A young woman with her arms crossed in fear with a man's hand grabbing her from behind

Journey from Darkness into Light: Dominic Lombardo’s trip to Cambodia and Thailand

From June 15 to 28, Dominic Lombardo, associate professor and director of Indiana Tech’s Center for Criminal Justice, will travel to Cambodia and Thailand with Destiny Rescue, an internationally-recognized Christian non-profit organization dedicated to rescuing children trapped in the sex trade.

His journey will take him to dark, seedy red-light districts where Destiny Rescue finds many of its targets for rescue. He will also see, first-hand, the healing and restoration this organization strives to provide to those broken by this horror. During his trip, Dominic will post a regular online journal and photos that will chronicle his experiences.

$99B

Sex trafficking generates an estimated $99 billion a year.

7/10

7 of 10 victims exploited worldwide are from the Asia-Pacific region.

99%

of the world's victims of sexual exploitation are female.

1M+

More than 1 million children are exploited every year in the global commercial sex trade.

74%

of victims of sexual exploitation live outside their country of residence.

2,800

children have been rescued from sexual exploitation by Destiny Rescue since 2011.

Dominic Lombardo, Assistant Professor, Director of Criminal Justice and Pre-LawAbout Dominic Lombardo

Dominic Lombardo was born and raised in Fort Wayne and graduated from Bishop Luers High School in 1976. After earning criminal justice and business administration degrees from Ball State University in 1980, he set his sights on being a police officer with the Los Angeles Police Department. His successful completion of the LAPD’s grueling nine-month training academy launched a stellar 14-year career with the department.

During his career with the LAPD, Dominic became an expert on gang culture within the city. His responsibilities included gathering intelligence on gang activities, investigation and clearing of gang-related homicides and overall suppression of gang-related criminal activity within the Los Angeles area. While developing into a specialist in this area of law enforcement, Dominic was called upon to provide training to several other agencies within Los Angeles County and other agencies that were less experienced in dealing with the growing gang-related activity that was infiltrating their jurisdictions. He was also an officer with the robbery/homicide and the vice and narcotic divisions, and he was a training officer for new LAPD recruits.

According to Dominic, the streets of Los Angeles provided the best education one could hope to receive to become a top-notch police officer. He saw the worst of people. He saw the best of people. And, he had a “front-row seat” during two incredibly polarizing events of our country’s history – the riots that resulted from the Rodney King verdict (April 29-May 4, 1992) and the O.J. Simpson murder case (June 12, 1994-Oct. 3, 1995). He fell in love with being a police officer, and he approached the role with pride and passion.

Now retired from LAPD, Dominic approaches teaching criminal justice with the same pride and passion. He has been with Indiana Tech’s Center for Criminal Justice since June 2013, sharing his experiences from the force while stressing the societal necessity for an effective, fair and trustworthy criminal justice system.

“People who enter the field of criminal justice are able to directly affect change in the lives of others. It is a noble and important cause,” Dominic said. “I have seen a lot of things over the years, and I want to use my experience to provide a positive impact on the lives of students wishing to pursue a career in this field.”

Dominic learned about Destiny Rescue during Indiana Tech’s 2017-18 Tech Talks. The College of Arts and Sciences and the Office of Student Affairs created Tech Talks in 2017 as a yearlong series to promote awareness about important issues of social justice, and designated the series’ inaugural focus human trafficking. Aaron Brown, Destiny Rescue national director of operations, presented a disturbing and eye-opening account of child sexual exploitation – a horrific worldwide industry his organization is working to eliminate.

“Aaron’s presentation was simply gut-wrenching and it made me want to act. My overriding hope is to come back from this trip and accurately share my experiences so that others will have a better understanding of this tragedy. Perhaps it will affect them like it did me and motivate them to act, too,” Dominic said.

Destiny Rescue

Destiny Rescue is an internationally-recognized Christian non-profit organization dedicated to rescuing children trapped in the sex trade. Its vision is to rescue the sexually exploited and enslaved, restore the abused, protect the vulnerable, empower the poor and be a voice for those who can’t speak up for themselves.

Destiny Rescue currently operates various programs in Thailand, Cambodia, the Dominican Republic, the Philippines and India. It also has offices in three donor nations: United States, Australia and New Zealand.

Young women once victims human trafficking hold hands in celebration of their freedom.