Wednesday, April 25, 2012

MSNBC: Sex Slavery Documentary

I finally got around to watching the four hour documentary MSNBC broad casted earlier in February.  The stories documented in this were unlike anything I had heard or seen before. They included different tactics of trafficking and manipulating the victims.

Sex Slaves: The Teen Slave
This story was about a girl at the age of 15 who took an offer from a cute guy she had met at school for a ride home. She had just moved to Detroit and started attending a new school.  He stopped to show her his house, started kissing her and then raped her. The shame from the rape was carried with her and stopped her from seeking help, since she was raised religiously. Soon after, she was shown pictures that the boy’s cousins had taken during her rape. They were used as blackmail and she had to ‘earn the right to get them back.’ The boy and his cousins led her to the basement and said that she would do what they said and they gang raped her. For two years, they would call her in the middle of the night and force her to come over and service men they were bringing in. This would happen 3-4 nights a week. She would be called, raped in the range of 10-20 times a night, go back to her house, get up for school and the cycle would happen all over again. The boys made threats against her family if she were to speak of the crimes being done against her.  The story ends when her family relocates again, due to her father’s job. 

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Holiday Shopping

Its that time of year again where most of us indulge in consumerism. It is important to note that we have the power as consumers to make conscious decisions that making positive waves worldwide. As you shop, keep in mind the fact that our purchases can empower women worldwide instead of fueling slavery. I am compiling a list as I explore all the businesses out there that provide us with great options for gifts and holiday items.

Raven +Lily: a beautiful earthy jewelry, paper goods and bath product socially responsible brand dedicated to empowering women through design partnerships and sustainable economic opportunities.

Not For Sale Store:Not For Sale equips and mobilizes Smart Activists to deploy innovative solutions to re-abolish slavery in their own backyards and across the globe. Sells apparel like above, jewelry, bags, etc.

Beza Threads: When you purchase a scarf from this store, you are investing in a good made by girls rescued from forced prostitution. Every scarf sold is a night off the street for a child.

Thistle Farms: Thistle Farms is the social enterprise that is run by the women of Magdalene, a residential program for women who have survived lives of violence, prostitution and addiction. By hand, the women create natural bath and body products that are as good for the earth as they are for the body.

Made by Survivors is a project and business that employes survivors of sexual exploitation and trafficking to make jewelry, bags and other goods.

If you have any other sites you buy from or know of, please let me know and I will add them!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Made by Survivors

Made by Survivors is a project and business that employes survivors of sexual exploitation and trafficking. Their mission includes: improving the lives of slavery survivors through economic empowerment and education, assisting rescue shelters by using job programs, improving rehabilitation and reintegration, giving survivors the tools to rebuild their own safe and slavery-free lives, raising awareness about slavery and engage people to action, and preventing trafficking among high risk communities such as red light districts and refugee camps.

Made by Survivors provides survivors with economic empowerment and a sense of worthy, which is especially important due to the ostracization many face in their communities.  Below is Srey's story from Made by Survivors.

Srey’s life got off to a rough start. Her family was so poor, they feared for their childrens’ survival.  When their mother died, Srey and her younger sister (aged 11 and 8) were sold for $150 each to a brothel in Phnom Penh. Srey does not like to speak of this dark time. Thankfully the girls were rescued and sent to an AFESIP orphanage, where they were able to enjoy a normal childhood and attend school.

Eventually, Srey chose to train in the tailoring program. She joined AFESIP Fair Fashion at the age of 18, and went on to become a team captain. Srey is incredibly committed to her work – she often chooses to work even during break times, and takes a personal stake in the quality of each and every order.

When AFESIP Fair Fashion first moved into the rural village of Kompong Cham, the community was generally appalled and unwelcoming.  ‘We don’t want those bad girls!’ people said.  The village members feared that Srey and the other survivors would spread AIDS or low moral conduct in the community.  It is very common for survivors to be blamed and stigmatized for what was done to them, especially if they were trafficked for sexual exploitation.

However, in Cambodian culture, a woman who earns is respected. As some of the highest wage earners in the village, and with their gracious smiles and professional behavior, Srey and the other survivors soon won over the village headman and the entire community.Srey met and married a young man from the community, so production was interrupted for a giant wedding. When I last visited the workshop, she was expecting her first child.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Rape of Haitian Man by UN "peace"keepers

Sound a little like the UN "peace"keepers in Bosnia during the war in 1992? Unfortunately yes. My blog usually focuses on violence against women but I needed to make an exception to highlight something I have not been able to stop thinking about today. About the abuse of power, about the sick nature of men who rape, and about the act of rape. Sometimes we think that men rape just because they are sexually inclined to do so (pleasure seeking)- as in the men who purchase sex slaves. But I think this case and many others it goes far beyond that, especially when it was a male who was a victim. In the video ( Please do not watch unless you are mentally ready to watch the rape) the UN "peace"keeper uses rape to break the man's will and to physically show the man's inferiority and lack of power and control. Rape is used as a weapon, but one that does far more damage internally to the mind and soul than a knife or gun or fist.

Slaves Held for 15 Years Found in UK

Today in the UK, there were 24 slaves found in horse boxes, dog kennels, and caravans, marking "one of the worst cases of modern day slavery ever discovered."  They had no running water or electricity and some may have been held against their will there for over 15 years. Police know of many who managed to escape the site, but of many who were sold off to work in other countries. The trafficked victims were lured and brought to this site from soup kitchens and other temporary shelters in the city by personnel running this slave-holding site.. Four people are being held responsible for this horrendous act of human trafficking and modern day slavery.

To read more or to watch a video on this incident- visit: