Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Another Trafficking Ring Broken

One nice thing about getting more involved in fighting trafficking, you come across people who have various sources for information, much expanded from where I know to look. What used to take me hours to find in searching and reading is now basically sent to my inbox.

The article I've linked below speaks to a trafficking ring broken up in Los Angeles, CA. First New Jersey, now California. An appropriate reminder that trafficking is an issue in this country from one coast to the other.

It has permeated our society. Everywhere. Please take a moment to read the article. It is never to late to begin educating yourself on this issue and getting involved, in whatever form that takes. This problem requires an army. The enemy is relentless in his attempts at keeping us confused, hurting and distracted. Relentless. It is how we have to respond to him. Relentlessly.

Proverbs 31:8-9

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

New Jersey Trafficking Ring Dismantled

I'm originally from New Jersey. This is such an amazing story - it angers me and makes me sick all at the same time. I hope you take the time to read through it all.

Dear Supporters,

We wanted to share the news with you that this week in New Jersey law enforcement dismantled a large human trafficking ring which spanned multiple cities throughout the state, involved multiple traffickers, and victimized scores of women and girls for years. "This is a shocking case of human trafficking," said New Jersey Attorney General Anne Milgram. "We charge that Allen Brown enslaved vulnerable young women in a living hell of addiction and prostitution, controlling them with narcotics, threats, and beatings. We will prosecute him to the full extent of the law."

We share this case with you all, and we ask for your support for our anti-trafficking efforts in New Jersey. Polaris Project's New Jersey office is currently the only non-profit organization in New Jersey exclusively dedicated to combating human trafficking and modern-day slavery and also providing services to victims of trafficking. Polaris Project New Jersey provides comprehensive programs to all victims of trafficking. These programs include:

• Sex Trafficking Victim Outreach and Identification
• Labor Trafficking Victim Outreach and Identification
• Local Hotlines
• Comprehensive Case Management
• Collaboration with Law Enforcement

The State Department has estimated that each year 14,500-17,500 immigrants are trafficked into the U.S. In the same timeframe, within our national borders, an additional estimated 300,000 children are at high-risk for sex trafficking. It is a sobering reality to also learn that the average age of entry into sex trafficking in the U.S. is 12-14 years old. Human trafficking is present all throughout the United States, and also has a major presence in the state of New Jersey. Past years have demonstrated numerous important federal human trafficking prosecutions in New Jersey, such as: US v. Trakhtenberg, US v. Medrano, US v. Jimenez-Calderon, and US v. Matthew Tompkins. New Jersey also has one of the highest concentrations of strip clubs and Go-Go bars in the United States at more than 400. These are high-risk locations for sex trafficking, notably of Eastern European and Russian women.

Your support is essential to allowing Polaris Project to fight human trafficking in NJ and provide critical services to victims. Please donate now and take a stand as we move closer each day to a world without slavery.

Ambassador Mark P. Lagon
Executive Director and CEO

Polaris Project P.O. Box 77892 Washington, DC 20013

Proverbs 31:8-9

Friday, August 7, 2009

Bald Solidarity

Sometimes I think my posts are to easy - not too much effort to cut and paste what someone else has written. However - the messages I'm posting are important and I risk messing them up with my own words. Here is the body of an email I received regarding an event in downtown Seattle happening tomorrow, August 8th:

Hello all!

If any of you will be in downtown Seattle this Saturday, Bald Solidarity is doing a public head-shaving event to fight violent discrimination against women, including sex trafficking and female genital mutilation. We'd love to have any of you come and show your support, and invite any friends you have who would be interested in hearing about these issues. We'll be talking briefly about the scope and effects of human trafficking during the event.

A shaved head is a universal sign of grieving and shame. We think young girls being trafficked into sexual slavery is worth grieving about, and we think the shame these girls feel as a result of having their lives destroyed in this manner should be removed from them and put where it belongs--on the perpetrators of these crimes.

The event will be on Saturday at Westlake Center Park on 4th and Pine in downtown, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Hope to see you there!

For more information please visit our website at:

Thanks! See you all at our next meeting. :-)

--Bethany Roberts

Proverbs 31:8-9

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Climb For Captives

The following email was sent to me via the Seattle Against Slavery network. If at all possible, please support this amazing endeavor. Part of me is a bit jealous - I'd love to summit Rainier but that isn't going to happen for a LONG time, if ever and to add to that the imperative task of raising money to rescue women and children caught in terror...

I urge you to do as Scot asks and imagine, for just a bit, what it must be like to be trapped in that world. I started to write out a scenario but realized I was breaking my own rule about this blog. This isn't supposed to be my opinion. However - if you can't imagine what happens to people who are trafficked, email me. I can relate a few stories I have heard.

However you reach the decision, if you can support Climb for Captives in any way, I strongly urge you do so.

From Scot Sulstad:

Dear Friends,

On August 14th a group of eight friends will set out to climb Mount Rainier as the Climb for Captives team. The Climb for Captives tradition began last year as a group of friends decided to turn their expedition into a life-altering CAUSE. Despite difficult weather and various challenges, the group successfully reached the 14,410 foot summit and raised almost $19,000 to help combat human trafficking in South East Asia. The climb left a lasting impression on the team and deepened their burden and desire to help set free those men, women and children who are enslaved.

Following the success of the Climb for Captives expedition last year, we decided to make the climb an annual event and raise the stakes. In a struggling economy, this was not an easy decision. Still, the correct action became clear when we remembered that the tough economy is only making those who profit from human trafficking more determined than ever. We have no choice but to match their intensity.

We have added new team members and have increased our planning and fundraising goals this year. We have partnered with the International Justice Mission to carry out an ambitious project in the notorious red-light district of Mumbai, India. The project is holistic in its approach. It is aimed at:

1. Rescuing 18 victims of sex-trafficking

2. Securing their placement in safe aftercare facilities

3. Pursuing the arrest of their perpetrators

4. Protecting other vulnerable children by restraining the hand of specific oppressors and bringing individual perpetrators to justice. Pursuing perpetrator accountability also creates a strong deterrent effect for future abuses

Continuing the transformation of Mumbai through the development of the local justice system
This project will require the hard work and relentless determination of many dedicated people and can only be carried out with your help. Our goal is to fund this entire project which will cost $40,000. We know our goal, like the project, is ambitious. However, when countering a crime as monstrous as sex for profit, we must be ambitious. These women and children need all of our support. Edmund Burke makes a poignant statement here: “All that is necessary for evil to triumph, is for good men to do nothing.”

For more on the project, please CLICK HERE

I often wonder the extent we would be willing to go if we could feel, or even see the horror to which these women and children are subjected to daily. If we could feel a fraction of their pain or traumatic circumstances, for even a moment, how different would our response be? Modern slavery is an ugly reality, but still it is the entire reality for an estimated 27 million people at the current time. I urge you to let yourself think about it. To take a journey of empathy; to engage thoughts of what it must be like having your whole life left to the disposal of another person.
Please join us in our cause! Here are some ways you can get involved:

1. Give a financial gift online by clicking here: GIVE NOW

2. Create an “I Support Picture” details here: I SUPPORT

3. Purchase Climb for Captives gear: GEAR

4. Follow the Climb for Captives blog: BLOG

5. Go 10x10! Give $10 (or more of course) yourself and commit to getting 10 people to give $10 and spread the word to 10 more people.

We look forward to updating you on new developments and the climb!

Find out more about the cause and the climbers at

For Justice,

Scot Sustad

Click here to join us on Facebook

Proverbs 31:8-9