With busy mothers in mind, Chelsea Hudson shares simple ideas for how your time, talents, and money can make a real difference in the fight against human trafficking.
“Rape survivors looking for help to cope with their bodies and sex after rape face a vacuum in the information and services available. Pavan Amara speaks to survivors who all wish they had known they weren’t the only ones.”
If you or someone you know is facing abuse or violence of any kind, visit Global Contacts for free helplines and other international resources.
Of her time spent in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Lauren Wolfe writes:
“Each woman has a lifetime of suffering and recovery and life outside of rape to impart and many of them traveled from far away—up to 48 hours of journeying—to do so.
Most of the survivors of rape I met have no idea where to go for help. They rarely go to the police to report: They usually see zero justice for what was perpetrated against them—so why bother? Either they don’t know the identities of the men who attacked them or the perpetrators are caught and then freed, or even sentenced and serve no time and/or don’t pay damages delineated by a court. There is also the very real issue of community shunning or stigma if word gets out.
[Linked above] are the stories of three women whose experiences are deeply personal, yet part of a larger narrative of the brutality against women in Congo. Each story is accompanied with a photograph of a woman in the way she wished to be shown—whether with her face or not.”
Nicholas Kristof writes:
“We think of slavery in terms of those sepia photographs in the history books, the horror that Abraham Lincoln helped end. That’s what I thought when I first reported on sex trafficking in 1996 — and saw a terrified Cambodian teenager being sold for her virginity. She was a slave, I realized, every bit as much as those slaves in the history books.
I never expected to write about the subject again. But when you’ve seen teenage girls locked up and gang raped daily, it’s tough to go back and write about exchange rates. Millions of girls are subjected to this form of modern slavery, and to prove my case, I purchased two girls in Cambodia and left with receipts. When you get a receipt for buying a human being in the 21st century, something is profoundly wrong.
Then I began reporting on the issue here in the United States. I found that the atrocities and scale aren’t as bad as in some foreign countries, but we still have a vast trafficking problem. We don’t have the moral authority to tell other countries what to do until we clean up our own act.
This is also a soluble problem, but that means prioritizing the arrest of pimps, traffickers and customers. So when people ask me why I keep tilting at these windmills and writing about sex trafficking, I think back to that Cambodia teenager, who is probably dead by now of AIDS.
[Linked above] are seven stories about sex trafficking that I wrote over the past 18 years, the ones I cannot forget — a highlight reel of inspiration and heartbreak at once.”
“One warm Thursday evening in the beginning of June, after a decade of marriage, I sat at my kitchen table and listened as a female relative — a child — told me my Christian husband had been sexually abusing her for at least three years. I remember feeling numb. And very calm.
By the next morning the numbness was in competition with a variety of intense and constantly shifting emotions: terror, violent grief, confusion, anxiety, rage.
Remarkably, my husband admitted to the abuse. Of course he only acknowledged to as much as the child could bring herself, with great difficulty, to describe.
This was the man I had laughed with, cuddled with, cried with, and had daughters with. I had known him since we were teenagers. I wondered: was my husband evil? Or was he sick? Could he be healed? And, even if he were to be healed, would I ever be able to trust him again (full post linked above)?”