When she was ten years old, her father trained her to be a prostitute. He trained her on himself. One day she was put in a moving van with two other girls, and driven across country to San Diego, where she was put in a storage unit to “live” for several years, taken out only at night by her pimp to turn tricks. One day she talked a john into dropping her off at a bus station, where she bought a ticket to Oakland, and found her salvation at New Day for Children (newdayforchildren.com/home ) where they took her in, reconstructed her shattered personality, gave her back her childhood, her identity, her name.
She is now going to a small Christian college in Alaska.
There was another girl, who at 15, was giving a date rape drug by boys she thought were her friends. They took her to a house, and everyone watched each other have sex with her. They took pictures, said they would blackmail her, shot her dog in front of her, threatened to kill her family.
Another girl at 13 was kidnapped, handcuffed to a bed, and raped repeatedly, burned with cigarettes, pistol-whipped, starved for weeks, her family threatened, until she succumbed to working the streets. She was picked up at night, sneaking out of her house, and worked the corners for years. Her parents had no idea.
Today. TODAY. In 2011, in the United States of America, 300-400 THOUSAND girls and boys, ages 10-17, are living as sex slaves. They are kidnapped, coerced, smuggled in from other countries, snatched off the streets of small town America, all races, all walks of life, their families and lives threatened, brainwashed, starved, tortured, blackmailed. The illegal trafficking of children for sex is a multi-billion dollar industry. It is set to surpass drugs and weapons as the most lucrative criminal activity in the US alone.
It happens every single day. A ring was busted in Clayton, where I live, LAST WEEK.
Yesterday, I had the honor and blessing to lead worship for a women’s morning retreat at my church, Hope Center. The guest speaker was Kathy Wilson, who runs a New Day for Children, a place that rescues, rehabilitates, loves on, gives back hope to children who have been victims of sex trade. They are based out of the East Bay, in Oakland, where on a given night, 100 children are living as sex slaves. Kathy told us incredible stories of the brutality of the sex trade cycle. She said many women have to leave her presentations to go outside and vomit because of the extremity of the situation that is happening in our own backyard. But she also told us incredible stories of hope, of survival, of girls who are stronger than they will ever know, learning how to live again.
I could not wrap my head around the stories she was telling. Today there are 27 million children worldwide living as slaves. Literal slaves. Kept in containers, cubicles, boxes, closets, storage units. Chained, handcuffed. Tortured, beaten, raped day after day until they die. There are more people living in slavery at this very moment in time than there have ever been in the history of the world.
These girls that are taken off the streets, or set up by their own peers, or who runaway from home only to find themselves caught in something worse than what they were escaping…as young as 10 years old…that could be anyone’s sister, daughter, future wife. We have to do something. We must be moved to do something.
Please watch this incredible video that talks about the program:
And check out these websites:
download the app “free2work” that tells you the names of companies that do not use child labor or slave labor to make their products, and make a difference by only buying products made fairly, by workers of an appropriate age, paid an appropriate wage.
We have to learn how we can help. We can’t ignore this issue. It is real. It is growing. We have to do something. And we have to pray. pray pray pray for these young people who have had their lives stolen from them. I pray that my heart would be broken for this issue. Pray for the chains to be broken, for lives to be healed. Pray for a change of heart, for prosecution, for justice for the people who would want to do such a thing to another human being. Pray for those who would want to pay money to violate a child.
President Obama has declared January as Human Trafficking Prevention Month.
What are you going to do about it?