Upwardly Dependent » walking the delicate balance of absolute truth and overwhelming grace.

Masthead header

How YOU Can Fight Human Trafficking {The Exodus Road}

Maybe you’re new to stories of human trafficking. Maybe you read my last post with a few basic facts. Maybe you’ve been learning about the topic for a while, but aren’t sure how to help.

RIC-Logo-Stack-Black-1-650x282 copy

Whether you’ve only watched Taken or you’ve been researching the latest statistics, there’s one thing every American can do to fight modern-day slavery:

You can fund a rescue effort.

Before you throw your money at an organization, take a look at two real-life stories of girls who found themselves trapped as sex slaves.

—–Katie—–
United States Human Trafficking, True Story

Katie was 10 years old when her mother remarried. After four years of sexual abuse from her stepfather, she ran away one day and swore to never return home. She made her way to the mall, trying to sort out a plan. At closing time, she wandered around the food court wondering where she would spend the night. That’s when Jack showed up.

He offered Katie a ride and a place to stay. He was considerably older than her, but seemed genuinely concerned and promised to take care of her. Katie had no money, no car, and nowhere to go, so she eagerly accepted the offer.

When she got to Jack’s house, he immediately took her to his basement and tied her arms and legs together. He pulled out a large knife, and threatened to hurt her if she tried to escape.

Days later, men began to arrive for visits with Katie through an ad on Craigslist. She was expected to provide whatever sexual favors they asked. Many times, there were 15 or more men per day that paid Jack for time with Katie. Katie was never given condoms for protection and she never saw any of the money. Jack continued to beat and threaten her if she protested.

Before long, Katie became pregnant. Knowing this would limit his income, Jack attempted the abortion himself. The coat hanger he used caused more bleeding than was expected, so he took Katie to the emergency room. The nurses attending to Katie seemed shocked at the trauma she had experienced, but before they could ask her any questions, Jack spoke for her.

She’s my sister, he explained. Our parents were killed in a car accident when she was young, and I’ve been taking care of her ever since. She’s a little crazy from everything she’s suffered through, but I’m doing my best to make sure she has everything she needs.

No one in the hospital interviewed Katie alone. Jack was always by her side, answering every question for her. For six years, Katie was kept in Jack’s basement, receiving client after client, day in and day out. When police became suspicious of the traffic through Jack’s house, they broke in to find Katie huddled in a closet, barely able to respond to the hands there to rescue her.

 

—–Sarah—–
Southeast Asia Human Trafficking, True Story

Sarah was found in a brothel in Cambodia.

There was a line of prostitutes behind a glass wall, a fishbowl they call it. They were sitting on high bar stools, with heavy make-up and short skirts, numbers pinned to their shoulders, displayed for the customers on the other side of the glass.

And then, they brought in Sarah. She was “fresh,” the pimp had told their lead investigator over the phone. Sarah was dressed in street clothes, head down, hands fiddling nervously with a napkin. She was 15 and had been sold by her mother in a neighboring country several days before to work off a debt which her mother owed. Sarah’s virginity had been sold three days prior for $600 USD.

Sarah could not speak the local language, was kept under close watch daily, and had no access to a cell phone or any communication from the outside world. She had been slipped illegally across borders by a system of traffickers that has become a global highway of modern day slaves.

With covert cameras, their investigators were able to record the sale of Sarah for the night, capturing valuable evidence that could be passed on to the trusted authorities in hopes of the pimp’s prosecution. Later, behind a closed door, the operative was able to call a social worker who spoke Sarah’s language. He explained that he was there to help her, not to hurt her, and that he could aid her escape if she wanted. Unfortunately, Sarah was too scared to run, too scared to trust a stranger, understandably.

The following day, the investigator returned to visit Sarah in the brothel, just blocks away from a crowded local market. She scribbled a note, “Please Rescue Me,” on a bill and slipped it to him.

She wanted out, but didn’t know the way.

Immediately, the investigator gave his testimony and video evidence to the authorities and asked the government to conduct a raid on Sarah’s behalf. It was believed that 10 or more girls were also being held against their wills at the same brothel where he found Sarah.

Sarah was later rescued through the evidence gathered by this investigator. {via}

——————-

There are many organizations that exist to raise awareness about human trafficking. You can always check out some of the resources I shared in this post.

But I have yet to find a group so dedicated to the actual search and rescue of victims as Matt and Laura Parker and The Exodus Road.

Laura published The Exodus Road {go ahead and buy it, it’s only $4.99!}, where she tells the story of sending her husband into Southeast Asian brothels to ask for sex from minors. For a year, he gathered undercover video footage of trafficking rings and illegal prostitution.

They began to see a need for greater evidence to prosecute the criminals behind the acts. So, they returned to the United States to raise funds to do just that. With covert investigative teams in Southeast Asia, India, and the United States, The Exodus Road has successfully rescued over 250 victims this year and provided the evidence to prosecute the perpetrators.

Teenager Rescued from Private Brothel. RAID FOOTAGE HERE. from The Exodus Road on Vimeo.

On our trip to Colorado in December, I was blessed to drop by The Exodus Road office and meet the two personally. Matt and Laura are incredibly down to earth individuals, but are completely convicted to act on behalf of the victims they have met.

I’m not a promoter of many things. I’m not into asking people to share my blog or to give to a certain cause.

But I’m asking now.

I’ve been praying desperately for years that I would be given an opportunity to serve in the fight against human trafficking.

I’ve been praying desperately this month for friends who would join me in the work of prevention and recovery.

I’ve been praying desperately since Thursday that tender hearts will come across this post and be led to action.

I’m praying desperately right now that you will read this and share.

Here’s what you can do:

  1. Check out The Exodus Road website to learn more.
  2. Sign up here to give $35/month to a search and rescue team. Or, give a one-time fund to purchase an undercover camera or scooter.
  3. Email the volunteer coordinator {volunteer@theExodusRoad.com} to get more involved in special projects.

We’re passionate about Southeast Asia, so my husband and I are supporting Team Delta. You can choose to support teams in India or the United States – whatever you prefer!

It’s time that we stopped talking about how awful human trafficking is and we started doing something to stop it. We can’t all bust down brothel doors, but we can all give up one restaurant meal each month. We can support those who do the dirty work.

Pray with me. Join with me. Invite others along.

What would a victim of human trafficking want you to do?

—–Ansley—–
Human Trafficking Rescue, True Story

Ansley was a product of a wonderful childhood. She was loved and cared for and encouraged to reach her full potential.

At 24, she found herself to be a successful business owner with a boutique named The Loft on Court. She was married, owned a home, and held a Master’s degree in Business Administration.

She never understood why her life was so blessed when others were forced to suffer so much. So she began looking into ways she could help.

When she learned about the Exodus Road, she knew what she could do. She could give part of her business proceeds to help fund the search and rescue of human trafficking victims worldwide.

She’s an ordinary girl, living in a small town in Tennessee. But she’s changing the world for one person today.

Comments

comments

Jill Reed SpryJanuary 20, 2014 - 12:29 am

I am in tears…my heart aches for these girls…

Konner Blake DukeJanuary 20, 2014 - 6:30 am

One word. AMAZING!