That Can’t Happen to Me

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This week has been a big week for the anti-human trafficking movement.  I am thrilled with the media attention related to the sting operation.  I am also excited that so many of my friends have been interested in the story.  I love it when people are talking about this issue because it increases awareness.  And awareness means prevention.  It is that simple.

That being said, there is something about the extra attention that concerns me.  The more people and media outlets discussing an issue, the more potential for misperceptions of the problem.  I have read several articles this week discussing how trafficking is not sex trafficking, and sex trafficking is not just about children.  This is so true.  The media will focus on what brings the most readers, and labor trafficking of adult men doesn’t create the interest.  Also, the public is more willing to accept that a girl or boy can be coerced in to sex trafficking.  They are less likely to believe that adult women and men could be controlled in that manner.  Most people believe that adult women and men are willing participants, which is far from the truth.
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A Culture of Trafficking

Comfort Women 2

I struggle on days like these sometimes.  Every survivor has their triggers, and mine is the military.  I don’t have a problem with the military men and women who have died for our country.  I think they are amazing.  I think their choices were selfless.  I have nothing but respect for them.  I struggle with the culture in the military, the behaviors they promote and the behaviors they ignore.

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Trafficking survivor: It’s time to help others

A great article about my new friend, Ima Matul.

The CNN Freedom Project: Ending Modern-Day Slavery

Ima Matul, a survivor organizer with the Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking (CAST)

You might not know that January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. You might not even know why we need such an awareness campaign, or that, right here in America, women, children and men are trafficked every day into forced labor or the sex industry.

More than likely, though, you do know that modern slavery exists, but do not know all of what it looks like or what you can do about it. As both a survivor of human trafficking and an advocate working to free and support others, I can tell you.

Some victims are American citizens, others hold valid visas, and some are undocumented immigrants. They are educated or illiterate, young or old, native English speakers or barely fluent. They are found in factories, farms, nursing homes, on the streets, or in…

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Making a Difference

Survivors

I had the privilege of meeting two amazing survivors last night at an event in Hopewell.

Tina Frundt is the founder of Courtney’s House in Washington D.C.  She is dedicated to educating the public about trafficking and providing a safe environment for trafficking survivors to heal.

Courtney’s House

Holly Smith is a talented and dedicated speaker, writer and advocate against trafficking.  She speaks at public events and training sessions to educate the public about minor sex trafficking.

Holly Austin Smith

They are both inspiring.  I look forward to working with them in the future.