There is a problem.
Will you be the solution?
Human Trafficking is personal to me.
I mentored a young 14 year-old middle school student in the Columbus (Ohio) City School district. One morning on her way to school, two men pulled up to her bus stop, jumped out with a gun and threatened to shoot her if she didn't get in the car. In the backseat she saw two other teenage girls, with duct tape over their mouths. She told me that at that moment she'd rather die on the sidewalk then be kidnapped and raped, so she took off running. The man with the gun began counting down "3… 2… 1…" as if to shoot her, but neighbors came out when they heard the commotion and the men drove off. She gave extensive information to the police, but so far as I know, they were never caught and the girls in the backseat never rescued.
This is happening all over America and the World. Human Trafficking is essentially a modern term for an old problem--slavery. There are actually more people enslaved today than there were during the historic Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade we hear so much about.
Most of it is children, and most of it is sexual slavery–forced prostitution, and the girls are usually runaways who are taken advantage of or are kidnaped intentionally for this purpose. After an intense weekend of being raped by paying customers (one testimony from a survivor I heard was 30 men in less than as many hours), a girl is broken, and a pimp has power over her to do what he wants. She is sold to the highest bidder and her life is no longer her own, and never, ever the same.
Last year the Comic Creators Alliance: Fighting Together to End Human Trafficking raised $10,000! This year I believe we can do more.
We donated 100% of what we raised to charity and will do the same again in 2011. The money is split evenly the between global organization Love 146 and a safe house being built for girls coming out of sexual slavery here in the U.S. It is only the FOURTH such house in the entire United States. So I think what they are trying to do is very important. Read more about both organizations below.
I think all girls deserve the right to grow up healthy and free! And luckily, so do a lot of my friends.
-Lora Innes (The Dreamer)
All donations will go to Love 146 and Gracehaven!
The proceeds will be split between an organization working in the US, and one focusing on a global effort.
Children are being trafficked and raped daily and slavery is one of the darkest stories on our planet. This physical, mental and emotional trauma can leave children broken and scarred for life. Interventions for these children are critical to their survival and restoration. For us, the hope of abolition is a reality today. Love146 works toward the abolition of child sex slavery and exploitation through Prevention and Aftercare programs. Love 146 was named an “Agent of Change” by GQ Magazine and recently earned the MySpace Impact Award for social justice. Love146 continues to be recognized as a leader in the fight to end modern day slavery.
Gracehaven is a faith-based non-profit organization started in 2008 for the expressed purpose of providing shelter, security, and rehabilitation to girls under the age of 18 who are victims of commercial sexual exploitation in central Ohio. Gracehaven is a long-term rehabilitation facility allowing girls to stay as needed until they reach the age of 18. We will then help them transition to the next step in their life. While at Gracehaven, the girls will be able to earn their GED, as well as receive counseling and treatment for the horrible trauma and exploitation they have been forced to endure. Gracehaven is in the process of purchasing a house situated on 10 acres in an undisclosed location in NW Ohio. Once renovated, the house will be large enough to hold up to 10 girls at a time.