Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Because I am Free

I started this over two weeks ago.  This topic is so painful for me, so gut wrenching, that it has taken this long to finish.  I'm still not sure my words can do justice to the need....

As I am jotting items down on my list of 1000 gifts on January 11, I remember that it is Human Trafficking Awareness Day.  I must remember to wear bright orange.

I add to my list: daughters who have grown up safe, protected, and loved.

At the same time, I force myself to think---but what if.....

It doesn't require much imagination to consider, because I once had an unspeakable nightmare....

In the dream my youngest daughter, who is gentle, sweet-tempered and creative, is molested by a group of older boys.  I see it at a distance--almost as if from behind glass.  She is too afraid to cry out or fight, utterly bewildered, and panicked.  I can see her, but I can't get to her. I can't help her.  I am screaming, but she can't hear me.  She feels completely alone, and I have to watch her be carried away, helpless to rescue her.

I woke in a frenzy from that dream, adrenaline coursing so strongly I could have killed if the monsters from the dream had been within reach.

As much as I hate to think of dreams like that, I force myself to remember them today, because that nightmare is a reality for many women and children.

My daughters are safe, but not everyone's daughter is.

Some girls are taken.

Some parents are tricked by a promise of a good job in the city for their daughter.

Some daughters are actually sold by their parents, who know full well what awaits them.

All are trafficked, dehumanized, abused to satisfy the appetites of the depraved.

This should not be.

Slavery is NOT history; it is alive and well throughout the world... even in America.  Obviously, killing the bad guys is not the answer.  However, there ARE solutions, and many wonderful organizations working to fight this evil:

Loose Change to Loosen Chains
International Justice Mission
Somaly Mam
Love 146
One girl. One dress. One year.

Today, because I am free, I am speaking up for those who are not.


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