping survivors build independent lives. So guys, there are people out there protecting children and giving resources for how you can protect your children how you can change the culture so that we can talk about this so we can make it totally unacceptable so we can actually protect children rather than having to recuperate victims. Okay, so in his role, Randy provides strategic direction he leads team development and Canada collaborates closely with local partners in Asia to oversee operations. He's got 14 years of experience spanning startups, business nonprofits, faith based organizations, Randy excels in business development, fundraising, strategic leadership and managing large scale operations. He has extensive background in various developing context, both in the Western world and the global south has shaped his thinking and leadership approach enabling him to effectively connect across diverse professional and cross cultural environments which you're going to learn why that's all important. In this episode, we go deep today, talking about the shocking statistics and truth about the sexual exploitation of kids. How we as fathers can keep our kids safe. Our role as men in influencing culture, and making sure our personal lives aren't integrity on this issue. Red flags to look out for and children who may be at risk, and to give us all hope the incredible work ally is doing in this space to protect children, and how you can get involved to do the same guys, we're just gonna get right into this episode. Please listen to this. Please share this please make a difference. If this touches your heart, here is Randy Watson. Let's go.

All right, dads, we're back for another episode. And this one I need you guys to stay and listen to we are going to dive into something that may seem far away from you in your life. But I'm here to tell you based on what I've heard from my guest, Randy Watson today, it is not actually as far away as we think so Randy, first of all, thank you, man, I saw you at the golf tournament speak. And I knew I had to have you on because this touched me in a way that was like, Dude, I, I just didn't know like, this was such a big deal. So before we get into, like, what you do who you are, I want to I want to tell dads like what the facts are about sexual exploitation of children. And it's not just sort of happening somewhere else. So would you mind just like before we get super deep, can you just give us an overview of like, what we're dealing with here and what we're seeing in the world and Canada? Yeah, for sure. Yeah, it's uh, thanks so much for having me. It's a really interesting space because I think it's, it's hard to talk about, it's something that we feel uncomfortable with, if you're talking about sexual exploitation, violence against children in general. It's, it's hard, especially as dads or or men that want to protect kids. It's something we need to lean into. And so just a couple of stats off of the top to just show you the scale of this issue. In the last five years in Canada, there's been an 815% increase in reports of exploitation of children online. That's Canadian kids. So it's I think it's really easy for us to think like this. Like you said, this is like an over there problem, something that happens in other countries.

Randy Watson 5:00

where there's less systems in place to protect kids. But the reality is the digital space has made everybody vulnerable.

So for 2014 to 2020, here, there was over 40,000, police reports of online sexual exploitation, this is in Canada. Seven out of those 10, seven of 10 victims are under 25. The median age, the average age of those that are accused of exploitation is 24. So the people that are perpetrating the crime are mostly young men, early 20s. That's a whole other conversation we can get into around like, why are those young men perpetrating? What are we doing to make sure that we don't actually create perpetrators in society, that's a important part of the conversation. But on the exploitation side, two of every three victims were victimized by a stranger. About 25% of victims, though it's from somebody that's known, somebody that's close to them, maybe a family friend or an acquaintance. It's really a complex problem that's growing quite rapidly. And the reason that it's growing the reason I think that it's continuing to grow, is because it's difficult to talk about. And I think what remains kind of in darkness and untouched, like continues to fester and remain unchecked. And so you know, we work here in Canada, in North America, or around the world in different countries. And the reality is, we're seeing similar problems happen in all of these places. And so on the North American side, on the western side, if you look at this issue, it's very much one of to be a little bit crass one of supply and demand. So why does why does this issue exist? While there's a demand for it, there's a demand and culture that's creating the supply. So it's creating an environment for criminal enterprise to exploit kits. And a quick example of that is if you look at a country like the Philippines, and you go into like a really rural area in that country, maybe the average person is making one to $2 a day. And they're, they're just making it. And then internet reaches that community and high speed internet reaches that community. Now they can sell an image of child sexual abuse material for about $25 per image us, or $110 for about 10 seconds of video. So it's massive money. And where's that money coming from? While there is a case here in Canada in 2017, if you Google, Philip Sheboygan, you'll see it was a man that about 30 years old and Saskatoon that was purchasing that type of content, also creating it and redistributing it. So it's, it's a borderless crime, that's not just affecting Canadian kids, but it's being perpetuated by Canadians that are purchasing and creating, creating a market for it. So those are a couple. I know, that's a lot of information to throw at you off the top. But just a couple things to stay like this is a real issue. It's significant. I think the danger in talking about this is that we like sensationalize it, or make it really like fear based. And then that leads to people not really trusting what's true about the space and so yeah, so our kind of goal, my goal is like, hey, let's talk about this issue. Let's make it approachable. Let's talk about the real facts. And then specifically as men, how do we actually start to influence culture and stand against not just exploitation, but like, we're productizing. And we've commercialized people. And you know, there's there's a, there's a lot of obviously deeper things to go into there.

Curt Storring 8:55

Man that, like, I mean, one is too many, but the fact that there's 10s of 1000s, in Canada, with like, man, we've got a 10th the population of the US and I mean, this is, it's already making me feel like a visceral response. And I think it's really important, like you said, to have that sort of level headedness around this, because, yeah, like I can feel myself, you know, having a hard time wanting to just stick with and only wanting to be outraged and angry, and that's not going to solve anything. And so, I'm curious, like, for me, the reason I wanted to have you on is because, like, I guess there's almost three reasons now, number one, what do we as dads need to be doing to sort of look out for protect our kids, maybe even the community kids that we know, we see how to like not raise up people who are into this and I'd really liked what you said about like, you know, why is it young men, what are they what kind of life experience are they living? And then again, just like as community fathers, as Is this protective influence in society? How do we make this like completely unacceptable, that we just root out this evil? So like, I want to maybe cover some of that now, some of that a little bit later. But in terms of like, what we're seeing in a local community, like maybe let's just start there. For me, I'm like, looking around my kids, like we're very big on, they don't do a lot of screen time. They're not like alone on the internet, they don't have phones not doing any of these things. Because I know it's sort of sick out there. But I know that's not as usual. And I'm sure that like, that's not enough. So can you give us like, I don't know if I don't even know how to approach this. If there's like a case, or there's like a few cases, or there's just like, broad knowledge in terms of like, where our children specifically are at risk. And then maybe we can go into some of the other issues, but like, what are we looking for as dads to keep our kids safe?

Randy Watson 10:53

Yeah, sure. I'll give a few different examples. And I think it's, yeah, it's important to obviously, we're talking from a Canadian perspective, but just want to say, like, Canada, US a lot of similarities. Canada is, I'd say, much further behind than the US is on the prevention and protection side legally. But for both countries, it varies province to province or state to state. And so that's a whole other part of this, that you'll see come up in some of the stories I'll share. And that's so I'd say there's a big piece there around advocacy for for dads, for people, for adults to be like how do we lean in understand what the actual regulations are the policy or the laws are in our city or state or province, because there's a lack of real, like federal mandates around this issue. And so that creates significant gaps for perpetrators to be able to operate in, because there's lots of gray. So that's a whole other piece to lean into. But I'll give a few different examples. So you mentioned obviously, trying to keep kids off devices, I know that that's becoming harder and harder in society, you know, even kids at school, you know, a lot of their work is now on devices. And so the answer can't always be let's just hide the devices. At the same time. The reality is, if a child has a device, it's the equivalent to them having another person with them, if you think about it that way. Yeah, like, quite simply, it's like, if your child has a phone in their room, they could have one or more people in their room with them. And of course, they don't know the motives, or how that person could present themselves. And that's not really limited to phone. So I'll give you an example of a common practice. That's a targeting boys. So boys, eight to 10 years old in North America are often lured through video games, because video games have, you know, just as man, if you think about building relationship, you often do that, like shoulder to shoulder stereotypically and you like want to experience things together and overcome something together that builds a bond. That same environment exists in a video game. And so if your son is on a video game, and there's some sort of like token or monetization aspect of that video game, whether it actually cost money or not, but there's a chance to either like level up or earn credits or whatever else. Most video games also have pretty extensive chat. Obviously, there's like, there's VR and other components, depending on the sophistication of the game. But what happens is, predators will pose as whatever age they need to be, and build legitimate relationship with who they're playing with. And it gets it's a it's a really like, simple process. And it starts with like, hey, I want to, I want to know who I'm playing with, can you just send me a photo of your face? It's like, seems very harmless. And that happens. And then there's maybe like, oh, yeah, I'll send you a couple of tokens for doing that. And then the next stage is like, oh, like, Hey, what are you what are you wearing today? Like, what are you doing, like, send me like a funny video, or it's something that seems more acceptable maybe. And to an eight to 10 year old boy, it's like, it's normalized, that continues to go until there's something that's a little bit more edgy. And then what's introduced is shame. Like, hey, don't share this. Because if you do, like, your parents will get upset and take your video games away. It's something that simple that hooks kids into sharing something that's exploitative. And what we see that has happened is then kids go to sharing, you know, photos without its boyfriend or foe just without a shirt. And then it's a fully explicit photo that's shared. And then that's obviously screen captured and can be shared and can use to exploit that kid further, or can lead to be the case. Now you need to figure out how to like call me because now I have this information. Worst case scenario that can lead to in person interaction. But I think it's really, really important to know that we have this weird disconnect in society that we think if It happens online, it's not happening in person. The fact that any child would go through that experience, even just digitally, is traumatic, right. And so that's really important to consider. So in this situation, what's like a practical way that, you know, the average dad could prevent that from happening without having to like, sit by their son anytime they're doing something. Because I think we don't want to create this culture where everybody's afraid. And we're like trying to control everything that kids do. It's simply saying to your kids, like, hey, you need to know that if there's ever anything that you feel uncomfortable with that happens, like while playing video games, or anything that you're not sure of, I'm never gonna take your video games away. Because our first reaction as like, somebody who's like a guardian is to be like, Oh, I'm gonna discipline somebody for doing something incorrect. But that just that thought could be leading to creating a vulnerable environment. So it's leaning into these conversations versus leaning away from them, it's trying to create safe space for things to not be okay. And your kids feel like, hey, there's no shame in this. That's the this is a reality of what's happening. And we need to create space to talk about it. You know, I have two examples that are on like, on the female side for girls that have happened recently. So one case 12 year old girl, and she was messaging with somebody online, the time she didn't really know how old that person was, I think this was through it was through Instagram, or or Facebook, she had a public profile. So obviously, trying to keep your kids profiles, very private, if they do have anything online. But what this perpetrator had done was figured out who her father was gone on to his LinkedIn profile, figured out who the Board of Directors was at his company, and use that information to exploit this girl. So what they did was said, Hey, I know who your dad is. And I know, said all the different names of the people her dad works with and said, If you don't do this, I'm going to tell your dad that you did X thing. And so it's again, it's creating a scenario that's like shame based, where that's used to exploit initial content, and then that obviously stack, so it may start with like innocent, relatively innocent photos that lead more explicit, once those happen, then it leads into video. Once that happens, then there's a usually some sort of attempt to have some sort of personal interaction. Another one more, one more example. And we can dive into any one of these. One more example that's really common in North America is called Romeo pimping is kind of one of the old, old school names for it. But what happens is, young men normally, that are probably sick, say 16 to 20 years old, will pose as legitimate boyfriends. So they'll look for a girl that's 12 to 14, they'll look for any sort of like social insecurities that that girl has, and they will intentionally try to meet those needs. Now that person that's posing as a boyfriend is under the control likely of somebody else, maybe two or three other layers. And what they'll do is they'll pose as, as that boyfriend or whatever figure to fill a need. And they'll provide, you know, a bunch of different material items that that person wants, they'll provide access to vehicle access to all these things that are just a step away from what that child would have access to. And that eventually leads into a physical relationship, it leads to a relationship where the whatever happens physically is captured and then leveraged. So that's when it turns exploitative. And then often, it turns into, hey, now that I have this content of you captured, I need you to do this thing for my friend. And then it becomes one degree of separation and then that's where it can lead into more like sex trafficking of somebody. And to just to clarify like trafficking, I think when we think of that word, we think, oh, somebody is coming from a different country or being, you know, moved physically that doesn't necessarily have to happen. It can somebody could be being trafficked right here within our own community, just because they're under the force and coercion of somebody else. And this one last example that's very similar is you know, we had a another case that was in our local area, and it was 14 year old female, that ultimately was being exploited initially by a 16 year old female. And so it was a similar similar situation to like kind of the the, the Romeo pimping model where It was like this older girl was meeting a need that the younger girl had. And that it, which was friendship, and community. And, you know, you know how it was, we were all like adolescents once and like how much you looked up to people just a few years older than you.

And in the criminal world around this issue, it's really sophisticated. And, and those concepts are really well understood. And so those are, those are very, like, it's very systematized, right. So that 16 year old girl that was exploiting the 14 year old girl, she had initially been exploited by a girl that was three years older than her. And that girl was under the control of a 29 year old gang member. So it wasn't like, this 16 year old girl just like entered into the space on her on her own, she actually had already been victimized. And so I think it's something that's like, really important to understand within this issue is there's so many layers, and it could seem easy to point the finger at like, oh, that person is the perpetrator. But, you know, there's many survivors that we have the opportunity to interact with in Canada and learn from their experience. And, you know, one of one of these young women said to me, Look, I initially was charged with trafficking, even though I had been trafficked. So why was she charged with trafficking? Well, she, she had got to the point where she was given basically an ultimatum by the perpetrators that were in control of her, either she was raped 30 times a day, or she was raped twice a day, and had to go and procure other people. And her question to us was, what choice would you make? So it's not as simple as not as like, there's not very many clean lines within this issue. Like there's so many layers of exploitation. And because we, as a society don't know how to interact with that content, well, it doesn't get discussed. And so it's something that I'm continually learning new aspects of how things happened in Canada, I think technology has made it continuously evolve. You know, there was a time maybe 1015 years ago, where a lot of the like, in person, exploitation of children happened more in broad daylight, in a sense where you could, you could drive to areas of whatever city you're in, and maybe know, like, Hey, this is an area that that happens in. But since obviously, technology has come into play, it's really easy to like, move people and be more discreet, because I know I'm rambling a little bit here. But because another another piece of this is like you and I, we want our individual privacy, that's something that you know, has become a bigger conversation in North America. And in you know, the last five, six years specifically, we want encryption on these different apps, we want privacy on different services, because we have individual privacy rights. Well, what's the downside to that? Well, any privacy that we have, we're also fighting for the rights on the criminal side. So the exploitative behavior that happens, and the stuff that happens digitally is under the same privacy protection that we all have. And understandably like that's a whole other debate. But there's that side of the coin that doesn't get discussed is like what are we willing to risk in order to protect kids? That's well, and that's a hard question to unpack in some ways, because it's, it's very layered, right? Like people want individual privacy. But I would say, more people want kids to be protected. But we're not nuancing that conversation that that piece doesn't get added in. And I think it needs to be more

Curt Storring 23:49

man who this is. I'm glad you're doing this man. This is not work that you can have a weak stomach to be in. And so I appreciate that, like you're out there doing this. In terms of like the protection aspect. I really like what you said about having those discussions beforehand, if possible, just like FYI. And you know, do it age appropriately. But there's not all perfect people out there, kids, just so you know. And here's maybe what we should be talking about, here's what to look for. Here's like, just so you know, I'm not gonna get mad. And it's a whole thing to like, you see, I hear these conversations all the time about well, you know, if you do get drunk, don't drive home call me I'm not gonna be mad. It's the same sort of thing. I think and I think we should add this to that style of conversation. I'm curious though, like, as we as fathers, maybe it's hard to tell, right? Like, we've got multiple kids, we've got business, we've got this. We've got that. What are we looking for? Are there red flags in situations where these false relationships are building where someone is being exploited or groomed or something like that are there I won't say telltale signs because I'm sure you can't always know but What are some of those red flags that we as fathers should be looking for in our kids? And maybe even in our kids friends?

Randy Watson 25:06

Yeah, I think there's there's a few different things. And yeah, of course, every situation is so unique and, and you know, the different personalities that kids have play into that, right, like some kids may naturally be more quiet. And so like a kid being quiet and reserved doesn't mean something bad is happening. At the same time, if you see like, a significant shift in behavior, especially anything that's trying to be secretive, like it's a it is a cause for alarm, like it's and not to be, like, overly assertive, but start to ask questions or pay more attention. I think, anytime things. Anytime there's a behavior shift. And you know, obviously, kids as they're growing, there's those things are happening constantly. But there's, there's something that happens as soon as somebody feels like they're something that they're doing is shameful. They start to self isolate. But often on the perpetrator side, they're trying to isolate that kid as well. So if you see like a significant change of behavior, if you start to see a change in friend group, that seems like a natural, those are things to question. If you see, you know, obviously, it seems like kids are becoming more and more attached to devices all the time. But if you see like that, that behavior is changing, or where devices are being used starts to change. It's, that's something to pay attention to. It, it's easy to deal with your kids, but also easy to deal with, like your kids, friends, if you see them start to have any items that are like outside of their socio economic status. That's a really big thing that you'll see is like someone will show up with like, you know, a purse or a bag, or some sort of clothing or shoes or something that seems like a weight like how did that doesn't make sense? How did you afford that? That's a really common thing that's probably more into like, the adolescent years. But that's a really common thing where people are kind of groomed through gifts. Because we're in such a material driven culture. Yeah, there's, there's probably a whole other list of things. I mean, on our, our website, we kind of have different scenarios listed. And we're working right now, actually. And the hope would be by later this fall on releasing kind of different educational content on like, how to have some of these conversations. So how do you as a dad have this conversation with your, you know, your son that's in grade three, or your daughter that's in grade eight, like those conversations look really different? Yeah. But the, you know, the average age for boys to start to be at risk is really eight to 10 years old. And for girls, 12 to 14. And so, I think kind of having heightened awareness around those years. But realistically, kind of what you said, like, there's so much we can do on the preventative side. And I think that that looks different than what like the guttural reaction may be for most men, like the most like the common reaction I get is like, Oh, where are these people, I want to break down the doors, I want to go and help in that sense, that doesn't really solve the systemic problems. The systemic problems can be solved by like, Hey, how are we creating kids in a society that is okay to have these conversations and knows what to look out for? Right? Because unfortunately, there's always going to be perpetrators, there's always going to be some form of brokenness in society where people will try to exploit vulnerable people. And so how are we protecting vulnerable people in every child has its vulnerabilities. And so we need to, as parents and guardians, lean into that space, make this conversation approachable with our kids. that's age appropriate, but I think I mean, you that your parents that are listening, that have kids in school, whatever country you're in, you realize that the conversations that they're having that are sexualized are happening much younger. And so similarly, we as like, you know, as parents and leaders need to be having conversations with kids that are on the preventative side, much younger than we think. And that can be I think that's one of the hardest barriers for people is you feel like you're the one that's exposing your child to a conversation that's maybe inappropriate too soon, but my pushback would be like, it's better that it's you that does that then somebody else? Yeah, yeah.

Curt Storring 29:34

I had Seth doll on the other day. He's, I think, a couple of weeks ago and he said there's like this camera when he called it the rule of first you know, exposure or something like this, that says basically like the child will believe whatever the first thing about a subject they learn, and if that's not from you, that man that's a huge risk. And I've thought about this a lot about do I like you just said, Am I going to be the one who brings us up and then we've got to get in Do that. And the thing is like, for me, I thought, when I look back on it, I'm like, Man, my dad had like one talk with me about the birds and the bees. And that was it. And I sort of complained about that in a men's group one day, they're like your dad talk to you once, I got nothing. And I was like, Oh, man. So for me, I've always said this, like my wife and I discussed this, this is going to be a conversation piece, like this is going to be a conversation about how to stay safe now how to be respectful, how to be, you know, modest, how to do all this kind of stuff up to and including, hopefully, like, when they're ready to get married. And so I think that dads need to be a little bit called out here. And like, you know, one of the favorite things that a coach told me is, like, she said, just strong men do hard things. And this was about like, some emotional thing we're talking about. And I was like, yes. And she's like, well done, like go and do the hard thing, which is, Have the conversation, feel that emotion you haven't been feeling before, like all this stuff that we think is, you know, not machismo necessarily like that is actually hard to be the man in that realm. And I also wonder about this role of dads in paying attention and being aware and being present. Because I see like, one of the things that I believe is that so many of our problems today are a result of a lack of strong fathers. Because if a child is loved and feels that love from a father, typically a father, they're not worried about who they are their identity outside of that they're not looking for external validation so much, because they know they're loved because they feel dad seeing them. And I wonder if that's part of this, as we go about, like, yes, we can advocate Yes, we can sort of see the signs. But do you ever think about like how dads need to start showing up as dads to stop this from being, I guess, both on a victim and a perpetrator side, the kid who is feeling loved isn't necessarily going to go out and try and look for stuff elsewhere. But at the same time, the kid who feels love isn't going to be like, I need to take out my pain on children. So do you have thoughts about like the dads role in all this? Parenting? Yeah,

Randy Watson 31:55

I do. And I mean, I'm not a father, yet. So I get to kind of live that perspective through a number of my peers. And I've seen the challenges that they face. And obviously, you know, we have hundreds of kids that we have guardianship over across the different safe homes that we run. So I have layers of that relationship for me. But you know, a really good example, to just kind of point to one of my friends, I was talking about this with them last week, and they got four kids. And his work requires him to travel a ton. And so he just did a five week trip where he was away for work, but he took his 12 year old daughter with him for the whole time. And he was around the world during this trip, you know, across the US, Canada, throughout Europe and, and even into the Middle East a little bit that they ended up staying with, with me. On they're on their way back home. And I got to sit and talk with his 12 year old daughter and just hear about her experience, the level of confidence that young girl had was overwhelming, because of the evident effort that her father was putting in. And so I just share that as an example of like, it's easy to to have an excuse. It's like, oh, work requires me to travel or x requires this. And so I can't do X. And I think it's really important that we lean into those things that are maybe a little bit inconvenient, or inefficient. Because the outcome is actually so beautiful. And yeah, I think that's like, that's just like a simple example, kind of on the extreme side of like, oh, it would be really easy for him to say, Hey, this is a trip. I've got like 25 flights over the next five weeks, I can't make this happen, the cost of that all these other reasons why it wouldn't work, but for him to sit on the end of that trip and be like, Wow, what an awesome investment of my time into my kid.

Curt Storring 33:44

Yeah. And I just want to say like, before you guys are like, Oh, you don't understand. I'm a dad, and you just said you weren't like I'm gonna say like, That's exactly true. And you should be going out of your way to be inconvenienced by your children. And if you think that's inconvenient, then you're not being a good dad. And I'm just going to straight out say that because there's so little stamp, there's so few standards for fatherhood these days. There's so few standards or anything these days. And I'm really big on like, guys, if you're a father and a husband, your wife gave you her life, your children, they didn't ask to be boring to you. So you are absolutely 100% responsible to them, and you must die to yourself, and sacrifice and serve. And if that's not like good enough for you because you're working or this or that, make more sacrifices because you will never regret putting more time and energy into those kids. Because you offer something nobody else can. As a father, they'll never get that from anyone else. Unless and until they get it from God the Father, in my opinion, they need their fathers of affirmation time presence and approval. So I just want to like triple down on that. For guys to get more inconvenienced and to consider that a blessing. Because men like this kind of stuff, the exploitation all this all the potential downfalls and even if nothing terrible like this happens, your kids are still going to go through I've gone like, Well, I think my dad like he worked hard. So he must be like, love me, but he never really showed it or said his eye. He was fine. Like he was a good dad. That's not what I want for my kids. So anyway, I'm getting off track now, because I'm so fired up about dads being good dads, man. Okay, so we've got stuff to look for red flags, you've got like a couple examples of how this might look. What what else it were, maybe I'll just put it back on you. What are we not touched on that we should for fathers before because I also want to get into why young men, I also want to get into like exactly what you guys do. And maybe like some more protective sort of things, but anything else on the fatherhood aspect that you want to touch on before we move on?

Randy Watson 35:40

Yeah, I think as, as men, we're setting an example all the time. And I don't know if we realize that as much as we should. And, you know, specifically, you know, talking to fathers of sons, what example are you setting? What are you looking at on your devices? How do you look at people? When you're out in public? What what are you giving off that your son's picking up on? I think it's, it's a really uncomfortable and important part of this issue is to, to look at those threads, to look at how you know, something like pornography plays into demand of things that are sexually exploitative. And I think it's, you know, you could you could look at it and be like, Oh, well, that's consensual? Well, well, how do you know? And when did that start for that person? And to realize that the environment that we're setting up for our kids, we may not even be aware of what's what they're picking up on? And so I think that that ties into, you know, the more uncomfortable part of this discussion is, why are we raising people that exploit other people? Right, the horrific side of the victimization and the things that people the crimes that get committed against people. But why are there other people that are making those decisions to commit those crimes? What have you what trauma have those people experienced? Or what example has been set for those people that's made that okay, and part of that can be rooted just in their objectification of humans. And we can plant those seeds as people that are influencing other people really easily. And so if you're a dad, if you're somebody that's, you know, if you're a mentor to other kids, or to people in a community, how are you use posture in your life in a way that's not having those issues? Because it doesn't have to be like, Oh, I saw you looking at x thing on a screen or on your phone? No, it manifests in a lot of other ways. It's how you like, turn your head when you walk by somebody that maybe you don't need to do that. Because your kids seeing that. So I think that's like, you know, that's a very small root cause, but it leads to, like, you know, maybe 1015 decisions later, you have somebody that's now become an exploiter, because they justified each step along the way. So I'd say that's like, one of the big things as men that we need to push against in culture is ultimately like the objectification of women of other people. Because that creates bigger problems.

Curt Storring 38:22

I'm glad you said that. That's something that a lot of the guys in our program come into, and they sort of, are confronted with the fact that this is a bad thing to be specifically addicted to porn. And a lot of people never get the like, Well, what do you mean, it's bad, it's not hurting anyone. And man, like, I was just looking through a resource yesterday, one of the men in the groups she sent to me, because he wants to run some guys through it inside the group, because there are men struggling with this. And one of the things that this I don't even know what it is, like a course, was walking through his, like, answer these questions. And it was things like, do you judge people based on like, a number, like, Oh, he's a seven and she's a five and you know, he's, you know, she, she's dating up or whatever. And it's like, what is it? Why are you asking these questions and it didn't even occur to me, that that seed of objectification and like these little things that we just go, Well, I'm just a man, you know, like, oh, yeah, I you know, looks I'd add Of course, of course, I'm gonna make the comment about the waitress and this and that. It's like, bro, stop the lustful eyes like that is so important. He talks about that. Like there's I was just reading I think proverbs five today, and it taught like a whole proverb about like, adulterous isn't like sexual immorality. It's so freakin important to get your life in integrity. And then, and I think as a culture, while at least for me, I want to be the one who can. And I say this carefully, because like, I don't, I don't want to actually do this, but I want the positioning to be. I get to scoff at you for watching pornography rather than you scoffing at me, because I don't as if I'm the weird one. I want like, like you said, to have that cultural shift, where you're like, No, of course they don't watch that. That's terrible. And what I have done, I don't know if this is useful for anyone else, maybe I'm just hard on myself. But I have made it disgusting to my own conscience to go down that rabbit hole. And so I have that, at least in the back of my mind, this is what's worked for me, is I just go, that's disgusting. I'm not gonna I'm not the man to do that. And I think that self respect should be a thing that men are after. And if there are things that don't have you respect yourself, don't do them. So anyway, this is like, Dude, this is a huge conversation. I've had a couple of people on this, talking about pornography and how to stop using pornography. And if you're in that group of men, who is like addicted to this and can have like victory over this, you don't know how to do it yourself. There are a number of resources, I sat down with Cynthia Sam on this podcast, he's got a coaching course on this. There's a lot of guys who got books, reach out to me, I've know a lot of guys who are in this space, I can get you some resources, because it's so important, especially as a father, just like you're saying, so man. Yeah, thank you for saying that. I really appreciate that. Any last thoughts on this before we move on?

Randy Watson 40:58

No, I just think, yeah, I guess one last thought. Yeah. It's not a it's not a thing about shame, right? Like, understandably, people end up in those circumstances because of different things. To be personal. Like my first exposure to pornography was I was eight, and I was at a friend's house and his dad showed us. Yeah, right. So it's like, you never know how that starts for people and how they get hooked into it. So it's not a shame thing. But it kinda goes back to what I said earlier about, you know, the online exploitation piece of stuff that happens digitally doesn't mean that it's not happening to somebody in person. Yeah. And and that's very much connected into the pornography world. It's like, somebody physically in person went through whatever experience under whatever circumstances, and you don't know what those circumstances were. So don't draw conclusions, because you don't know if those are accurate. Yeah,

Curt Storring 41:50

well said. Thank you for that. Okay. So let's talk a little bit about like what you guys do, because I think there's like a multifaceted approach here is like, number one, let's give a little bit of hope after some of those dark statistics. And also, like, if guys are convicted by this, and they want to start advocating, and they want to start learning more, you've got resources. I know you guys do like events, and you speak and there's like, there's opportunity, I'm sure to also support you guys. And like, I'll do the shameless plug for you. If you guys are like convicted by this, please go and check this group out, ally. And we'll put the show notes. We'll put the link in the show notes, I should say. But yeah, what do you guys Where's this coming from? Like, also, why this for you? Like what? What is the whole story? What are you guys doing today?

Randy Watson 42:36

Yeah, I'll start with just our story. And then I'll say why me, I guess. Yeah, so we work primarily, in, in North America, and then in Cambodia and Nepal. So we work internationally and domestically, our work internationally is is largely on the aftercare space and the preventative side of this issue. So reran safe homes for kids that have been trafficked and sexually exploited. Those homes are places where we take kids into from, you know, as young as two all the way up into their early 20s. And those children are coming in because there's no safe place for them to go. So family is not safe. There's all the other circumstances where we ended up having guardianship of those children. So we've got about 200 Kids in full time care internationally. Right now. All of the frontline work is not done by foreign people. It's done by national people that we support, which is really important. So it's culturally sensitive and, and also trauma informed. And so yeah, we, we, we spend a lot of time on the aftercare side, which is incredibly hopeful. To see the resilience and the redemption that comes out of some of these stories is, is really what drives our team. Because you get to hear the, you know, the most wretched, disgusting things. And then you get to see this young kid face those things head on and heal through that trauma and come out the other side is like a leader who's like incredibly empathetic and compassionate. And so our commitment internationally is really to take to take survivors all the way through to independence. So making sure they have a vocation or a trade or they got University scholarships and get them all the way through to where they're back out on their own. And then we also run prevention work around the world where we go into at risk areas at risk communities, schools, really rural villages where we have people like trek generators, 10 hours off little goat trails and put up a projector and show Hey, these are the risks that could happen here. So we reach 10s of 1000s of people a year in prevention. Like I said, many times this podcast prevention is easier, cheaper. It's safer, there's so many things that we can prevent happening. If we educate people. Here in Canada, our work is a little bit different. If we look at our work overseas, it costs us about three to $400 us a month to care for a kid. And that's wraparound care really, really amazing care. In North America, that same level of care is going to be probably 10 to $15,000 a month per kid. So that's not as feasible for us as a privately funded organization that we raised our support from people like you listening to this call, that's 510 $2,000 donations that come in that make this work happen. And so for us, we wanted to, we want to make each dollar go as far as possible. So in the North American context, we're primarily focused on education prevention, and research, there's a real lack of research in this space and in Canada specifically. And I know it can seem like oh, what is research do what is what is the some of the other talks about like advocacy and prevention? And how does that actually help? Well, without the proper data, the funds don't get allocated from government to those services that are needed. So a really good example, I don't know what the numbers are today. But you know, a couple of years ago, if you look at two major provinces in Canada, if you look, Ontario, and BC, at the time, when we were researching Ontario had about 35 different police units across all their police departments that had some sort of counter exploitation aspect to it. And within each of those units, there's between one and 10 officers, so say conservatively, that's 150 ish people working in that province to prevent this issue. At the time BC had one RCMP officer and three VPD at Vancouver Police, what's the difference? The difference is statistics and reporting. And so if there was better research, there'd be more funding to the proper agencies to do more prevention and intervention work. That's just a random stat into that space. But there's a huge gap in knowledge. And so without that knowledge, we're not doing the right work to prevent it. So So we work with universities in Canada to research to increase understanding around this issue. And then a big thing like we talked about earlier is how do we create tangible resources for parents and teachers to have these conversations? And how do we also make those resources available, not just to, you know, a middle class English speaking person? For sure we're making those but how do we also make it for, you know, all of these different immigrant communities that come into Canada that have really high vulnerabilities. And maybe the kids get in school learn English, but the parents don't know. You know, there's a city near us right now, we had a call from a high school that had 14 different cases where it was first generation Chinese immigrants. And all of the profiles were the same, it was all like 14 or 15 year old girls that were being exploited, but their parents didn't speak English. So there was a huge vulnerability. And so we're trying to enter into that space to create resources that are contextualized. Another big piece, the piece of what we do here in Canada is working on contextualized resources for indigenous community as well. Because a major problem in Canada and about 50% of traffic people in Canada are indigenous, they're trafficked often from you know, central Canada out into like the major metro centers. And the resources to prevent that aren't being created in a way that's like culturally understood or appropriate, because we haven't put enough time and energy into creating that space and making sure the right voices are heard. So there's a lot of different layers there. But those are kind of some of the different buckets that we're focused on. So largely prevention and then internationally. A lot of aftercare work.

Curt Storring 49:03

Well, I'm glad you guys are doing that. Thank you. And why is this thing for you? Did you like Yeah, tell me tell me a little bit about the backstory.

Randy Watson 49:11

Yeah, yeah. So the quick backstory for me is, is I kind of grew up in a, in a space where I, you know, I experienced different types of trauma, I was exposed to different things as a kid, as I mentioned, exposed to pornography at a young age. And I actually I ended up going into business at a young age and became really passionate about being able to support other causes or needs in the community. I grown up under the poverty line for a long time. So my first trip out of Canada was actually mission strip to Skid Row in LA. And so I experienced need and in a different way and, and then shortly after that, I went to Haiti, and I saw, you know, poverty and a whole other level. So it exposed me to real need. So I just had kind of committed, I made the commitment early that I wanted to help fund things and volunteer where I could. And so long story short, that led into a lot of like international disaster response work. I had heard about the issue of trafficking as a young teen, and it felt uncomfortable to me. So I started donating to a couple of organizations, but I didn't know how to engage with the content. And then, you know, a few years later, after maybe 10 years of working and volunteering internationally, and probably with 80 or so different international nonprofits and seeing, you know, post conflict zones or natural disaster areas where there's like, often exploitation of people. I started leaning more into the anti trafficking space. And then I started to meet people that were doing this frontline work. And it was overwhelming to me. I saw ultimately that the majority of people that were doing the frontline, like work and the heavy lifting of caring for kids long term after they've had this level of trauma weren't being resourced. It was the more macho organizations that were being resourced the ones that are like, Hey, we're going in and doing the rescue. And of course, that's needed. It's necessary. We have lots of partners that do that work. But But what what happens after, it's like, it's like, who's making that parental commitment of longterm no matter what, we're going to care for you? Yeah. And so we really wanted to figure out how do we support those people. And so that start that was really how my journey in this space deepened, was looking for people that were doing that work on the front lines and making the commitment to them. And that started to snowball to the point where I couldn't do it off the side of my desk at work anymore. And I ended up leaving my business and, and setting up ally, to do that to just be an ally to people that are on the frontlines. So that's, that's what we're about. It's about supporting people that are getting their hands dirty and caring for kids and, and doing that at a real high level of sacrifice to themselves.

Curt Storring 52:05

And that is such a Chad King moved to leave the business to do this full time, like just savagery. So I thank you, again for that, because that's not an easy thing I can imagine. Man, I want to ask her the last thing here, and I don't know if there's going to be anything that comes up. But what do you wish more people knew? Because like, I know, kind of what it's like to be in a space and you're like, Oh, dude, like, I can't believe this is real. What does everyone know about this? And then you want to tell people and they're like, Okay, that's nice. But like, is there anything in this space? You're like, Man, why don't you know this? So anyway, it doesn't have to be a yes. But I'm curious if that is something that you want to share?

Randy Watson 52:43

Yeah, I just think there's more people need to know that this is happening closer to home than you think. And that you need to lean in and understand it. And it's not like, you know, there's not some perpetrator around every corner. It's not about like fear mongering and sensationalizing because I think that's super dangerous. But it is about leaning into this issue. And I think more people need to talk about it, we need to make it more common to talk about things that are uncomfortable. And that would prevent a lot of negative things from happening. And I think the other thing in general that I see really in the charitable sector, and I can speak to you know, any cause is, especially in Canada, it seems, oh, people just think that there's funding for that. Well, let me tell you, there's not everybody that's know or most people that are pursuing these causes. There, they have two different jobs, and one of those jobs is pursuing the cause. And the other one is getting the money to pursue the cause. And so whatever it is that you're passionate about, don't think someone else is funding it because they're not, it takes, it really takes a community to come behind the different organizations that are out there. And so, wherever you're listening from if you're like, Hey, I'm in you know, I'm in Washington state, or I'm in Tennessee, or wherever you're in Victoria, or you're in Toronto, whatever city you're in, if you're like, oh, I want to know more information about a legitimate organization that's doing this work near me, just shoot me an email. And we can we can connect you to somebody that we trust. And you can find our contact information easy. Our websites just So yeah, I think I think that's probably the important thing. Take the step to lean in and learn one new thing.

Curt Storring 54:30

Yeah, man, thank you. I'm gonna get from you afterwards. All the links, all the contact, all the whatever, and I was looking at your website you guys want to, like audited regularly to is that rain?

Randy Watson 54:41

Yeah, yeah, I think it's yeah, it's it's important that we're like, you know, my background is in business. So we want to run things like super, super professionally and, you know, we elect to be audited. That's by choice because we want to be as transparent as we can. We're working you know, in order to work in the trees that we do, we have nine different entities that are set up to enable us to do the work in all these different countries. So we have to not just maintain legal entity in Canada, but a number of different ones in each country that we're in in order to be able to provide education and provide aftercare and all those different things. So, it's really important to me that, you know, if you give $1, you know where that dollar goes. And we do everything we can to make sure that dollar goes as far as it possibly can into preventing the stuff from happening and caring for people that have had difficult things happen to them,

Curt Storring 55:33

man, okay, yeah, I just want to say that because I know you said, you know, legitimate and transparency and stuff like that, I'm like, looking through this going, like, oh, I don't think this is like a cheap thing to have done. And to put it out there is very transparent. So I mean, I just, I want people like you said, to take action, and I want you if you're listening to this, that like, sometimes, like, I will come across things that just speak to my heart. And I'm like, Oh, I'm in on this. And I don't know, like how much but I'm just gonna, like, I'm gonna give or I'm gonna, like, whatever I need to do. And so if this is one of those things, don't just feel good about supporting it in your heart. Like literally trust that, you know, your provision is provided. And, you know, maybe you can literally save a life or save someone for going through some of the horrific things that Randy trog talked about on here. So that can be done. Where exactly on the website?

Randy Watson 56:22

Yeah, just it's super easy. Yeah.

Curt Storring 56:25

So what's the best way for people to give like, do you like monthly? Like, like, what would be helpful if a man or a listener was like, Man, I do want to support this? Is there like a level or something that is most helpful that does something?

Randy Watson 56:38

Yeah, it's cost us about 20 bucks to reach a kid with prevention work and like real, like great resources. So 20 bucks a month, protects one kid a month, three, about 300 bucks a month, provides aftercare for somebody. And that's not just like aftercare, that's housing, food, education, all the staffing, services, counseling everything. So monthly is awesome, because we can plan, everything we're doing that we do is about making a commitment to individuals. And so the more people that make a commitment to us enables us to do that to others. So monthly is amazing. But any any gift, we want it to go as far as it possibly can,

Curt Storring 57:14

man, well, you heard it, go to ally, and donate, guys. Well, man, Randy, I appreciate this. I appreciate the work that you're doing. And the fact that you're able to share this with us. And guys, I hope that listening this has given you some ideas in terms of how to bring this up. Like you're The Family Leader, as a father, how are you going to bring this up? How are you gonna keep your kids safe? How are you going to be making sure this is part of your conversation, in your circles in your family, to normalize the conversation so that we don't have to normalize recovery? I think that's probably you know, the best thing that we can do right now. So anyway, man, thank you very much. I'll put all that in the show notes. Dad.Work slash podcast. appreciate having you man. Thanks so much. Thank you for listening to the dad work podcast. That's it for this episode. But if you would like to stay in touch between weekly episodes, why don't you go over to Instagram and follow me there because I draw up a number of things throughout the week that are related to what we talked about on this podcast, but usually go a little bit deeper, provide some tips you can find me on Instagram at dad work dot Kurt. That's da d w o RK dot c u r t. And please, if you have been getting something out of this podcast, if it has touched you if it has improved your marriage, or parenting or your life, would you please leave a quick review on Apple or Spotify. leave a rating. If you have a few extra seconds, leave a quick review. That's the best way that we can get this work in the hands of more fathers. And I truly believe that we change the world. One fathered at a time because each father that parents better that loves better raises children who do the same. And in just a couple of generations. I feel like we could be living in a world much better than the one we live in today. Your review will help along that path. And I thank you so much for being here to listen until next week. We'll see you then.

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