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sex slaves, who knew? (part 2)

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So where does human trafficking actually occur?

Well, in my thesis, I talked mostly about the trafficking problem in central and south America, which is so widespread it is supposed to surpass Thailand, the forerunner, in just a few short years.

However, throughout my research it became more and more clear that this is a world-wide problem and because of our increasing technology and as an effect of globalization- it cannot be limited to any one corner of the globe- similar to the Atlantic slave trade- except BIGGER!

Ok, so Here’s the same map I showed you in part one, to remind you of the scope of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade:


 And here is a map of Human Trafficking Routes in 2011 . . .


So, as you can see by comparing the two maps, the modern slave trade is much more prolific!

And because of this it generates roughly $32 Billion dollars of revenue a year- with many estimates ranging much higher due to the clandestine, or hidden nature of the trade.

It is almost impossible to know the actual numbers.

Having said that, does it surprise you that the media has only more recently been actively involved in reporting this abuse to us? 

It surprised me at first, but, with that much profit and with many governments benefiting- I guess it’s not all that surprising, after all.

I mean, for the sake of face, our government, in particular, over the years has “protected” us from all sorts of “evil” information, like the JFK conspiracy and the goings-on at Alcatraz to name a few.  I often wonder how much more information I have been deemed too incapable of comprehending to be privy to.

But that’s getting off the point a little. 

Don’t you want to know where that money is coming from and where it is going?  Well, you can track that for yourself, somewhat in the following maps:

As you can see in this first map where the destination countries are highlighted, it shows not only where sex-slaves are trafficked into to work including the tens of thousands of women and girls forced to work in the U.S., Europe, and Thailand, but also where modern forced labor is still alive like in the Dominican Republic, Brazil, and Burma.

Now in this Next graphic, you can see the estimated number of slaves in each country and also the Type of Slavery, whether the country is mainly a “producer,” or “buyer” of slaves, so to speak.

And if you’d like to see a quick slide show on where fighting trafficking is the Worst  in the US of A and explanations as to why . . . click to see The 7 Worst States in the Fight Against Human Trafficking – 2013 Edition.

If you don’t have time to view the slide show, here is a short list ascending to the worst state for the fight to end human trafficking :

7.  North Dakota

6.  Arizona

5.  Utah

4.  Colorado

3.  Deleware

2.  New Hampshire

1.  South Dakota

And there are a TON of other maps, graphics and even apps online, such as the Slavery Footprint Survey you can take here, and MANY, many more resources to help you to see where the problem is.

However, the MOST important factor in all of this is not Where it’s happening, but who it’s happening to.

**Find out WHO is targeted and who is involved in the selling of children as commodities in my upcoming post, Sex Slaves, Who Knew? (part 3) “Children the Modern Commodity.”

Also, you can Read Part One of this post, here.

… my deepest, darkest secret…

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Today’s Daily Prompt: A Mystery Wrapped in an Enigma:

Tell us something most people probably don’t know about you.

Well, because I’m pretty much an “open book,” this one was a little tough for me.

However, there is one thing about me, that most people really don’t know about. It was only recently that I started to share this part of my life with others, and only due to somewhat of an epiphany that I had after watching the film: October Baby.

Immediately following the viewing of this movie, I updated my fb status to read:

I am convinced … our secrets … you know, the ones we keep to protect ourselves from outside scrutiny? Well, they’re not REALLY “secrets” at all, but traps.  Traps meant to ensnare us; hold us captive … and the ONLY thing we are actually “hiding” is the “key”…. the key meant to set someone else free!! If I’m holding your key… come get it, please.

And I left it pretty vague like that for a few days.  Not really letting anyone know which “keys” I was holding.

So, what is this thing, this trap that held me captive for sooo long?

Attempted Murder… AKA… Abortion.

You see, I was a young, naive girl of 15.  I was embarrassed. Ashamed, more like.  I was scared.  But most of all, I was selfish. I had the “perfect” plan for my life all worked out.  I was going to get an athletic scholarship for running track, go to college, and subsequently go to med school in New York, where I had dreamt of living.

All of these plans were coming to a screeching hault the day I found out I was pregnant. I had dreams, aspirations, and BIG PLANS! None of which included a child in tow, or so I thought.

Being pregnant was not the only “problem” I had at the time. My mom was battling with bipolar disorder at the time. So, almost as soon as I found out I was pregnant, I was placed in foster care (with a loving family I had known since grade school), and hid the fact that I was pregnant from them until I was about 5 months pregnant.

Another problem was that my then boyfriend (now husband of 10 years), was a few years my senior and for all intensive purposes I was considered, “jail bait” and he would be jail bound if the true nature of our relationship became known.

Not to mention the fact that my, “good, little, church girl” image would be shattered. And everyone I had “preached” to the past few years about saving themselves for marriage would know what I had become: A Big Fat Hypocrite.

No! This CANNOT be happening to me!

There were so many reasons why being pregnant did NOT work out for me at the time. I was an aspiring track star, for Heaven’s Sake…not some “16 and Pregnant” star (which I must say, was not a show, and thus not popular AT ALL when I was in High School).

So, my only option, I thought, was clear: Abortion.

It was the only way I could maintain my self-centered, cozy, and deceitful lifestyle. It was a Solution to my “Problem.” So, I set out on one of my very first interest- inspired research projects: “How and Where minors can go for an abortion.

Looking back, I just know in my knower, that God shielded me from ever finding ANY conclusive knowledge about how to proceed…that and epically slow and underdeveloped internet searching.  I even looked in the phone book and found nothing.

The whole time, I should note, Justin, had maintained a stance of:

It’s your body and your life, so I will support you in whatever decision you make

and he even helped a little in the “research” phase.

When the searching was inconclusive, I tried to take matters into my own hands. I went with some friends to the infamous Bourbon Street in New Orleans and consumed a whole lot of alcohol, hoping to chemically induce a miscarriage.

When that didn’t work, I threw myself into my track training at school, and literally thought:

If I run fast enough, hard enough, long enough… it will just go away…

This process of self-destruction went on for some time. Until one day at track practice, I was practicing jumping over my hurdles *ironic, right??* and I tripped on one and fell (some poetic justice, for ya)… and it was the first time I allowed myself to think of what affect the fall could have had on *my* baby.

After that, I knew I couldn’t go through with the procedure and tearfully told Justin. As soon as I told him, he joined me in tears of joy.

He was so grateful I had chosen not to end the life of our pre-born child! He even went so far as to say what I was already thinking, that our relationship would surely die with the death of our child.

So, the long and short of it is, that I went through with the pregnancy. I endured the loneliness, the stares, the gossip and felt as if I was wearing the proverbial Scarlett Letter to school everyday as my belly grew.

But, I bore it all knowing I had made the right choice…knowing that the ridicule and ugly thoughts of others would not ultimately be important in the grand scheme of things… and they weren’t.

The beautiful truth, of my first self-less act, gets to be enjoyed everyday through my eldest daughter. She turns 11 in August, boy how the time flies!

It’s funny, but I never think of what my life would have been like if I had continued down that road, without thinking also of what could have been my demise.

So, there it is…My deepest, darkest “secret out in the open for all to see… I hope it is not in vain that I shared this with you.

In fact, if you or someone you know is considering this life-altering “choice” or if you just need someone to talk to, some clarity, or whatever… My door is open… Your key is waiting… No condemnation here…there is healing in the name Jesus.

If you have already gone through with an abortion (it is estimated that 40% of women in the US have had one) and need closure or just someone to listen, please feel free to contact me!


Ps: This song ministers so much to me, and thought I would share it with you too…enjoy!

Something about the Name Jesus

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