Unthinkable: Sold as a Modern Day Slave

January 31, 2013 in Human trafficking

“You may choose to look the other way but you can never say again that you did not know.”
― William Wilberforce

Perhaps I should warn you. Once you read this post, you can’t say you never knew. Most of you who follow Pruning Princesses have daughters. Regularly I share with you how to think through issues, be creative together, communicate,  and about the struggles we all face so you know you are not alone. I love to encourage and challenge you. But writing isn’t enough. We can put feet on the values we teach our girls if we do something. And friends it is time. We pray and protect and nurture our girls. It’s time to expand our arms past the warm walls of our families.

Those crimes against girls that you don’t want to know about? The ones that could keep you up at night or make your stomach do somersaults? It’s time to learn about them.

I have been thinking and praying about how I could use this blog for more than mama encouragement because words are helpful and kind, but action, well it can heal hearts and speaks loudly to our children.

A mom, in a poor country in southeast Asia sold her 15-year-old daughter’s virginity for $600 US dollars. To pay a debt. A debt? That doesn’t seem like a good enough reason to sell a daughter.  But all the possible explanations I can think of hurt my soul.

Her daughter’s name was Sarah. She was smuggled illegally across her country’s border to a Cambodia–part of the global network of human trafficking. By taking her to another country, she lost her ability to ask for help. She lived in a brothel, with no access to phones and kept under close surveillance.

Human TraffickingA worker from Exodus Road(an organization that rescues those involved in human trafficking), covertly visited the brothel and spoke with Sarah. She was standing in a line of fresh “pimps,” looking down and fiddling with a napkin. The worker offered to help her escape. She was too scared. Can you blame her? Now imagine that Sarah is your niece, your neighbor, your daughter. Because trafficking is not limited to foreign countries. And there are more people in slavery today than ever before.

Dear moms, human trafficking is the 3rd most profitable global industry, behind guns and drugs. Some sites place it above guns. According to the UN crime fighting offices, at least 2.4 million people are involved in human trafficking on a given day. Of those slaves,  80 % are women and children. The unthinkable numbers overwhelm me.  And if I really try to wrap my mind around the stories, sobs threaten to choke me. But moms, we must learn because we must act. We cannot stand by like so  many did as their Jewish neighboExodus Roadrs were carted away.

In the United States, the FBI has web sites to report human trafficking in our country and links to results of different operatives where dozens of children were being using as sex slaves against their will and in which hundred of adults were arrested for their involvement.

Almost a year ago, I shared this story of a British girl who was forced into brothel life. I hated reading it. I don’t like knowing about crimes against little girls. But friends, we need to help. I’ve signed up to blog regularly for Exodus Road, the organization that tried to rescue Sarah (not her real name). Next week I will share the end of Sarah’s story. Please, even though your daughter is tucked safely into bed, don’t turn away. Force yourself to read these stories and in a few weeks, after we’ve all learned together, I have a plan for how we can help. Will you keep learning with me?

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