Atlas Rescue – Sean Williamson
– By Mitzi Perdue
Sean Williamson, a Former Green Beret and Founder of Atlas Rescue, has an important story. However, before we get to it, he has what may be surprising yet reassuring information for you.
Although the information may not apply to you, if you’re reading this, there’s a good chance that it does. If you work in the anti-trafficking field and you have even a reasonably high profile – maybe you’re on the Internet, or you give talks, or you donate money to anti-trafficking causes – do you need to worry that the traffickers will find you and harm you? Or your children?
Do You Need to Worry?
Williamson’s answer is, “In almost every case, no!” He goes on to qualify that statement by explaining that if you’re engaged in actual rescues, you may be in danger, or if you’re in law enforcement prosecuting traffickers there can be danger.
Still, short of these two cases, the traffickers could care less about you. “They know that anti-trafficking efforts are so ineffective,” he points out, “that less than half of 1% of victims will ever be rescued each year.”
He goes on observe that in our current state of affairs, most people who combat human trafficking aren’t even on the traffickers’ radar screens. Williamson, with his special ops background, was shocked by the fact that traffickers are so little concerned with being caught and so unconcerned about doing anything about those who are trying to stop them.
“I was expecting traffickers to act like terrorists, with encrypted messages and hiding everything they do. But no, they’re just using private groups on Facebook!” In other words, they act with impunity. And they’re not particularly bothered by you.
Williamson and His Colleagues Do Experience Risk
Unlike most of us, Williamson and his team of retired military specialist are in the category of people who are in danger. His for-profit company, Atlas Rescue provides specialized security services, and criminals are highly likely to want to cause harm to him and his colleagues.
To see an example of the kind of work Atlas Rescue does, imagine for a horrible moment that you discover that there’s an organization that wants to kill you. You go to the police, and a likely response is something along the lines of, “We wish you luck, but we can’t help.”
Dealing with threats like this isn’t the job of police. However, it is the job of the Atlas team of retired special ops people.
They exist to help people like the imaginary you who find themselves in situations somewhere in the world where they need security. Or possibly they need rescue.
What’s special about the for-profit Atlas Rescue company is, revenue from the for-profit side is part of what helps fund their non-profit arm, Atlas Humanitarian Rescue. The charity specializes in fighting human trafficking.
The reach of this non-profit is global and they’re adept at working with other countries. “With our anti human trafficking expertise,” Williamson explains, “other countries invite us to provide training to the local police and military.”
The special ops teams work to be so culturally sensitive that they’ll be invited back over and over again. “Our attitude is,” says Williamson: “We are a guest of that nation, and we’re there to help them push the ball forward.”
Williamson can take satisfaction knowing that he’s part of helping, but he’s also quick to point out that he hasn’t helped as much as he wants. But still, he keeps on working towards his goal: “Create a worldwide effort of such highly trained anti-trafficking forces that potential human traffickers will be so afraid of who will come for them in the middle of the night, that they will not even consider enslaving another human for profit.”
What a great goal! To learn more, go to: https://atlasrescue.org
About The Author
Mitzi Perdue is a businesswoman, author, and Founder of Win This Fight, Stop Human Trafficking Now. She holds a B.A. degree with honors from Harvard University and a Master's from George Washington University. She's a past president of the 40,000 member American Agri-Women, and she was a U.S. Delegate to the United Nations Conference on Women in Nairobi. She was also a Commissioner for the National Commission on Libraries and Information Science. Her Scripps Howard column, The Environment and You, was for years the most widely syndicated environmental column in the U.S.
She is the founder and president of “Win This Fight! Stop Human Trafficking Now,” an organization that raises funds and awareness for other anti-trafficking initiatives.