Thursday, September 19, 2013

Human Trafficking - Right In Your Very Own State

Human and sex trafficking is out there, and it is happening all over the world. Please don't stay in the dark about this issue.

"For many years, I was told not to talk about it, which made me feel like I had done something wrong," said Kelly (not her real name), a trafficking victim who offered to tell her story. 
We agreed to conceal Kelly's identity because her friends and co-workers do not know about her past as a runaway forced into prostitution.
"I've spent many, many years blocking it out," she said.
Thousands of American girls, often runaways like Kelly, are controlled by pimps and forced to have sex with men, as many as a dozen a night. Some are paid with poker chips, turned in later for scraps of food. 
"I was really, really angry and confused," Kelly said. "I carried around guilt that I thought I was a prostitute. I thought that I had made the decision. I didn't really understand that someone had taken advantage of me and manipulated me."
The United Nations says human trafficking is the fastest-growing criminal enterprise in the world: a $40 billion-a-year industry. Hundreds of thousands of people are trafficked each year, but exactly how many enter the U.S., and eventually enter Virginia, is impossible to tally. 
"Statistics are hard to come by because it's a hidden crime, it's a hidden problem," said Bradley Myles, who runs the Polaris Project, a Washington-based non-profit that is working to shed light on trafficking. "Fear is a big challenge."

Will you stand up and make a difference? Just knowing about human trafficking doesn't make a difference, you need to act on what you know! Educate others, as well as yourself. Volunteer to help restore victims of trafficking, donate to organizations who prevent human trafficking, or call your senator and urge him to fight against sex trafficking and slavery. 

It is you and I who are the change makers, the earth shakers! 

"We are the music makers,
and we are the dreamers of dreams,
Wandering by lone sea breakers,
and sitting by desolate streams;--
World-losers and world-forsakers,
on whom the pale moon gleams,
Yet we are the movers and shakers
of the world forever it seems."
-Arthur. O'Shaughnessy


All text © 2013 Footprints in the Sand, Quoted article by the Polaris Project | All Images © 2013 Hislight Photography

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