Friday, April 10, 2015

O.U.R. Mission to Fight Child Sex Trafficking

Source: http://www.housewivesofriverton.com/2015/02/abolitionists-movie-ourrescue-org.html

For this special occasion, I'm taking a break from writing about writing to support a cause which I believe warrants everyone's attention: Child slavery across the world.

This cause has been a passion of mine since high school when I first learned of child soldiers and the girl children who were forced to "comfort" them by the adults who should have prized the innocence of all these children.

I'm an abolitionist because innocence is precious.



In recent years, more attention has been drawn to this cause by celebrities and non-profit groups who are raising money to free child slaves.

Source: http://venturebeat.com/2014/04/26/tech-startup-operation-underground-railroad-is-saving-kids-from-human-traffickers/
One group's efforts are of particular note. Operation Underground Railroad was started by Timothy Ballard who began his career in the CIA, then was chosen to head up the Child Crimes division of U.S. Homeland Security. As a father, he describes how difficult it was to watch video of children being horrifically abused, and how it changed him. While he'd been hesitant to take this job and be immersed in the terrible stories of these children, after his first rescue mission he held an abused child in his arms and knew he would make this his life's work. Frustrated by the enormous scope of the problem and the limits of working with just one country's government on a worldwide problem, Timothy Ballard founded O.U.R., which now works with all governments who are committed to saving their children from these awful crimes. Recently, O.U.R. combined forces with The Elizabeth Smart Foundation, which is uniquely capable of rehabilitating rescued children. Together, they don't just arrest the bad guys and remove the children from their grasp, but they also place these children in safe houses and programs to help them heal and end the sometimes generational cycle of slavery.

In Port-au-Prince, Haiti:

This is just scratching the surface of a plague, as Timothy Ballard calls it, which UNICEF estimates impacts 2 million children around the world. In the U.S. alone, 100,000 children are trafficked for sex each year. I met one of these women who as a young woman was sold to an American to be his "wife." Years later, a domestic disturbance called police to her house, and she was finally liberated from her owner. My confidence in O.U.R. and The Elizabeth Smart Foundation led me to participate in a campaign to raise money and awareness to rescue these children. I believe them when they say that every dollar donated goes directly to funding these real-world missions where bad guys are arrested, trafficking avenues are closed for good, and children are given the chance to be masters of their own bodies. This grass-roots campaign was started by U.S. citizen Stephen Palmer, and you can donate and join the effort at www.flourbomb.com. #flOURbomb #OURrescue


FLOUR BOMB CHALLENGE!



In the first day and a half, this campaign raised over $5,000. It's estimated that it takes $1800 to liberate one child. People in high places are doing their utmost to end this scourge, but it will take all of us. I hope to put my pen to use in this cause in the future. All you who feel so inspired, take a leaf from Harriet Beecher Stowe's life book:

I wrote what I did because as a woman, as a mother I was oppressed and broken-hearted, with the sorrows and injustice I saw, because as a Christian I felt the dishonor to Christianity — because as a lover of my country I trembled at the coming day of wrath.
It is no merit in the sorrowful that they weep, or to the oppressed and smothering that they gasp and struggle, not to me, that I must speak for the oppressed — who cannot speak for themselves.

On Uncle Tom's Cabin in a letter to Lord Denman (20 January 1853). -from Wikiquote

6 comments:

  1. LOVE the video you made!! and for such a great cause :-) This is a serious issue and happens on a local level more often than people would like to believe.

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    1. Thank you, Toni! I did not make the video. The volunteer efforts of the Southern Utah Community Film Studio put it together, complete with green screen pizzazz! https://m.facebook.com/sucfs

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  2. This really resonated today. I just started researching human trafficking for a plot line and was amazed. Almost no one knows or talks about it, but its a $31 BILLION dollar industry, second only to drugs. I'm still processing.

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    1. Thank you for writing about it. It's a difficult subject we wish didn't exist. I believe that's why there's so much silence. The time is now. Thank you!

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  3. I think you're right. Social media posts about kittens get ten times the response as one about human trafficking, and all I can conclude is that it's such a disturbing and alien concept that people can't look at it head on. Just a few weeks of digging and the scope of the problem is...chilling.

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    1. You said it, exactly. I look forward to seeing your work when it's finished! I hope we see many more people raising their voices against this pernicious cancer. Thank you.

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