Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A Call to Know: What We don't Like to Know

She doesn't even have a legal name.

Young, beautiful, with a perfect smile, she slipped right into a family dinner a few years ago without my deaf ears ever really hearing her story.

14. 15, maybe.

She was bought when she was 10 years old. Bought. Sold by her parents to a man and then sold a few more times, she finally ended up with a captor who had the means to bring her to this country.

An assault on my ears, on my mind, my heart, a child sold and owned, I didn't know her story until recently another family member explained she had essentially broken away from the man who had bought her only to be orphaned and alone in a foreign country.

Life hasn't been easy for the sweet-faced girl who doesn't even have a legal identity apart from the man who bought her and from whom she tore away to become a ward of the state and then finally placed under the care of my loving family members who fatefully befriend her.

We don't know it, but these stories permeate even our suburban landscapes, our grocery store aisles, the pews in our churches.

We don't know it, but people are being bought and sold and owned before our unsuspecting eyes.

And I just thought, hey, maybe we should know.

Maybe knowing it would ignite a passion in our hearts to become agents of change.

Maybe knowing it would inspire action to increase awareness and decrease the prevalence of human trafficking, an exploitation that generates around $32 billion dollars every year.

Maybe simply knowing it would encourage us to build bridges to rescue those who are enslaved and help eventually prevent another 27 million people from being bought.

There are some amazing organizations that tell the story much more profoundly than I can.

They are everyday, compassionate people who actually doing something about this epidemic.

{Everyday people like you and me.}

And I just thought we should all know.

{Today is Human Trafficking Awareness Day. And I didn't know until a friend e-mailed me. But now I do. And now I can't look away.}

For more information or to get involved visit:
Run for their Lives
The SOLD Project via Tasting Grace
Casa de Esperanza

If you suspect someone you know has been smuggled or trafficked, visit here for information on how to help.