March is Women’s History Month and all month media outlets, networks and websites have been sharing stories of remarkable achievements by women, both famous and little known. In the patriarchal society of our nation—and for that matter, much of the world—this recognition is long overdue. As a long-time educator, I’ve witnessed first-hand the difference so many women teachers have made in the lives of children of various ages, races and backgrounds.
It is no overstatement to say that a great many female teachers have saved the lives—intellectually, psychologically and even physically—of thousands of children.
But today I’d like to call attention to a group of women and girls who seldom make the network news or catch the attention of the press. Even as we salute the accomplishments of outstanding women, we should use this time to reflect on the fate of a huge group of women who never get recognized or even acknowledged, those who are sacrificed in the same patriarchal society—the victims of human trafficking.
Just a few stats about this horrible exploitation may suffice:
Today there are almost FOUR MILLION women trapped into human trafficking and slavery worldwide.
In the U.S. alone, it is estimated that more than 5000 TEEN GIRLS (usually runaways) are sucked into the world of prostitution and human trafficking each year.
Profits from the illicit trade of human trafficking are estimated to be a staggering $120 billion annually!
There are more people—women and men—trapped in human trafficking and slavery today than at any time in human history.
Perhaps, though, the saddest aspect of this horrific scourge on the human race is the
fact that hardly anyone notices. Although cases like Jeffrey Epstein and fashion mogul Peter Nygard, have garnered some headlines, the toll of human trafficking goes largely unrecognized.
The networks of prostitution and human trafficking operate in every state in the U.S. and every country in the world, but these crimes are seldom a priority for either the news media or the police.
“An injustice that goes unnoticed is an Injustice that goes unchallenged.”—Equal, Not Exploited
That’s why, two years ago, when I wrote my latest novel, CRIMSON AT CAPE MAY, I chose to set the murder mystery in the center of the far greater plague of human trafficking. My hope is that, as readers work to solve the whodunnit or indulge in the eerie ghost story or even savor the sweet romance of Darrell and Erin, they will also gain an insight into this very ugly world. And perhaps, just perhaps, they will choose to educate themselves about the problem of human trafficking and what they can do about it.
So, this month as we acknowledge the voices of amazing women of all races,
backgrounds and ages, let’s also take a few moments to ponder the fate of women who can’t speak for themselves--those trapped in the web of human trafficking.
Below are a few of the organizations and groups fighting these horrific crimes and
working to rescue victims of human trafficking. Click on them to learn more about their heroic efforts and what you can do to help.
At DeliverFund, their focus is to use technology to create and maintain the most comprehensive database of criminal human traffickers and share this information with law enforcement. They also use these resources to identify trafficking victims and, once rescued, get them help and support.
The National Center on Sexual Exploitation is focused on addressing all forms of sexual
abuse, exposing systems of sexual exploitation and seeking the healing of victims.
Rights4Girls is focused on creating a world where girls can live out their potential and changing policies that criminalize girls trapped in gender based violence.
The Equality Model Organization prioritize decriminalizing those who have trafficked,
providing support who those who escape the sex trade and holding accountable those who profit from sex trafficking.
You can check out my new novel, CRIMSON AT CAPE MAY here.