Monday, 11 April 2011
Editor's Note: April is Child Abuse Prevention Month. Sex Trafficking is just one form of the horrible child abuse that occurs every day in our world.
Don't worry guys. I brought my own soap box for this.
Ever since 12th grade when I picked up the book Sold written by Patricia McCormick I've been privy to the god awful world of human trafficking. I've raised money, written paper after paper, annoyed all my Facebook friends, and spent countless nights crying myself to sleep over the horrors of the sex trade.
You think I'm kidding about the last part, but really, I'm not. For those of you who are unaware, the United Nations defines human trafficking as the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of persons by means of threat, force, or other forms of coercion, deception, or the abuse of power against a person of vulnerability for the purpose of exploitation.
It happens everywhere, including the grand ole US of A. To quote the U.S. Department's Adviser on Trafficking, "We are not finding victims in the United States because we're not looking for them."
Trafficking victims are so difficult to find for a number of reasons, but the main reason is normally as simple as fear. Traffickers keep their victims terrified to ensure that they'll never run away or inform the authorities of the hell they're really living through.
I'm sure most of you have heard of or seen the movie Taken which stars Liam Neeson. If you haven't, the movie follows a father who will stop at absolutely nothing to rescue his daughter from the 32 billion dollar industry known as the slave trade. Although I found Taken to be a difficult movie to watch, it pales in comparison to the film I watched tonight.
Trade is the story of a 13 year old girl, Adriana, from Mexico who is literally grabbed off the streets of her hometown and forced into the all-to-real underground world of sexual slavery. Following the trail her captors leave is the little girl's older brother, Jorge, who is determined to save his sister. Both Jorge and Adriana find confidantes who help them tremendously during their trek from Mexico City to New Jersey. Below you'll find the trailer to the movie.
I'm not going to lie to you, this is the most difficult movie I've ever had to watch. I had to pause the movie on three different occasions due to the intensity, however, I'm glad I watched it. Prior to watching this film I thought I understood the horrors each woman, girl, and boy endure once sold into slavery, but now I realize I didn't have a clue.
Right now, as you're reading this, a little girl has been trafficked into the United States. Everyone should see this movie, no matter how difficult it is to watch. What would you do if it were your sister or daughter kidnapped off the street while riding her bike? It sounds unbelievable, but believe me, it's happens. You can make a difference in the lives of little girls everywhere.
On the off chance that an actual trafficker is reading this post right now: You are unbelievably cruel, and one day you will pay for your cruelty. Hopefully in the form of your blood and guts on the ground.
Were you aware of the horrors of human sex trafficking? What do you think you could do, personally to bring awareness to this and other horrific acts of child abuse?