This month, for those who don’t know, is National Human Trafficking month. This is something so important because it affects everyone and there are so many different aspects that people don’t think about.
As I’ve explained before, I’m going to start my internship with WAR (Women at Risk) International in the Spring (click here for that blog). They work with rescuing women from trafficking and slavery situations. They are located throughout the world (31 countries) and in the United States. I’ll be working in their retail store where they sell items that the women have made, anything from scarves to necklaces to bracelets made with real stones! They also have an online store for those who are interested! You can check out that if you click here. I highly recommend it, there are amazingly beautiful pieces made of pearls and precious stones, gold and silver. Absolutely amazing pieces. Some are prevention products that are made by women who are at risk and others are made by women in the safe houses who have been pulled from this life of being a sex slave.
I think when most people think of human trafficking or sexual slavery, they think of women being sold overseas, women being promised jobs in places such as the U.S. but they are lied to and thrown into the world of a sex slave. That is a massive part of it, but women and children don’t even have to be shipped anywhere, they can be subject to this even in their own home.
There is a story I was told when Becky visited my college class. She told us about 2 young sisters, 7 and 9, their mother would bring men up to their bedroom to use her own daughters to support her crack habit. That was in the United States, no women were shipped anywhere. WAR has rescued babies as young as 15 months old, there was an 18th month old used in a rape video in the U.S. That is something hard to hear and so disgusting, it’s hard to even imagine someone ever doing something like that because there are no words to express what type of crime that is or the vile person who committed it. All of those are examples of human trafficking and the world of being a sex slave.
What WAR will do, especially in countries where prostitution is legal, they will go to these clubs or strip clubs and sit and buy the girls coke or water. The bar tenders don’t tell the pimps that WAR is there because coke and water is so much more expensive, the bars make a lot of money and all the members of WAR do is talk to the girls, let them know they have an option and a safe place to go and when the girls want to leave, WAR helps them exit their life.
One thing I mentioned before is that even though WAR is a Christian organization, they don’t discriminate against homosexuals or transgenders. They help whoever needs help. They are really a wonderful organization that is just so amazing. The founder, Becky, is so amazing and just so captivating you feel every word she says just move you so deeply. If she told you to buy peanut butter for the rest of your life, you would!
Here are some website that can help you learn more and see how you can get involved. If you don’t have hundreds of dollars to donate or time to volunteer, order something online, visit their stores, buy a special gift for yourself and in the process help a woman who has been through so much, words can’t express.
Click HERE for the WAR International Website
Click HERE for their Facebook
Click HERE for the Shared Hope International Website
Click HERE Shared Hope International Facebook
These last two websites are very cool. This first link is to a quiz to see how many possible slaves you could be exploiting depending on the clothes you have or food you buy or electronics you have. This website was shared by WAR. I took it and my number of slaves was 47, which is more than I expected and not from the products I expected either. Click HERE for the quiz link. Also if you’re interested in slavery check out the Enough Project and a great thing to read about is the Coltan mining. Coltan is a mineral which is in every single piece of electronic technology, cell phones, iPods, T.V.s and more (their Facebook is here and website is here).
This final link is especially important to those living in the United States. This link takes you to each U.S. states’ report cards created by the Shared Hope Foundation (the links are above). They give a grade for how the states criminal provisions, protections for victims, justice tools and things like that. Then there is another document stating their analysis and recommendations. My friend in California decided to take action so this issue get more media time. She is writing 5 different newspapers. At least Illinois has a B and California has and F. Read through this and see what your states can do and what they are doing. Click HERE to see your report card.
I know I’ve listed tons of links and posted tons of information but this is something important that we all should know about. We all sport Pink for Breast Cancer and scream loudly in protest of bullying, puzzle pieces appear for Autism and there are so many more causes that we all join together for, let’s let everyone know about Human Trafficking because it affects everyone, babies, children, adults, women and men. This is just one more problem we have to fix in this world so don’t stand by and let this happen. Fill your Facebook and Twitter and Blogs with messages urging action and providing information. Let’s work together in solving this problem, join together in our love for each other and do something to make a difference.