by Sandy Boulter
When you think about Slavery you usually think of a time long ago, when people were taken from their homes and shipped half way around the world where they would work, countless hours, with little food to eat and little clothing on their backs. And I’m sure you believe that once President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation that slavery was over with and done. Well, it’s not. In fact, modern day slavery is alive and well in the US. Last year, Human Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation of Children and young adults, was the second largest Criminal Enterprise. In 2011, over 800,000 (not a typo) Children and Young Adults were forced into a life of slavery around the world: 300,000 of those here in the USA. 300,000. That’s 1% of the US population. 1 in 100.
Some are babies kidnapped and sold into the sex trade as young as two years old. Every perverted fetish has a market.
It is a sickening and sobering thought to think that, statistically speaking, there is a sex slave in every neighborhood in Texas.
In your neighborhood.
Maybe next door.
Today I would like to share a story of a survivor named Samantha with you:
Samantha lived with her mother, and her mother’s boyfriend. While they were busy drinking and doing drugs, Samantha was left to fix her own dinners and take care of herself. Samantha was 15 yrs old when she met John for the first time. He was much older; he drove a nice car, and was dressed in the latest fashions. He convinced Samantha to let him buy her lunch at the local café, and then after he treated her to getting her nails done at the local nail salon. This courtship lasted for over a month, before John asked her to move in with him and his roommates. Samantha, longing for a better life said yes. What she didn’t realize was that John was a Pimp. She soon found herself locked in a room with no windows and only one door. Over the next few months she was forced to have sex with multiple men each day. Some were kind to her, but most would beat her, call her names and spit on her. One day a man beat her so badly that they thought for sure she would die, so the pimp had her dumped on the streets in a warehouse district late at night. Luck for Samantha, a citizen saw her being dumped on the streets and called the police. Fast forward 5 years, Samantha has received her GED, and is working a part time job and enrolling for college classes. You may be asking what happen to the Pimp, John.. Well, the citizen that witnessed Samantha being dumped also got the license plate number on the vehicle. The police were able to track down the pimp and all the other girls in the prostitution ring. John is now serving a 99 year sentence and won’t be eligible for parole for at least 25. One trafficker down; thousands to go.
Samantha is a survivor, but she has scars that will last a lifetime.
Sadly Samantha’s story is not unique. Thousands of kids each year are taken against their will and forced into lives of servitude, in our great country. While others are smuggled into our country. In 2009, it was estimated that between 15,000 – 17,000 people were brought into Texas from Mexico to be exploited and enslaved through domestic servitude, prostitution and in the agricultural, garment, and construction industries. Although, many believe this number to be incredibly low. Last week at a Human Trafficking Network meeting, David Boatright, Executive Director of the Texas Regional Office of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children said “To combat human trafficking, it takes all hands on deck” (3/27/13). So that’s what we are doing America, we are asking for all hands on deck to help end slavery of our children and young adults, once and for all. Join the Captured Angels Foundation in our efforts to help our Children and Young Adults, by purchasing an “Angel Wings” Candle from the I Am A Texan store. All the proceeds from the sales of these candles go to helping our Children. To learn more about our efforts, visit our website at www.capturedangels.org or on face book at http://www.facebook.com/Captured-Angels.
Finally, get involved. Awareness of the problem is the first step to solving the problem. Once people can identify what might be going on around them, they are more likely to step in. Be aware.
We at IAmATexan.com are pleased to announce that Hill Country Candle Company, a partner with us, has pledged to donate 100% of the proceeds of the “Angel’s Wings” candle to the Captured Angels Foundation (501c3) as they fight human trafficking and sex slavery. You can purchase the candle by clicking here or on the photo below.