If you have trouble putting faces to the names, the next time you have 30 minutes to spare watch the video from the Passion 2012 conference to hear three victims sharing their own stories in their own words.
Because they are all foreign victims I feel like it is important to also share the story of a victim from right here in the U.S. Here is the true story of Ave [not her real name]. Ave lived with an abusive father who sexually molested and physically abused her. When she was nine years old, her father dropped her off for a visit with a relative and never came back. For two years she lived with various relatives, mostly an aunt, in New York City. She did not attend school and was physically abused by her aunt and her aunt's boyfriend. She ended up staying at a street children's shelter at the age of 11. Outside the shelter, she met a man who said he would take care of her. He became her trafficker for prostitution. He brought her to Miami where she was arrested. Back in New York City she was arrested again and charged with prostitution when she was 12 years old. The prosecutors in New York City wanted to send her to a juvenile detention center where she would be imprisoned for her crime. Her defense attorney sought placement for her where she could get the care and counseling she needed to recover from the violence and abuse she had endured. Such places are rare in the United States, so she ended up in a residential center for emotionally disturbed youth. Lucky for Ave, she also received counseling from one of the few specialized organizations that work with sexually exploited children.
|Former Congress Woman Linda Smith, founder of|
Shared Hope International, speaking at the Faces of Hope Gala
Commending Louisiana's HB 49.
As was mentioned in the story of Ave, housing for the victims of human trafficking is very rare, and there is none available in the south. These victims require extensive medical care and high levels of protection. It is just not a possibility to set these women up in hotels or apartments once they are rescued. Thanks to Trafficking Hope this will hopefully be made a reality for us very, very soon. In fact, the mission of the gala last night was to raise funding for the home that is trying to be opened for these victims. Changing the laws and providing shelter for the victims who are rescued are the two major things that need to be done in order to deal with the existing issues of human trafficking, and both of those things are being done!
|We can take the world back from human trafficking|
on city at a time...
I'm here to take my city back!