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My Words as Weapons: Time for some good news

Since I just launched my second book, my blog has been heavily concentrated in author related content, meaning I’ve neglected my other purpose of spreading awareness about human trafficking.   Sometimes getting caught up in the mire of that topic can become a heavy weight, and I just wanted to think happier thoughts for a while.

Here we are, smack in the middle of the 2014 World Cup. I enjoy soccer and have been watching quite a few of the games, trying not to think about the implications of so many men gathered in one place for a month long sporting event in a country that is already one of the worst as far as the sex trade on human trafficking is concerned. So I thought I might write about this, but then I remembered that I covered that concept already back at the time of the Super Bowl, and I thought, Maybe I could bring some happy news once.

And so, this time I share, not my own words as weapons, but an encouraging story that shows that if people, groups, governments work together, we can free people.

This is one link that came to me through my subscription to the Trafficking Report offered by


My Words as Weapons: The Truth about Prostitution

I’ve said this somewhere in my blog before, but there has never been a little girl (or boy for that matter) who dreamed of being a prostitute, selling her soul and body over and over again, when she grew up.  So where do these practitioners of “the oldest profession” come from then?  Sure, some get lured in or kidnapped through human trafficking, but some of these women (and men) have chosen this profession for themselves, right?

That is what people tell themselves in order to ignore the plight of these people, in order to overlook the wrongful stigma placed on these people, and in order to not have to admit that we have more control and responsibility in ending this than we want to take on, and in order to not have to realize that these are people.

I read Escaping the Devil’s Bedroom by Dawn Herzog Jewell several months ago and though much of the book haunted me, something that really stood out was when a couple took notice of young women who “voluntarily” prostituted themselves (from page 26). “They lacked other viable options for supporting themselves and their families.  Many women told Mark that they chose prostitution, but, he says, ‘When you ask them what their choices were, they had only one choice.'”  Survival, fear, and trickery are the most common drives for women to prostitute themselves.  Then once they are in they don’t know how to get out and many are controlled.  They are existing, but they’re not living.  They do it out of necessity.

And who do we blame for the existence of this profession?  Most blame the prostitutes, not the men who purchase sex.  But it’s a simple supply and demand.  If nobody purchases sex, sex will no longer need to be sold.  Then changes can begin to take place.  And you may ask, what then will these women who have nothing else to offer do? That is why we need to not only end human trafficking and the demand for the flesh trade, but offer more to these women (and men) as a means to support themselves.  We are such a creative people and there are many organizations and growing companies out there offering  change.  We need to invest more into them, with money and our hearts.  We cannot change the world overnight.  I realize that.  But we can begin to change it in small ways, as long as we admit that we can.

How do we drive down the demand for sex?  That seems like an impossible obstacle to overcome, but turning the way we currently do things in the US (and all over really) upside down can make a huge impact.  I learned by watching an incredible documentary on human trafficking, Nefarious: Merchant of Souls, that Sweden has done just this.  About ten or so years ago they switched the law around.  Prostitution is now legal, but the “johns” who purchase sex are arrested.  Demand has quickly taken a dive and pimps and traffickers aren’t interested in doing business in such a high risk setting.  What if we did that worldwide?  Change has happened there already, so we have proof that it works. Also, according to this article I found, Cook County, Illinois has been putting this idea into action to see how it works.  Also, Houston and Harris County, Texas have outlawed the johns.  Good for them.  Let’s keep it up and let it spread.

Take the stigma off the prostitutes and place it where it belongs, on those renting and ruining human souls.

Cyber Monday: How you can buy gifts AND save and change lives

Cyber Monday, or the smart alternative to Black Friday (see horror above), serves that purpose or may help aid in the recovery of those who have attempted Black Friday and, as a result, never again wish to leave their homes.  Just a few days after the stampedes at the big box retailers, and after people have had so much turkey leftovers that they no longer have the motivation to move, online retailers take over.

Interestingly, my husband Robert works for a rather large retailer, and he informed me that many of their online deals are better than the sales were in the stores on Thanksgiving and Black Friday, so you really may be better off shopping from home.

Robert and I simplified our Christmas gift giving a few years back, but if we were still up for the commercialism, I have found some great resources we would use because they also support good causes, mainly fighting human trafficking.  I only have a small list compiled, but I am sure more wonderful resources are out there.  Though we live in a time of horrible injustices, we also live in a time where more movements seem to be rising almost daily in order to stand against and combat these injustices.  So, if you know of any more, please feel free to add them to the comments so others can also be informed.

  • First of all, Amazon has a great program of non-profits being able to get a small percentage of purchases (Amazon Smile), but you need to sign up for the organization so that as you buy gifts, or even a few treats for yourself, you are actually contributing to a cause.  You have options, but I found out about this through Love 146, one of my favorite organizations that combats trafficking, spreads awareness, and offers aftercare.  Follow this link to sign up.
  • I also know of a few great places set up with the purpose of empowering people who may not otherwise be able to make fair wages, and they are truly beautiful items.  Imagine Goods is one I discovered through Love 146, as they have a line of clothing, but there are also other artisans on their website.  Another, Trades of Hope, was actually started locally where I live and they have artisans worldwide (and some right here in the US).  Through today, TOH is offering selected items at 50% off.
  • You can also donate to organizations in someone’s name as a gift.  Again, I discovered this through Love 146, but there are other organizations out there if something else suits you better. These are called Giving eCards.
  • Not For Sale, another great organization fighting human trafficking has an online shop as well. I’ve had the Rebbl tea, and it is delicious.

There truly are a number of other places where your shopping can do good for the world.  Please consider this as you check off your shopping list this holiday season. If Black Friday has left you feeling ill towards your fellow man, you can remember people with third world problems instead of first world problems, and touch their lives. Happy shopping.  Happy holidays.

*Since this post is all about helping your fellow man, and I plugged places mostly with a heart towards freedom and empowerment and human rights, this will be my human trafficking post for the week.

All Men were Created Equal… All

I’m reposting last year’s Independence Day edition, partly because I didn’t have time for a new one, and partly because I figured a year later I might get a different group reading it.

caverns of my mind

The Declaration of Independence was written specifically to dissolve the relationship “the Colonies” had with Great Britain due to the tyrannical acts of George III, and the result was the birth of this great free nation we now call the United Stated of America.  We all know, or should know that from history class.  However, freedom and independence, for which many sacrificed and died to secure for us, should not be ideas only we can enjoy, but should be the general consideration of human beings to each other, everywhere.

No, the irony that Thomas Jefferson, the writer of this great document which gives us this day to celebrate our freedom, owned slaves is not lost on me.  He was a complex man, and though he owned several slaves, he actually was against slavery and wanted it to be abolished.  I remember learning something once about his attacking Great Britain for…

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