Why One Dress?

Many of the girls who are trafficked only have One Dress.
We are wearing One Dress to remind us each day that wearing only One Dress is reality for these girls.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

People Need to be Educated

Today I stumbled upon a blog that had been posted on the AJC.

"Here’s your sign: Pimp’s van a clue for cops


A man stupid enough to emblazon “Ho Hauler” on his pimp van pleaded guilty to the sex trafficking of children in federal court Wednesday. Fox 6 in Milwaukee reports 37-year-old Sean Patrick recruited and transported girls under the age of 18 for acts of prostitution. He transported the teens in a gold 1992 Chevrolet conversion van with the offensive words inscribed on the front quarter panel, according to court documents. Prosecutors say Patrick punished his victims by choking them, stomping them or making them stand naked in the street next to the van. Patrick, who was previously convicted of shooting and killing a man over a dispute about prostitutes, could spend the rest of his life in prison. As part of a plea agreement he agreed to give up $10,000 in profits and the van."

The comments at the end of the article caught my eye and deeply saddened me.

"Pimp van! I’ve found my last minute halloween costume."
"WHAT? I reported this van stolen three weeks ago. If anyone should get the profits, I should."

I don't understand how people can make jokes about an article on child sex trafficking. And why would a person even want to jokingly claim a van and the profits from a van used for prostituting out minors? Sadly I think this another sign that so much education is STILL needed in today's society as far as child sex trafficking goes.


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

What's in a name?

I remembering growing up hearing that age old question about if a rose would smell as sweet if it were named something other than rose. What is in a name? Does it really matter?

It can matter a ton.

For some reason the stories of children rescued from sex trafficking are told very differently if the child is found overseas versus in the US. Overseas we reconize the children to be victims. Here in the US we call them prostitutes.

There is  a SIGNIFICANT difference between saying 'child prostitute' and 'a child forced into prostitution'. One marks the child as a criminal and the other as a victim. One brings shame while the other brings dignity.

Did the child drive to the hotel? No. Did the child pay with a credit card for the hotel room? No. Did the child transport himself/herself across the country from one big sporting event to another? No.

Are you talking to your child(ren) about sex trafficking???

EVERY child - boy or girl - any income level - one parent household or two parent household - is at risk.

Don't think your child could be at risk? Do they ever go online? Do they video chat? Do they have myspace? Would a modeling offer be tempting? Your child and your child's friends are at risk.

We need to be educating and training our youth not just so that they might be safe, but so that they also might be able to prevent their friends and classmates from getting manipulated and lured into child sex trafficking.

the average age in Atlanta: 14 years old
the average age in the US: 12 years old

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Serve, Learn and Volunteer Day

Street Grace is hosting another 'Serve, Learn and Volunteer Day' this September 17th from 9 AM to 12 PM at Stand Up for Kids, 83 Walton Street, Atlanta, GA.

BE A MENTOR, TUTOR OR GENERAL VOLUNTEER.  You have a skill…we need it.  You like working with kids…so do we.  Come find out what all you have in common with STAND UP FOR KIDS!

To register for the event, follow this link.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Host a Screening of "At the End of Slavery" for just $15.

The International Justice Mission has a groundbreaking film called "At the End of Slavery: The Battle for Justice in our Time - If history has shown us that the monster of slavery assumes new forms, it also has shown us that its oppressive systems crumble in the face of those who heartily oppose them. It is our collective responsibility to oppose slavery in the time given to us. History is on our side."

"Host a Screening: The most important thing you can do today to end slavery is to open eyes to the atrocities of this crime and help grow the movement of people united to end the trade in human lives. We can win the fight against slavery – but it will take all of us. Host an At the End of Slavery house party and engage your community in the battle for justice in our time. Start planning your event today – and don’t forget to register your party." For $15, you can receive 2 copies of the film, as well as resources to help you plan a successful house party. To find out more, click here.

International Justice Mission is a human rights agency that secures justice for victims of slavery, sexual exploitation and other forms of violent oppression. For more information on their work click here.

The news isn't always so bad...

For more information, read WSB's article: Grant will help fight Atlanta's child sex trade
 

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Why Should we Care?

This will be my last post on this blog.  Unfortunately, I was not as diligent as I’d hope this past month, and I do apologize sincerely to all of you who read it regularly.  I learned a lot through this experience—about sex trafficking, yes, but also about my own vanity and how much importance our society places on our clothing.  We are quick to size people up based on what they have on, but really, it’s our hearts that matter.

So I wanted to make this last post a call to action—not to any specific issue necessarily, but generally, to care about the poor and broken in our communities and around the world.   I’m not an expert on this issue, either theologically or practically, and I’m not going to be pretend to be; these are just my thoughts.

The issue of social justice can be a polarizing one in Christian communities.  On one side there are those who feel that the only thing that matters is whether or not a person has faith in Christ; everything else is irrelevant.  On the other side are those who believe that all that matters is caring for the poor and “doing” good in the world.

I think both sides are right.  When this life fades away, Christ really IS the only thing that counts.  This life, with all of its troubles and sorrows and injustice, is only temporary. 

But. 

Scripture never divorces the Gospel from social justice.  The Bible reveals a God whose heart is for the poor, the widow, the orphan, and the sick.  The Old Testament law contains many directives concerning how we conduct business and use our talents and treasure to restore peace to our communities.  The prophets speak out against social injustice.  In the New Testament, God Incarnate walks among the lowly in society, becoming lowly Himself.  He tells us that in the end we will be judged based on what we did “for the least of these.”  

The two greatest commandments are to love God with everything we have and to love our neighbors as ourselves, neither of which can be achieved on our own power or abilities.  But I think all too often we Christians stay in our safe middle-class bubbles.  Maybe we do it out of fear, or maybe we do it because deep down, we haven’t really been changed by grace.  For one reason or another, we’re reluctant to get our hands dirty.

But we were all made in the image of God.  The face of God can be seen in every man, woman, and child, no matter how poor or disabled or sick or broken or weary or different.  These people are our neighbors, and we are called to love them and give generously. 

Every dime I have, every advantage I’ve been given in this life is not of my own making. It all comes from the Father.  Who am I to refuse to give it back to Him? 

I am far from perfect.  I am often selfish with my time and my money.  My heart is very much sinful and a work in progress (very slow progress, most days).  I nevertheless pray that my heart would be so changed by the grace of God that I would love what He loves and desire what He desires, no matter the cost.


For more (and better) reading on the subject, here are a few of my recommendations:  Ministries of Mercy (Tim Keller), Generous Justice (Tim Keller), To Live in Peace (Mark Gornik)