This can’t be my care-free, undefiled girl. The pain in her eyes repels me. I force myself to look again. Stifling tears I finally take in every pixel. Tears, filth, anguish, tattered clothing, vile bedding.
I exhale. It’s not real!
Not this time. But for too many children this is their reality. Sex trafficking is a real thing. When I first became aware of it, I thought of it as an over-there problem. It happened in other countries and it was reprehensible, but it didn’t happen here. Then I learned the truth. It’s also a right-here problem.
I live in a city that is a major hub for trafficking. Even in my affluent, low-crime suburb it happens. It is a global problem. It is an over-there problem and a right-here problem. When I learned this, I was faced with the choice to become more aware and see the truth or live with my head in the sand. I chose to see the truth.
Others are making the same choice. A group of people have chosen to take one girl’s story and make a short-film to raise awareness. Savannah chose to be a part of the promotional photo shoot. And I chose to make myself share these pictures.
There are numerous websites that raise awareness about trafficking, but here are just a few statistics:
- Two children are sold every minute
- Over 1.2 million children are trafficked annually
- Over 100,000 US children are forcefully engaged in prostitution or pornography each year
How many children have been sold in the time I have taken to write this? How many have been sold in the time it has taken you to read it?
Seeing Savannah in trafficking pictures is hard, but I am inordinately proud of her willingness to do it. What can you do? What will you do?
- You can take a few minutes and educate yourself by visiting the following sites. Love 146 Traffick 911 & The Polaris Project
- You can become a sponsor for the film.
- If you are in the DFW area you can come to a fundraiser on Friday night.
No matter what you do or don’t do, hug your priceless children and thank God they aren’t the ones living in the nightmare of slavery.