fighting for little girls

sex trafficking. somehow it doesn’t seem so pleasantly fitting under the subtitle of “thoughts on life, family, food and being hapa,” especially when those words are written in a cute font on my personal blog. but then again, it doesn’t seem pleasant or fitting anywhere. it’s dark, horrific and heart-breaking. it’s also very real and it is a part of “life," “family” and maybe even a means of provision for “food” for people across the globe. i can’t get over the fact that someone is probably being trafficked as I type this post.
prior to 2+ years ago, i was mostly oblivious to the fact that sex trafficking is a reality for so many people. yet since becoming aware of it, it’s been impossible to keep out of my mind and heart. this is partially because it just keeps coming up. i hear about it through people I know and ministries we are connected with and continually hear about more and more people getting involved in the fight against it.
my first reaction to something so atrocious is to want to go and get involved -stop whatever is happening or find someone who can stop it. then i move into feeling overwhelmed, heart-broken, and helpless. but, i’m slowly learning through ordinary and inspiring people, amazing organizations and other resources that there are things to do. and that, i must participate. it cannot be ignored or left on the shelf of “problems that are too overwhelming.” the sole thought of little girls whose lives, innocence and futures are being stolen from them is enough to know that i have to participate in fighting for these little girls in whatever ways i can.
so, here i am, a stay-at-home-mom, living in the bubble of the american suburbs and constantly tempted to only think about the needs of my own circle of friends and family. i can't exactly get on a plane and fly across the world, find the perpetrators and use my imaginary mr. miyagi skills until they are all gone.  i'm also a follower of christ (who happens to live in the wealthiest country in the world).  that claim gives me no room to not figure out how to get involved and do everything i can to not fall into the temptation of only thinking about the needs of my own circle of friends and family. so, i've started with prayer. and reading. and talking to people and allowing myself to become more and more aware of the harsh reality of the situation. and i’ve tried to keep praying and keep my heart soft and broken. i still don’t know that much. and i hesitated even writing this post because of that. but the other day, while meeting with the amazing group of moms i get to meet with weekly, we took time to read about sex trafficking and pray for the issue. and i realized that this issue is a part of my life. learning, praying and taking steps further into fighting against it and fighting for little girls is a reality now.  and even with just a little bit of knowledge on the topic, there are ways to be involved. a few organizations in particular have been huge resources. international justice mission is one. Check them out here. they are amazing and do incredible work.  they have those mr. miyagi skills...or at least the law and investigative skills that i don't have.
another organization that has been a great learning resource for me is world next door. this organization is a partner of our church and they call themselves a "social justice travel magazine." they are comprised of journalists who travel the world to tell stories of injustice and oppression so that the body of christ can better understand the issues and get involved. check them out and read some of their articles here.
through their site, i've learned about two ministries who work and minister directly in the world of oppressive poverty and sex trafficking in cambodia. these organizations have given me hope and i am so encouraged to read about what they are doing and how you and i can participate.
by tavi is an organization that helps open up international markets to a number of poor families in cambodia. this, in turn, helps keep people that might be targeted for trafficking out of it. you can check them out here. there are a number of beautiful products like handbags and scarves for sale that you can buy while knowing that your purchase will help directly fight for the people of cambodia and also serve as a reminder to pray for the issues and people there.
a couple of their products:

rapha house is another group that works to bring victims of sex trafficking into safe homes and restoration. they also have a site you can check out which includes info on ways to get involved. check them out here.
and lastly, my friend emily is doing something creative and unique called the one dress campaign. she will be wearing the same dress everyday for the entire month of april to (in her own words), "raise awareness for myself and others of the horrors of human/sex trafficking, both abroad and right here in the USA." wow. i'm impressed and encouraged by ordinary people like emily, stepping up and making a difference. check her blog out and read more about her campaign here.
as i said before, i am still in the process of learning and asking God how he wants me to be involved in this fight. sharing what i’m learning in this post has been another step forward.  i hope some of you will join me and/or share the ways you've already gotten involved. i’ll end with this quote from the by Tavi site, “sometimes a small amount of seed money is all it takes to break the cycle of poverty.”


Janae said…
Tasha, I am so glad you wrote about this. I've had the same experience of learning about the issue of trafficking in the past couple of years. We have some friends (a couple) who are preparing to live in Cambodia to work with organizations or projects like the one you mentioned who are helping victims or potential victims of trafficking. (if you want more info about them let me know). One of them is called the Daughters Project - Cambodia (they have a page on Facebook). There is also a group based in Indy called "Purchased" who is having a 5K run/walk in June called "Run for One" (you can also find out more if you "like" "Purchased" on FB). Also, there is a good book called "Not for Sale" that explains a lot about modern-day slavery and sex trafficking. I know exactly how you feel--it's so overwhleming to think about the problem and how large it is. But we can do small things that make an impact (and prayer of course!)
Anonymous said…
Thanks for writing this post, Tasha. It is so easy for us here in the USA to not take the time to learn and think and pray about huge problems around the world. I know that it also takes place here in the USA.

It is hard sometimes to think and talk about seemingly overwhelming problems. This past year the Lord has had me learning more and more about international adoption - and that can seem overwhelming too when you think of the number of international orphans there are. But I really like what is on one of the fund raising t-shirts we bought, it says: "143 Million Minus 1. Changing the life of one child makes a significant difference in the world." How encouraging to think about it that way!!

I think the same is true with sex trafficking - you can's think about ALL the women/children who are suffering - just one at a time.
My parents brought me up to be very pro-active in defending people who needed help and that it was as bad to just ignore a problem, as to take part in it.

You writing a blog about it is so important - because it reminds people who know about the problem to not forget it -- and it educates others who really don't know about it. And don't ever doubt that prayer is a HUGE, HUGE part of helping the little girls.

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil
is that good men do nothing." (Edmund Burke)