Rescued: 105 Kids Forced into Prostitution (FBI raids 76 Cities)


WASHINGTON (AP) —

Authorities rescued 105 children who were forced into prostitution and arrested 150 pimps and others in a three-day law enforcement sweep in 76 American cities, the FBI said Monday. The victims, almost all girls, range in age from 13-17.

The largest numbers of children rescued were in San Francisco, Detroit, Milwaukee, Denver and New Orleans. The campaign, known as Operation Cross Country, was conducted under the FBI’s Innocence Lost initiative.

“Child prostitution remains a persistent threat to children across the country,” Ron Hosko, assistant director of the bureau’s criminal investigative division, told a press conference.

The FBI said the campaign has resulted in rescuing 2,700 children since 2003.

The investigations and convictions of 1,350 have led to life imprisonment for 10 pimps and the seizure of more than $3.1 million in assets.

For the past decade, the FBI has been attacking the problem in partnership with a nonprofit group, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

John Ryan, the head of the center, called the problem “an escalating threat against America’s children.”

The Justice Department has estimated that nearly 450,000 children run away from home each year and that one-third of teens living on the street will be lured toward prostitution within 48 hours of leaving home.

Congress has introduced legislation that would require state law enforcement, foster care and child welfare programs to identify children lured into sex trafficking as victims of abuse and neglect eligible for the appropriate protections and services.

“In much of the country today if a girl is found in the custody of a so-called pimp, she is not considered to be a victim of abuse, and that’s just wrong and defies common sense,” Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., said during a Senate Finance Committee hearing last month. Wyden co-sponsored the bill with Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio.

 

Published first at: http://www.wpxi.com/news/news/local/fbi-raids-76-cities-rescue-105-kids-forced-prostit/nY7B8/

 

#31DaysofFreedom

 

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Love’s House


Haunted. That is exactly what Christian Dunn felt when he awoke in a cold sweat. He had been dreaming, but it was all too real. Could he even call it dreaming? It was a nightmare! After two weeks he still could not shake the look in those eyes.

Chris had been in India on a mission trip. Posing as customers, he and a friend infiltrated one of the brothels that was planned to be raided. Nothing could have prepared him for what he had seen there. Girls and women of all ages – some couldn’t have been more than eight years old were sitting there. All of them had a lifeless look in their eyes. The unmentionable horrors they had endured had killed their spirit. It broke his heart to see such injustice. He was sickened by the sight of it all. Just as much, he was disgusted at himself. To pose as the very thing he hated – a man that victimized these girls and women for cheap pleasure, made him sick to his stomach.

There was one girl in particular – she couldn’t have been more than ten years old. Dressed in her finery, her eyes were unlike the others. She must have been new to the brothel because there was still a spark in her eyes – there was still life in her eyes instead of the hollowness that was found in the others. The other girls did nothing more than glance at the men when they had come in. But this girl, she was different. Somehow she stood out amongst the others.

The women and girls did not have names. They had been stripped of their names when they were brought there. Whether they had been picked up or sold by their own families or had come on their own accord – they were not called by names, they each had a number – A number because they were not be human enough for a name for the unspeakable things that were done to them on a daily basis. Number 126 stared out at them. Her eyes held the truth of the shameful acts that she was forced into, but they also held onto a thread of hope that she could be rescued. She hadn’t given up yet. As she looked at Christian and Drew her eyes were hard as if to say, You won’t break me. After a moment or two though, they softened. The girl must have realized that they were not there to hurt her. They were not like other men. How she picked up on that, neither were sure. But in a moment the look in her eyes changed as if to beg them,help me! Save me!

 As Chris and Drew left the brothel, both had heavy spirits for the terrors that went on in that place. They felt disgusted at the fact that they even acted as customers for such a place. They prayed as they walked back to the camp. The night after tomorrow, there would be a raid on the brothel that they had visited. The women and girls would go free and be moved to a home which the team had just finished building weeks earlier.

Love’s House – it was called. Their theme verse was found in 1 Corinthians 13, “Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres. Love never fails.” In this home the rescued victims would be taught to read and write with the word of God. They also had a ministry to counsel the victims of the sex trafficking that they had lived through. Each woman would be taught a skill to live on. It was a nine month program and worth every penny put into it, every hour spent working on it, and every life that was changed by it.

Many who worked in the home were volunteers and several were women who had previously been brought through the program who had found such a miraculous healing in Jesus that penetrated deep into the soul. The once hardened, lifeless eyes were now bright and hopeful and filled with purpose. She always had a smile and was the first to share her testimony with the new girls.

Healing hadn’t come easy for her. Mitali’s very mother was the woman who ran the brothel and she gone and sold her off to another. After being sent away to another town in India, Mitali had to learn to adjust to life in the brothel. In her heart she daily dealt with the hurt that her mother had sold her into this life – her very own mother. She could not understand the rejection. The pain of it stung deep inside her heart. But one thing that Mitali had learned over the course of her short life and with her time in the brothels – you had to do whatever it took to survive. That meant numbing yourself from all experiences. You had to become dead because to live hurt. To live meant not only the pain, but shame and emotions too raw and too powerful to even put a name to. She thought she had reached that place of a rock-hardened soul – then she was rescued. It didn’t happen in a moment, but it was a process. But it happened . And it was in Love’s House that she discovered what true love really is – and WHO true love is. It was here she met Love Himself – Jesus.

#31DaysofFreedom

This is a fictional story containing very true events. This happens many times. Please get plugged in and help save these girls. Give them a chance to meet Love. 

 

Heart’s Cry: Something to Believe In


What is worth a fight?

What is your dream?  If you have a dream, you have to have the passion to go with it.

It has to be a part of who you are and what you grieve for and what you live for.

What dreams are part of your heart’s cry?

I know that for me, my heart cry is freedom – physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually. My passion is to bring the broken to restoration and to a recognition of redemption – to not be enslaved by who they were or where they have been, but to walk free and unhindered in the fullness of who God has called them to be. My passion is to raise up girls and women to be healthy, whole, and completely devoted to God and to His plans and purposes for their lives.

As this is my passion and the cry of my heart it is what I fight for daily. I have a dream and a vision that goes with this call. A dream to rescue and restore.

Now….what is your dream? Why?

How often does it drive you to your knees in prayer? How often does your heart grieve for those that your dream will reach?

What is your true heart’s cry?

#31DaysofFreedom

 

Survivor Stories


The last 3 weeks I have posted stats and stories and ways that you can help put an end to human trafficking.

Tonight, I wanted to do something different – survivor stories. This is awareness in action.

Keisha – Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking – After running away from her foster family at 14 due to sexual harassment, Keisha met an older man who offered to help her find her biological family. Then he forced her into commercial sex to pay him back…

Read more here

For other survivor stories check out the Polaris Project here.

About Polaris Project

Polaris Project is a leading organization in the global fight against human trafficking and modern-day slavery.  Named after the North Star “Polaris” that guided slaves to freedom along the Underground Railroad, Polaris Project is transforming the way that individuals and communities respond to human trafficking, in the U.S. and globally.

 

#31DaysofFreedom

Cry Freedom


I was promised a better life – a way out of what I had always known. Never in all my 17 years did I believe that I would want to go back home. The verbal abuse was bad. My step-father physically abusing me was worse. But where I am now…nothing could be worse than this. Running away I thought was the best idea. It was my only choice. No one wanted me. No one would help me. I made it from Denver, CO to Detroit – taking a bus and catching a ride when I could. I was off to get myself a better life.

For a week I stayed in a motel using what was left of my savings after the journey to Detroit. I managed to get a job at a diner there and worked nights. The place was always busy but it wasn’t long before I began to get to know the regulars. One in particular stood out to me – Jack. He was always really nice to me and would leave a good tip. The second time he came in I was so surprised because he remembered my name. That made me feel so good and like I was more than just a face. Jack would come and get his usual combo and coffee and sit and chat with me every Wednesday. Then he started coming more often. He helped me to secure an apartment – under his name and I would pay the rent money to him every month.

I didn’t realize I’d be paying with my very soul. I moved in to the apartment…it was just a few weeks later he came and told me he had talked to a friend who had a job for me that would be better paying and I wouldn’t have to work at the diner anymore. I called the diner and quit excited for the job – whatever it was that he had obtained for me. I was told that they would meet me at my apartment at 5 that afternoon.

Jack came. He brought another man with him. I don’t remember who he introduced him as. But whoever he was, the moment they came in the door I knew I was doomed. My soul sank to depths I didn’t know existed. Jack took a seat and the other man grabbed my arm and dragged me into the room. He started tearing at my clothes and beating me. I put up a fight, but it was useless. I was forced to drink vodka and other strong drinks and to take these small blue pills. For days everything was so groggy. But it didn’t numb the searing pain in my heart. I couldn’t believe how stupid I was to trust anyone….especially these men! I beat myself up over it, but it didn’t change anything.

I started seeing as many as 60 men in a day…all wanting one thing – my body…to be a strangers pleasure.

Now I lay here against the wall in my bedroom that I’m captive to. It is only a matter of time before the next john comes knocking paying a small amount for a piece of my soul. I long for home. Even home was better than this…

Is there any way out? Is my family looking for me? Does anyone care? How long must i endure?

I feel the sound of footsteps approaching my door and dread and fear consume me. My eyes are set cold and my face expressionless.

Another endless day in the nightmare I live. Can anyone hear me?

My heart cries for freedom…

Can you hear me?

~~~~~~~

Every day stories just like this happen all over the world. Many of those who end up in trafficking are runaways – victims of abuse who are taken advantage of. Can you hear their silent cries for freedom? Will you help them?

#31DaysofFreedom

Voice of the Voiceless


For the last several years in October I have participated in pro-life day of silent solidarity. On this day, people from all over silence their voices for those who will never have one – a silent protest. Most wear a red sleeve or badge with “Life” written on it. This protest gets the attention of thousands.

Similarly this month we are raising our voices for the ones who have been silenced. For the many who are silenced through victimization, we are coming together to make known the injustice that they suffer. If you can do nothing else, be a voice.

Maybe you can’t be the one to invade the brothels.

Maybe you can’t be the one to rescue the victims off the street.

Maybe you can’t be the one who puts the pimp behind bars.

But you can be a voice for those who have lost theirs. Maybe you can be the one who, in being a voice plays a part in changing the hearts of the johns (men who “buy” the girls/victims). Every voice helps.

When the johns lose interest or have a heart change the demand on human trafficking will decrease.

There is no telling what your voice can do. Don’t underestimate it.

Speak truth.
Speak in love.
Speak out.

Be a voice.
Your voice is significant.

#31DaysofFreedom

Spoken Word


From the Phoenix Dream Center:

Spoken Word on Sex Trafficking

 

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