When one Florida mom bought her daughter a toy a Monster Jam event in the Tampa area, she thought nothing of the small, heart symbol that it displayed. However, what she soon discovered behind the symbol's meaning terrified her and has since caused the toy company to issue a recall.
Nicole O'Kelly purchased her young daughter a pink, stuffed toy truck at the Monster Jam event. To most people, this truck looks like a harmless piece of memorabilia from a fun mother/daughter day, and O'Kelly didn't see a problem until her older daughter made her aware of the possible meaning behind the symbol on the toy.
O'Kelly's older daughter is an avid Law & Order: Special Victims Unit fan. She noticed the same symbol that was on her sister's toy truck, a small heart inside of a larger heart, had also been featured in an episode of the TV show where it was used as an indication to pedophiles that children were ready to be trafficked for sex.
The company that makes the toy, Feld Inc, says it was unaware of any negative meaning behind the symbol, but since being contacted by the family, it has issued a mass recall. As you can see in the video below, the toy truck is harmless to children, but the symbol is making waves.
Fortunately no child has actually been hurt by this particular recalled item, however, it's got a lot of parents talking about the symbol in question. So what's the deal?
The FBI has a special task force entirely devoted to crimes against children. In a special bulletin pertaining to sex crimes in particular, agents shared different types of symbols that they say pedophiles use to communicate — symbols like the one on the now recalled toy.
"Pedophiles use various types of identification logos or symbols to recognize one another and distinguish their sexual preferences," the bulletin states. "To specifically indicate the pedophile’s gender preference, members of pedophilic organizations encourage the use of descriptions such as “boylove," “girllove," and “childlove.” These symbols have been etched into rings and formed into pendants, and have also been found imprinted on coins."
The "girl lover" logo is similiar to the symbol that was discovered on the little pink truck that O'Kelly purchased for her daughter. According to the FBI release, the symbols have been found during various searches on coins, jewelry, websites, and other forms of advertisements and communications among a network of those that consider sexual relationships between adults and children socially acceptable.
Although playing with a toy isn't putting your child at risk from pedophiles, if you see any of the symbols that the FBI shared in their bulletin, or if you witness something that you think may be indicative of child sex trafficking you can call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center at 1-888-373-7888.
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