Friday, September 26, 2008

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Somaly Mam, A Cambodian Heroine

One of the remarkable women in the world, Somaly Mam, makes this special Seattle visit (Friday, September 19 at 7:30 pm, Elliot Bay Bookstore). A native of Cambodia who now divides her time between there and France, she writes of the horrific years of her early life, story which leaves one wondering at how it was survived, much less transcended and turned around for the vital, life-saving work she does today.

In The Road of Lost Innocence: The True Story of a Cambodian Heroine (Spiegel & Grau), a book that's been a critically-acclaimed bestseller wherever in the world it's been published, she tells of an early life of sexual slavery—a life countless girls and young women in southeast Asia have been forced into.


The book tells riveting stories—and itself is part of the work that Somaly Mam has put herself to, as cofounder and president of AFESIP (Acting for Women in Distressing Circumstances) in Cambodia, and the Somaly Mam Foundation here in the U.S.


"The horror and violence perpetrated on young girls to feed the sex trade industry in southeast Asia is personalized in this graphic story ... This moving, disturbing tale is not one of redemption but a cry for justice and support for women's plight everywhere." - Publishers Weekly.


"Somaly Mam's story is an account of how humanity can sink to the lowest levels of depravity, but it is also a testimony of resistance and hope. She lifted herself out of a well of terror and found the determination and the resilience to save others. Somaly Mam is my candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize." - Ayaan Hirsi Ali.


(As written in press release by Molly Jester, President of Stop Exploitation Now)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Love Protects, Love Defends, Love Restores, Love Empowers

I want to emphasize an organization that Amy posted about earlier called Love146. It's an organization that's committed to bringing an end to child sex slavery. Their website is loaded with ways to be apart of the solution to ending slavery. I love the button that says "Be an abolitionist." That's what we are ladies, abolitionists!
There's so much I could say about this website, but I will leave it to you to discover it for yourself. Really though please check it out. There's also a link to their blog that is also interesting and helpful.
One of the co-founders of Love146 is a singer/songwriter and front man for the band Ten Shekel Shirt. This is one of the songs from their CD "Jubilee."
Daylight
I feel your presence Lord
Like the daylight upon me
I give you my best praise
In the safety of this place
But there's so much more
There's so much more...
My hands are lifted high
I sing of love so deep and wide
I search for timeless truth
With words I say I love you
But there's so much more
There's so much more...
Who will answer to the cries
Of the oppressed and the terrified
Who will stand up for the weak
The helpless and the suffering
I won't turn a blind eye, walk the other side
While slaves make our shoes
And our wedding rings too
While children are bought, their innocence sold
How long will we wait for you to take us away
Until we see You, You wait for us too
In the broken and the poor, in the sick and the abused
We long for your move. Well, You long for ours too.
There's no other plan that You've introduced
We've got to come through
We've got to come through
There is so much more we all have to do.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Protect Our Children Act, Senate Bill 1738

Many of you may have seen the Oprah show today where she did an expose about online sex predators in our nation and the growth of this industry. It was unbelievable! In addition to adolescent grooming and molestation, she went into graphic detail of the increase in infant and toddler sexual assaults being video recorded and traded online..... the industry is rapidly growing and becoming more violent as the demand increases.

Oprah urged viewers to assist the senate in passing is a bipartisan historical bill that will dramatically increase funding available to law enforcement which currently lacks the financial resources to meet the increasing level of crime. Currently, most cases can never even be pursued.

As stated on Oprah's website, "the PROTECT Our Children Act will:

  • Authorize over $320 million over the next five years in desperately needed funding for law enforcement to investigate child exploitation.
  • Mandate that child rescue be a top priority for law enforcement receiving federal funding.
  • Allocate funds for high-tech computer software that can track down Internet predators.

Act Now! Your U.S. senators will be voting on the bill soon, so it is crucial you contact them immediately. Go to www.senate.gov to find contact information for the senators in your state. Search for your senator by name or state by clicking on the arrow from either dropdown menu.

To send an e-mail, click on "Web Form" below his or her name, and e-mail your letter to make a difference! Call Your Senators. If you choose to contact your senators by phone, be sure to tell them, 'Vote yes on Senate Bill 1738—The PROTECT Our Children Act.'"

For further detailed instructions on how you can help, visit Oprah's website: www.Oprah.com. There you'll find a sample letter to send to our senators which you can modify as you like. I did it in less than five minutes. It's super easy and something we can all do to help save the life of a child.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

The Girl Effect

Found this video here.

And it moved me ...



For more information, please visit The Girl Effect.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

YOU GUYS ROCK!!

We had our 2nd "Tee Off Against Trafficking" OCC push this past Sunday. It was a HUGE success! We had a lot of women (and one man) volunteering to serve. Here are a few pictures of the event. I love to see everyone working so hard and working together... INSPIRING!















Born In September?

I was born September 27, 1974! What about you?

A Little Girl

I heard a story this week that has rocked me and I can’t get the image out of my head. It has angered me and put a fire under me to try and do even more because things need to change. I came across a group called Love 146 that is also trying to end child sex slavery. I wondered about the number 146 and it’s meaning. The co-founders of Love 146 went undercover into a brothel that was selling children for sex. Here is their story :

"...standing shoulder to shoulder with predators in a small room. Looking at little girls through a pane of glass. All of the girls wore matching red dresses. They stood, blankly watching cartoons on tv. They were vacant, shells. There was no light in their eyes, no life. To be missing this was shattering. This light has been stolen, this life has been stolen. She is raped each night. Seven, ten, fifteen times each night. She is raped. She is thirteen, eleven, five-years-old. Cigarette burns cover her back. Scars we cannot see, cannot conceive of, cover her. Everywhere. Envelop her. There was one girl. One girl who wouldn’t watch the cartoons. Number 146. She was looking beyond the glass. She was staring out at us. Her piercing stare. There was still fight left in her eyes. There was still life left in her...

I can’t even imagine what was going on in her head at that moment. She didn’t ask for this. She doesn’t deserve to be there. I admire what Love 146 is doing and am so glad to be a part of Eastside Women of Purpose, also trying to eliminate this horror.

Tee Off Against Trafficking is an event raising money to stop kids from ever being kidnapped or sold into slavery in the first place. We have been asking for people to golf but now I am boldly asking you to donate. Anything helps. Please go to www.TeeOffAgainstTrafficking.org and make a donation so we can put an end to child sex slavery as soon as possible.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Dateline's Human Trafficking Clip

video



"An estimated 600,000 - 800,000 are trafficked across international borders each year...further it is not limited to SE Asia. Seattle is #2 in the US and play host to many types of trafficking, both domestic and international." These women and children, some as young as 5 years old are held prisoners in brothels and sold into sex slavery. They DO NOT have a choice, WE do. DO SOMETHING!! www.teeoffagainsttrafficking.com