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

 

Cyber-Sex Trafficking


I had drafted another post for today, until this hit my e-mail. Please read this article on Cyber-Sex Trafficking. The story itself is incredible. It is unbelievable what is happening all over the globe – and down our very streets.

Be a voice this week!

#31DaysofFreedom

 

 

20 Ways YOU Can Help Fight Human Trafficking


The U.S. Department of State has listed on their website 20 ways that you can help fight human trafficking.

After first learning about human trafficking, many people want to help in some way but do not know how. Here are just a few ideas for your consideration.

1. Learn the red flags that may indicate human trafficking and ask follow up questions so that you can help identify a potential trafficking victim. Human trafficking awareness training is available for individuals, businessesfirst responderslaw enforcement, and federal employees.

2. In the United States, call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center at 1-888-3737-888 (24/7) to get help and connect with a service provider in your area, report a tip with information on potential human trafficking activity; or learn more by requesting training, technical assistance, or resources. Call federal law enforcement directly to report suspicious activity and get help from the Department of Homeland Security at 1-866-347-2423 (24/7), or submit a tip online at www.ice.gov/tips, or from the U.S. Department of Justice at 1-888-428-7581 from 9:00am to 5:00pm (EST). Victims, including undocumented individuals, are eligible for services and immigration assistance.

3. Be a conscientious consumer. Discover your Slavery Footprint, and check out the Department of Labor’s List of Goods Produced by Child Labor or Forced LaborEncourage companies, including your own, to take steps to investigate and eliminate slavery and human trafficking in their supply chains and to publish the information for consumer awareness.

4. Incorporate human trafficking information into your professional associations’ conferences, trainings, manuals, and other materials as relevant [example].

5. Join or start a grassroots anti-trafficking coalition.

6. Meet with and/or write to your local, state, and federal government representatives to let them know that you care about combating human trafficking in your community, and ask what they are doing to address human trafficking in your area.

7. Distribute public awareness materials available from the Department of Health and Human Services or Department of Homeland Security.

8. Volunteer to do victim outreach or offer your professional services to a local anti-trafficking organization.

9. Donate funds or needed items to an anti-trafficking organization in your area.

10. Organize a fundraiser and donate the proceeds to an anti-trafficking organization.

11. Host an awareness event to watch and discuss a recent human trafficking documentary. On a larger scale, host a human trafficking film festival.

12. Encourage your local schools to partner with students and include the issue of modern day slavery in their curriculum. As a parent, educator, or school administrator, be aware of how traffickers target school-aged children.

13. Set up a Google alert to receive current human trafficking news.

14. Write a letter to the editor of your local paper about human trafficking in your community.

15. Start or sign a human trafficking petition.

16. Businesses: Provide internships, job skills training, and/or jobs to trafficking survivors. Consumers: Purchase items made by trafficking survivors such as from Jewel Girls or Made by Survivors.

17. Students:Take action on your campus. Join or establish a university or secondary school club to raise awareness about human trafficking and initiate action throughout your local community. Consider doing one of your research papers on a topic concerning human trafficking. Professors: Request that human trafficking be an issue included in university curriculum. Increase scholarship about human trafficking by publishing an article, teaching a class, or hosting a symposium.

18. Law Enforcement Officials: Join or start a local human trafficking task force.

19. Mental Health or Medical Providers: Extend low-cost or free services to human trafficking victims assisted by nearby anti-trafficking organizations. Train your staff on how to identify the indicators of human trafficking and assist victims.

20. Attorneys:Look for signs of human trafficking among your clients. Offer pro-bono services to trafficking victims or anti-trafficking organizations. Learn about and offer to human trafficking victims the legal benefits for which they are eligible. Assist anti-trafficking NGOs with capacity building and legal work.

http://www.state.gov/j/tip/id/help/

 

Today’s challenge: Choose 3 of the above 20 to do in the next week!

No action, no matter how small it may seem, is insignificant. Everything that you do matters. 

Make a difference today!

#31DaysofFreedom

The Rescue Project – Stories From the Streets


#31DaysofFreedom

The Price is Right….


What can you get for $90? A few video games? Some DVD’s? How about a slave?

What is life that you can put a price on it? What is it that determines the value of a person? What makes one person worth more than another and who set the standard?

Yet every minutes 2 children are prepared for the purpose of sexual exploitation.

Every minute an estimated $3,000 is spent on pornography which victimize women and children.

The average cost for a slave is $90….

$90 – aren’t they worth more than that? Life is priceless. You have unsurpassable worth. These victims have unsurpassable worth – but most of then won’t ever know it. But one would hope that they believe that they are worth more than they are getting and that they are worth more than the sum they are being sold for. Love is the only thing that can heal those wounds inflicted by those who treat them as little more than objects. Love unconditional. Love that can only come from God. Love that transcends all. The love that sees their unsurpassable worth and that died for them as He did for me and as He did for you.

They are worth more.

You are worth more.

Your worth is not based on what you do. Your worth is not based on where you are. Your worth is not based on how you were raised, your family, your friends, your job or anything like that. Your worth is not based on your popularity or position.

Your worth was established before you took your first breath.

Jesus came and paid the debt that we could not pay – an innocent life for the countless guilty. But the price was right. That moment He came defined your worth and mine as unsurpassed. A sinless, innocent life for the redemption of humanity.

We didn’t deserve it. But the love of God is so great that He sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. He alone defines our worth as He did that day – we were worth it all.

Yet here we are and the number 2 illegal criminal activity is the selling of our fellow brethren.

This should not be happening!

If the price is right…..then what is the worth of life?

#31DaysofFreedom

 

The House that Porn Built


Society today has fallen for the lie that porn is harmless entertainment.

But the truth is – pornography is the foundation to human trafficking. Many times women and children are forced into pornography – a decent percentage of which are trafficking victims.

In the United States alone it is estimated that over $3,000 a minute is spent on porn and the porn industry makes an estimated $93 billion dollars a year.

Every time pornography is accessed, the demand for more increases. When that happens, more victims are pulled into it. It is pornography that makes human trafficking a supply and demand issue.

The house that porn built is the house of lust that traps those who look at it. The house that porn built holds your fellow brothers and sisters lost behind eyes that reflect no life with little fight left in them. The house that porn built destroys families around the globe. The house that porn built is a trap that sucks people in to it’s grasp.

Porn cheapens sexuality. It is yet another distortion of the gift that God gave to be shared by a husband and wife.

There is an attack on the sanctity of marriage.

There is an attack on the innocence of children.

There is an attack on what is moral and what is good.

Compromise in this case is defeat….what we tolerate, the next generation will accept.

Take a stand against this injustice.

#31DaysofFreedom

It Gets Personal!


Up to this point, I feel like I’ve fed you a lot of statistics and not enough substance to show you just how real the problem of human trafficking is in this country – in every country!

The average age for a girl entering the slave trade is 13 years old.

13 years old! That’s it. Surely, you know a family member or friend or neighbor that age. Can you imagine them being taken for the purpose of sexual exploitation?

It gets personal. When I heard the average age was 13 my thoughts immediately went to my sister who is 13. That hit home very quickly. Don’t think something can’t happen to anyone. This is closer to home than it might seem – much closer than you might think.

This is why it is so important to educate yourself on the trafficking. No one is immune to it. For the sake of those around you, learn to recognize the signs. You could save a life – and it could be someone you know – it could be your loved one.

How are you going to educate yourself on the issues?

Save a life.

#31DaysofFreedom

 

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