Media Kit


1 – About the Book: Short and long description
2 – Available formats, product specs, links to sellers
3 – About the Author
4 – Book endorsements
5 – Interview resources (Sample questions & interview topics)
6 – Full Table of Contents
7 – Contributor biographies
8 – Book and Author photos

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ABOUT THE BOOK (From the back cover)

What is human trafficking? Why are millions enslaved in lives of labor and sex trafficking? How do traffickers control their victims? What are the needs of trafficking victims? Why don’t more victims reach out for help? What are the challenges faced by law enforcement? What can I do to help?

John Vanek, nationally recognized authority on the response to human trafficking – along with sixteen expert contributors – answers these and other commonly-asked questions about one of the greatest human rights violations today: human trafficking. The Essential Abolitionist offers context to complex topics, reviews the challenges involved in fighting human trafficking and assisting victims, and examines head-on the myths and misconceptions related to modern slavery. If you are already involved in the response to human trafficking, want to get involved, or simply seek a better understanding of this complex, global issue, The Essential Abolitionist will engage, educate, and inspire.

ABOUT THE BOOK (From the Preface)

When I entered this field, few people were even aware of the term human trafficking. Although more people today have at least heard the term, one element of my work has not changed: The same questions are asked over and over again, whether the audience consists of anti-trafficking professionals, university students, civic or faith groups, or the general public.

These questions are understandable in light of the complexity of these two distinct and intertwined subjects: human trafficking and the response to human trafficking. In addition, the lack of a single resource that addresses these questions furthers the confusion that prompts them.

I’ve written this book in order to provide a solid foundation for future discussion, collaboration, and action between people in diverse professions and civic groups. In developing this resource, I have three distinct goals:

1 – Replacing complexity with shared understanding.
Complexity reigns supreme in both the factors that cause and allow slavery and the challenges we face in our response. If we are to make a difference, we must understand this complexity and its nuances. To oversimplify human trafficking is a disservice to victims of slavery and to those who work to oppose it and assist its victims.

2 – Providing context through a wider perspective.
Context is especially important when we examine the different ways we respond to human trafficking. If we don’t examine and understand the greater context in which our efforts play a role, unforeseen and unintended consequences can be the results of our actions.

3 – Promoting clarity by addressing common questions and explaining fundamental terms.
I’ve written this book to answer the most often asked questions about modern slavery and how we respond (or should be responding) to this immense human rights tragedy. The overarching questions presented in this book (or similarly-worded questions) have been asked thousands of times. Most of my colleagues have been asked these same questions too. I’ve written this book for people who seek clear and concise answers on these difficult and often complex questions.


Published by Daliwal Press, Gardnerville, NV
Paperback: 6 x 9 x .5 inches, 250 pages, 14.0 ounces shipping weight.
ISBN: 978-0-9971180-0-1
eBook: 263kb. ISBN: 978-0-9971180-0-8
For quantity orders contact John!

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John Vanek
is a consultant and speaker focusing on human trafficking and the collaborative response to modern slavery. He has worked with the United States Department of Justice, the Office of the United States Attorneys, California’s Office of the Attorney General, California POST, the California District Attorneys Association, the National Law Enforcement Training Network, the Not For Sale Campaign, the Freedom Network Training Institute, and other governmental and private organizations. John is an adjunct professor in the Graduate School of International Policy & Management at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey.

John retired in the rank of lieutenant from the San Jose Police Department, where he managed the San Jose Police Human Trafficking Task Force, and holds an M.A. in Leadership from Saint Mary’s College of California.

In 2006, while assigned to the San Jose Police Vice Unit, John was assigned responsibility for a grant from the United States Department of Justice to create and sustain a multi-sector anti-human trafficking task force. The San Jose Police Department was one of the initial grantees in a program that would eventually create 42 task forces nationwide. As one of the earliest law enforcement officers to be involved in this program, John was soon sought out to share his experience. This led to unique opportunities to work with federal, state, and local law enforcement and victim services agencies, along with a wide variety of other non-governmental organizations (NGOs), academic institutions, and private organizations. John managed the task force from 2006-2011.

Much of John’s work today involves helping others understand the critical importance of collaboration in our complex world, and how best to create and sustain collaborative partnerships both for the fight against human trafficking and other endeavors. In addition to his training and technical assistance consulting, John regularly speaks before a variety of audiences, helping them understand the plight of modern slavery and how each of us can take a roll.

During John’s 25-years of service with the San Jose Police Department his varied assignments included Special Operations, Training, Sexual Assault Investigations, Vice, and Systems Development. He also served as a Bomb Technician from 2000-2010.

John now lives with his wife Dawn, son and daughter-in-law, and two dogs and a horse  in Gardnerville, Nevada, in the shadow of the Sierra Nevada mountains where he enjoys outdoor activities including backpacking, climbing, cycling, and both nordic and alpine skiing. He is also learning how to raise bees!


The Essential Abolitionist is a timely resource for the world today. With more recent attention paid to the issue of modern slavery and human trafficking, Vanek offers honest and practical insights to educate and guide new abolitionists to coalesce around the human rights issue of our time. The Essential Abolitionist is an essential resource for new hearts and minds about to embark on a passionate journey to understand modern slavery.
Kay Buck
Executive Director and CEO
Coalition to Abolish Slavery & Trafficking (CAST)

The Essential Abolitionist is perhaps the most comprehensive examination of the troubling issue of human trafficking ever put together. John Vanek not only brings to bear his own significant expertise on the subject but also enlists a host of other voices to offer in one book all the resources and information law enforcement should have on hand in the fight against this inhumane treatment of innocents by brutal criminal enterprises. It is, in my opinion, a must for every police executive’s library.
Doug Wyllie
PoliceOne, Editor in Chief

John has written the essential 21st century guidebook on human trafficking. Between his extensive personal expertise and that of the many guest contributors, John has built a dynamic document that will save lives. This book could be today’s textbook for those with an interest in ending human trafficking and will surely educate anyone who reads it.
Kevin Willett
CEO – Public Safety Training Consultants
Redwood City, CA

Vanek’s book is an indispensable resource—thorough, insightful, useful, and drawn from experience in the field. A must read for anyone concerned about this fast-growing and harmful global and domestic issue. Law enforcement, helping professionals, educators, activists, and citizens alike—everyone should read this book!
Janja Lalich, PhD
Professor Emerita of Sociology
California State University, Chico

John Vanek is highly experienced in the fight against human trafficking, and his passion has made a difference for many survivors. The Essential Abolitionist will be instrumental in educating law enforcement and NGOs throughout the United States.
Anna Rodriguez
Founder, Florida Coalition Against Human Trafficking

The Essential Abolitionist is a great read and provides a very concise, accurate, and topical guide to a complex issue. This book should be in the hands of every abolitionist, church member, community leader, law enforcement leader, and legislator.
Dennis Mark
Executive Director
Redeemed Ministries
Houston, TX

John Vanek has done a masterful work of summarizing the very complex issue of human trafficking in a logical, broad, and readable way. Anyone working in the anti-human trafficking arena soon learns that people want to know more. Whether they are just discovering the issue or already active in working against modern day slavery, questions abound. I recommend The Essential Abolitionist to everyone as an up-to-date reference for understanding a global, complex, modern scourge that cannot be ignored.
Jean Schafer, SDS
Editor, Stop Trafficking e-newsletter

If you have questions on the issues of modern day slavery and what you can do about it, you will want to read John Vanek’s new collaborative book, The Essential Abolitionist. It is a fresh call to engagement in the movement that seeks to free the lives of those imprisoned, exploited, and enslaved by human trafficking. This book will not only open your eyes and bring clarity to what is happening around you but also stir your anger and show you how to get involved. This book also discusses laws, language, and solutions essential to stopping this international crime together in this generation. Read this book, and then sign up.
Stephen Goode
YWAM Ambassador
Bangkok, Thailand

General questions on human trafficking.
1 – How is human trafficking defined?
2 – Which is more prevalent, labor or sex trafficking?
3 – How many victims of trafficking are there in the world (and/or the United States)?
4 – Why don’t we have better estimates of the number of victims?
5 – Who are the traffickers?
6 – Is human trafficking increasing?

Questions about the response to human trafficking.
7 – You view human trafficking and the response to trafficking as two separate topics. Why?
8 – What is the greatest challenge in responding to human trafficking?
9 – Human trafficking receives a lot of attention as a social justice and criminal justice
issue.  Does this attention create advantages or challenges?
10 – What advice do you give to people who want to get involved in the response to
human trafficking?

Questions about John Vanek and The Essential Abolitionist.
11 – What is your background, and how did you get involved in fighting human trafficking?
12 – What do you do now, as a consultant?
13 – Why did you decide to write The Essential Abolitionist?
14 – How did you choose the topics addressed in the book?
15 – Your book has contributions from 16 nationally-recognized experts involved in
the response to human trafficking. Tell me more about that.
16 – Your book has a chapter titled, Human Trafficking: Myths & Misconceptions.
What are some of the topics addressed in that chapter?
17 – You funded the publication of your book through a Kickstarter crowd-funding
campaign. Tell me more about that experience.
18 – Why did you choose to self-publish The Essential Abolitionist?
19 – What do you enjoy most about working within the anti-trafficking community?
20 – Where can we learn more about The Essential Abolitionist?


Chapter 1 – Human Trafficking: Basic definitions and terms
Chapter 2 – Modern Slavery: Traffickers and their victims
Chapter 3 – Responding to Human Trafficking: General concepts & resources
Chapter 4 – Responding to Human Trafficking: Victims and their needs
Chapter 5 – Responding to Human Trafficking: Law enforcement challenges
Chapter 6 – Be an Abolitionist: Your role in combating human trafficking
Chapter 7 – Human Trafficking: Myths & misconceptions
Chapter 8 – Human Trafficking: Final questions
About the Author
Contributor Biographies
Resources & Websites


Alejandra Acevedo, Esq., is currently a Human Trafficking Training and Technical Assistance Specialist for the Office for Victims of Crime Training and Technical Assistance Center (OVC TTAC). In this position, she responds to the human trafficking related training and technical assistance needs of the OVC grantees, victim service providers, law enforcement, and other affiliated professionals. Prior to joining OVC TTAC, Alejandra was the Policy and Publications Specialist for the U.S. Department of State Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons in the Reports and Political Affairs section, where she managed the publication of the Trafficking in Persons Report and conducted extensive research on human trafficking issues in countries around the world and relevant governments’ efforts to confront it. As a law clerk for National District Attorneys Association, National Center for Prosecution of Child Abuse, she researched and synthesized research, case law, and state and federal statutes on child abuse and served as a subject matter expert on domestic child trafficking. Alejandra also served as a legal intern and board member for Save the Young Organization (SAYO) where she administered seminars on Human Rights, Domestic Violence, and Child Trafficking in rural Kumbo, Cameroon. Alejandra holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science, certificate in International Relations, and minor in Mass Communications from the University of Florida. She also holds a juris doctorate from the Washington College of Law, American University.

Jon A. Daggy is a Detective Sergeant with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department. Jon grew up in Mishawaka, Indiana and joined the department in 1989. Since 2005, he has been a detective and supervisor in the Human Trafficking Vice Unit. He is a court expert on the subjects of human trafficking investigations and transnational organized crime. Jon speaks regularly on human trafficking, has trained law enforcement officers in human trafficking and vice investigations, and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice from Ball State University.

Melissa Farley is a psychologist and Executive Director of Prostitution Research & Education. Melissa has 49 publications in the field of violence against women, most of which address prostitution, pornography, and sex trafficking. Her work, with many co-authors, has been used by governments in South Africa, Canada, New Zealand, Ghana, United Kingdom, Cambodia, and the United States for education and policy development. In the last decade Melissa has begun studying sex buyers, resulting in the 2015 publication of an article showing that sex buyers have many of the same attitudes and sexually coercive behaviors of highly sexually aggressive men.

Susan French was Senior Special Counsel for Human Trafficking in the Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit, Criminal Section, Civil Rights Division, U.S. Department of Justice, where she investigated and prosecuted labor and sex human trafficking cases on behalf of the United States throughout the 50 states, territories, and possessions. Susan recently was the Senior Staff Attorney for the Anti-Trafficking Project, International Human Rights Clinic, George Washington University Law School in Washington DC. Susan has and continues to consult and train national and international law enforcement and civil society organizations.

Dr. Annie Isabel Fukushima is an Assistant Professor with the Ethnic Studies Program and the College of Social Work at the University of Utah. Prior to joining the faculty at University of Utah, she received her Ph.D. from University of California, Berkeley in Ethnic Studies with a Designated Emphasis in Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies and was an Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at Rutgers University (2013–2015). In 2015 she was recognized by the National Center for Institutional Diversity (NCID) as an Exemplary Diversity Scholar. Dr. Fukushima’s scholarly and public works on immigration, citizenship, victimhood, criminality, and violence has appeared in multiple edited anthologies, encyclopedias, and handbooks for ABC-Clio, Greenwood Press, and MacMillan, scholarly peer reviewed articles in journals such as Feminist Formations, Frontiers: Journal of Womens Studies, and Praxis: Gender & Cultural Critiques and non-scholarly publications in The Nation, Foreign Policy in Focus, Alternet, and Asia Times Online. Currently she is a co-editor for Third Woman Press, a Queer and Feminist of Color publisher, and their inaugural anthology being co-edited with Dr. Fukushima, Dr. Layli Maparyan, Dr. Anita Revilla, and Dr. Matt Richardson. Her teaching experiences encompass a wide range of institutions: She has taught in community college (Laney College), in liberal arts colleges (Scripps College), at state institutions (San Francisco State University), and at research universities (University of California, Berkeley; University of California, Santa Cruz; Rutgers University; and University of Utah). She has served as an expert witness and consultant regarding human trafficking. She has worked at all levels of organizations.

Benjamin Thomas Greer is currently the Senior Executive on Legal Issues for the Paragon Team. The Paragon Team’s mission is to help governments advance their anti-trafficking response through law enforcement training and intelligence gathering specifically designed to improve their Tier ranking with the United States Department of State’s annual TIP report. He is a Former Special Deputy Attorney General—Human Trafficking Special Projects Team for the California Department of Justice—Office of the Attorney General; former research attorney for the California District Attorneys Association (CDAA); and Legal and Legislative Consultant for the Coalition to Abolish Slavery & Trafficking (CAST).

Sarah Jakiel is the Chief Programs Officer of Polaris. She sits on the Executive Management Team responsible for the overall operation of the organization and helps to support Polaris’ programs. She has been on the leading edge of anti-human trafficking efforts both domestically and globally since 2005. Sarah started with Polaris, launching and directing the National Human Trafficking Resource Center and filling a critical service in the anti-trafficking field focused on victim identification, helping survivors access help, and directing key intelligence to law enforcement to fight traffickers. She speaks and trains frequently on topics ranging from engaging technology in the fight against human trafficking to the development and implementation of human trafficking hotlines as the core of a successful national anti-trafficking strategy. Sarah currently advises other countries on local, national and regional efforts to develop effective anti-trafficking response mechanisms. Sarah holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in Political Science and French from the University of Virginia. After living abroad for several years in Eastern Europe and Southeast Asia where Sarah observed human trafficking firsthand, she returned to the U.S. and pursued an MA in Ethics, Peace, and Global Affairs from American University where she focused her graduate research on both transnational and domestic human trafficking.

Cindy C. Liou, Esq. is a consultant, trainer, author, and attorney who practices law in the areas of human trafficking, immigration law, family law, and domestic violence. Recently, she was the Director of the Human Trafficking Project at Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach and the Co-Chair of the Policy Committee of the Freedom Network to Empower Trafficked and Enslaved Persons (USA). She is the winner of the 2013 San Francisco Collaborative Against Human Trafficking Modern Day Abolitionist Award for Policy and Advocacy. Cindy is also the coauthor of several articles and the second edition of Representing Survivors of Human Trafficking.

Derek Marsh retired in the rank of Deputy Chief from the Westminster (CA) Police Department after more than 26 years of service in 2013. In 2004, Derek helped launch the Orange County Human Trafficking Task Force. He served as the co-chair of the OCHTTF from 2004-2012, during which time he developed and taught four courses in human trafficking across the state of California, assisted in creating three human trafficking training DVDs, wrote multiple grants, and twice provided expert witness testimony on human trafficking to Congress. He has presented anti-trafficking trainings across California and the United States, and in Saipan, Italy, and Argentina. He teaches a course on human trafficking at Vanguard University, in Costa Mesa, CA. Derek holds a Master of Arts in Human Behavior, a Master of Public Administration, and graduated from FBI National Academy, Class #224. Currently, Derek is the Bureau of Justice Assistance Visiting Fellow in Human Trafficking, which involves researching, developing and providing training and technical support for human trafficking task forces across the United States.

Shamere McKenzie is the CEO of the Sun Gate Foundation, an anti-trafficking organization that provides educational opportunities for victims of human trafficking. Turning her past adversities as a victim of domestic sex trafficking into engagement, Shamere has become an activist in the fight against human trafficking, bringing about social and political change in America and around the world. She serves on the speaker’s bureau for the Fredrick Douglas Family Initiative and Survivors of Slavery organizations and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice from Loyola University Chicago.

Nicole Moler is the Director of the National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC), the national, 24/7, confidential, anti-trafficking hotline and resource center serving victims and survivors of human trafficking and the anti-trafficking community in the United States. Nicole joined Polaris in 2007 as part of the team that designed, launched, and operated the NHTRC with the goal of providing human trafficking victims and survivors with access to critical support and services to get help and stay safe and equipping the anti-trafficking community with the tools to effectively combat all forms of human trafficking. Nicole also helped to develop and directs the BeFree Textline which was launched in 2013 as a means of increasing access to victims and survivors and at-risk populations through the use of an SMS text-based hotline. Nicole has provided training and technical assistance to other countries on the development, implementation, and operation of human trafficking hotlines. Nicole has a Master of Arts in International Affairs with a concentration in Conflict and Conflict Resolution from the George Washington University.

Sandra Morgan, PhD, RN, directs the Global Center for Women and Justice at Vanguard University of Southern California. Drawing on her experience as a pediatric nurse, pastor’s wife, administrator of the Orange County Human Trafficking Task Force, and professor, Sandra has developed valuable insights into community engagement. She is co-host of the Ending Human Trafficking podcast with listeners in more than fifty countries. The U.S. Clearinghouse for the Administration of Youth and Family Services recommends the podcast ( as a way to get up to speed on human trafficking issues.

Lynette M. Parker, Esq., is clinical faculty (Immigration Practice Area) at the Alexander Community Law Center, Santa Clara University School of Law since March 2000, where she also teaches, and provides technical assistance on U visa and T visa cases. She has co-authored Representing Survivors of Human Trafficking: A Promising Practices Handbook, 1st edition 2010 and 2nd edition 2014, Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC). Lynette has been a member of the Executive Committee of the South Bay Coalition to End Human Trafficking since 2005 and a commission member of the Santa Clara County Human Trafficking Commission since 2014.

Stephanie Kay Richard, Esq., is the Policy & Legal Services Director at the Coalition to Abolish Slavery & Trafficking (CAST) where she provides direct legal services to survivors of human trafficking and technical consultation on human trafficking cases nationwide. She has been involved in the anti-trafficking movement for over 10 years. During this time she has served as the domestic lead for the Alliance to End Slavery & Trafficking (ATEST) and the policy Co-Chair of the Freedom Network, USA, two national U.S.-based coalitions working to improve federal and state laws and the implementation of these laws to better serve trafficking survivors in the United States. Stephanie graduated summa cum laude from American University, Washington College of Law, where she was the recipient of a public interest/public service scholarship. She is licensed to practice law in California, Maryland, Minnesota, and Washington, D.C.

Kiricka Yarbough Smith serves as the Chair of the North Carolina Coalition Against Human Trafficking (NCCAHT) and consults with the North Carolina Council for Women’s Human Trafficking Project. Kiricka is an investigator on the University of North Carolina, School of Social Work’s project addressing child trafficking in the welfare system and serves as faculty for the Futures Without Violence project on building collaboration to address human trafficking in domestic violence and sexual assault cases, funded by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women. Kiricka has served as a consultant with the North Carolina Conference of District Attorneys to provide regional trainings on human trafficking to law enforcement and prosecutors and has provided training and technical assistance to service providers, including resources and referrals for survivors of human trafficking.

Mark Wexler is co-founder and executive director of the global anti-slavery organization Not For Sale and co-founder and partner of Just Business, an international investment group that accelerates social enterprises. The two entities co-created the beverage company REBBL. He also started the San Francisco-based Invention Hub, a business incubator and co-working space. Mark manages Not For Sale’s senior staff, operationalizes strategic relationships with partner institutions, and helps steer overall organizational direction. He is currently a lecturer at the University of California Berkeley Extension’s Entrepreneurship and Innovation program.

Gil Zamora (cover designer) is a nationally-recognized forensic artist and instructor on the art and discipline of Cognitive Sketch. Retired from the San Jose Police Department (where his design expertise assisted the Human Trafficking Task Force) Gil is also known for his Dove Real Beauty Sketches. For more information view Gil’s website



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