Filming has begun in Houston, Texas for Dottie Laster’s new reality show on human trafficking, titled Project Red Light.
A red light symbolizes “stop” and that’s what the show is about, stopping human trafficking on its own turf. Dottie Laster and her film crew, including a security detail and body guards for her and her team went into the belly of the beast to attempt to rescue girls from the sex trafficking trade.
Dottie Laster has been involved in the rescue and restoration of over 200 victims in her career as an advocate, but rarely has the opportunity for security or body guards to accompany her. She was overcome with emotion when she realized that she didn’t have to be as vigilant for her own safety and could concentrate on getting to the victims and assisting them safely, a very risky business.
Laster and her team often make trips to bars and cantinas where known traffickers are prostituting their victims. Able to recognize who the victims are she’s able to make contact, talk to them, let them know she can lead them safely out of the clutches of the pimps and traffickers, and organizes a plan to put in place to make it happen.
Increasingly Laster is being contracted by families to help find their children lost in a world they never dreamed existed. She says there is a sharp increase in academically successful high school and college age youth being groomed and ultimately leaving their stable families to follow what’s known as a “romeo pimp” or even another girl or woman who has gained their trust. She has boosted her appearances in high schools to educate and make young students aware of what to look for, red flags, and how to properly report instances within their circle of friends.
While filming in Houston, Dottie and the crew were able to make contact with several victims by setting up in a local hotel room and calling for “services” of known victim prostitutes. Dangerously awaiting in the parking lot would be the pimp or trafficker until she came back out with the money to turn over. Always making sure that they are paid what’s expected, often funded out of Laster’s own pocket, she lets the victims know that she is there to help, trying to gain their confidence and to come up with a plan of escape. Although she wasn’t able to completely rescue victims on this trip, she has gone back, and will continue to return until she is able to get those wanting to leave and bring them to safety.
Project Red Light is showing interest by major networks for airing in the near future. The show’s premise is similar to MSNBC’s To Catch a Predator, in fact some of the same crew members were used for the shoot in Houston. One of the things Dottie Laster relays is the overwhelming sense of astonishment and anger by the crew, as well as the security guards, that human trafficking is as prevalent as it is.
Dottie Laster is no stranger to the cameras and stories made by Hollywood, television and documentary film makers. She’s been a consultant on many movies and tv shows, and played a large part in the documentary, The Cantinera, also filmed in Houston by Ruth Villatoro. The Cantinera looks into the life of the “cantina girls” and how they are exploited in latin bars all over the country. The Cantinera is available for public screenings, with Dottie Laster and Ruth Villatoro available for panel discussions. To request a screening of The Cantinera refer to the website: http://cantineradocumentary.com/?page_id=840
Not waiting for the return of the film crew for further episodes, Dottie Laster is intending to continue to enlist the help of the security detail and the body-guard to return to Houston and work on the rescue of those they were able to contact while filming Project Red Light. Funding is a major issue and each trip is in the neighborhood of $5000 for all that is needed. If you are able please consider making a contribution. Click the ‘Donate’ tab on the link below and enter “Save One Soul” for the program. http://bernardokohler.org/programs/save-one-soul/
Dottie Laster’s personal fundraising project is TRAFFICKED Designs which uses rescued victims to design and create “SOS: Save One Soul” jewelry which is sold during her speaking engagements and training workshops. She intends to grow the business to include the ability to help victims become self-sustaining as they re-enter the world as survivors. Shop at TRAFFICKED Designs Store!
To bring Dottie Laster to your next event, please contact ImaginePublicity Tel: 843-808-0859 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dottie Laster Filming Project Red Light Reality Show about Human Trafficking
- The Cantinera Documentary Available for Public Screening (imaginepublicity.com)
- Human Trafficking (rizkiaksen.wordpress.com)
- Modern Day Slavery: The Reality of Human Trafficking (projecteve.com)