Well…I’m back!!

I needed that break more than I thought (some observations to come in tomorrow’s post!).

But today, I’m gonna tell you all some pretty grim things.  Just bear with me, because there is some GOOD in this post as well.

DID YOU KNOW?

  • There are between 27 and 30 MILLION slaves right now.  About 80% of these are women and children forced into the sex industry.
  • An estimated 12.3 million men, women and children are trafficked for commercial sex or forced labor around the world today.
  • Trafficking is estimated to be a $32 BILLION industry, affecting 161 countries worldwide.

{Source}

And how about in the States?  Yes, human trafficking and sex trade happens here as well!

According to the PolarisProject, North Carolina has some of the highest numbers of human/sex trafficking victims in the nation!

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WHY DOES THIS HAPPEN??

Labor trafficking and sex trafficking of U.S. citizens and foreign nationals persist and thrive for a number of reasons, including:

  1. Low Risk: When the community is unaware of this issue, when government and community institutions are not trained to respond, when there are ineffective or dormant laws to address the crime, when safety nets for victims do not exist, and when law enforcement does not investigate and prosecute the crime, human traffickers perceive little risk or deterrence to affect their criminal operations.
  2. High Profits: When individuals are willing to buy commercial sex, they create a market and make it profitable for traffickers to sexually exploit children and adults.
    When consumers are willing to buy goods and services from industries that rely on forced labor, they create a profit incentive for labor traffickers to maximize revenue with minimal production costs.

Left unchecked, human trafficking will continue to flourish in environments where traffickers can reap substantial monetary gains with relatively low risk of getting caught.  {source}

A big, disgusting problem!

But people are trying to STOP this industry!  (SEE….there IS some good in this post!)

Yesterday morning, runners and walkers alike met up across the country and completed the Run For Their Lives 5k.

 

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If you’ve been a long-time reader, you might remember that I hosted this race last year in my hometown, Franklin.  Yesterday, I continued that streak and my hope is to continue hosting the R4TL 5k for many, many years to come.

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It was cold.  It was early.  There was running involved (Travis in his Vibrams and me, a little tired from running the course twice – one to mark it off and one for the actual race).

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(side note – I was SO proud of Travis!  He is most certainly NOT a runner.  He hates running.  But he ran this race for ME – to support me and to be there for me.  Thanks, darling!  He did pretty great too – under 26 minutes!  And because I know some will ask – I ran, but didn’t race, and kept Katy company.  We finished in 23:05!)

All in all, 25 people came together to raise awareness against human trafficking.

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All of the money we raised goes to an organization called Freedom 4 24.

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For $24, these racers bought a girl from a brothel for 24 hours. One day of freedom.

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A day in which they will receive medical care, a shower, food, clothes and anything else they need.  They’ll also receive LOVE.  Unfortunately, since prostitution isn’t illegal in some countries, Freedom 4 24 will have to return these girls to the brothel.  It’s very sad, but also a step in the right direction.  Most girls in the sex industry are there because they were either trafficked or their parents forced them into the business of prostitution to find a better level of living or just to survive. A woman who leaves prostitution is forsaking her family. It’s a huge decision for a girl to “abandon” her family.  It is a disgrace.  In many countries, while prostitution is illegal, it is embraced as “normal.” {source}

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So this race and the money raised serves to get the ball rolling on FREEDOM for many girls, some as young as FIVE.

It starts with a day.

And yesterDAY, we helped!

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————-

We are the light.  We have to shine LIGHT into these dark places. 

Find a cause.  It doesn’t have to be sex trafficking.  It can be anything worthwhile. 

Help SOMEBODY!  DO GOOD!  FIGHT for GOOD!

QUESTION:  Did you know about this huge problem?  What cause(s) do you get behind?

splendid…lindsay

  1. Sarah @ The Smart Kitchen says:

    I am so impressed by your passion for this run, and thank you for bringing this to light! It is scary to think about what is happening right here in our own country, state, town, because we are often so focused on the “bigger picture” of the world outside of the U.S.

  2. Kristen @ notsodomesticated says:

    I’m a part of Passion City Church in Atlanta (with Louie Giglio), and our church has been doing a lot of work related to slavery in this country and around the world. I had no idea how prevalent it still was until I started attending PCC. Passion has a huge conference for college-age students every year, and through the conference last year, $3.5 million was raised for the cause. Pretty amazing, but of course, just the beginning! You can check it out here: http://268generation.com/passion2013/freedom/, if people are interested. Thanks for talking about this important issue, Lindsay!

    • olviya ivanov@servingsisters.com says:

      I went to Passion in Atlanta last year, and that is where I first heard of how crazy sex trafficing truly is. I love how involved PCC is in raising awareness and money for this cause! Thanks for sharing Kristen, and Lindsey you truly rock! Hosting a race like this is incredible.

  3. Danielle says:

    Wow! All this information is shocking! It’s so sad to see that things like this are still happening in our world. Thank you for bringing light to the situation. Congratulations to you and all the race participants for helping these people out. I would love to participate in something like this myself.

  4. Laura @ Mommy Run Fast says:

    Awesome cause for a race- what a great way to gain exposure for it. Since moving here, I’ve learned that Houston is one of the largest human trafficking cities in the US. Our church works to raise awareness as well. I’d join you if I could! :)

  5. Ericka @ The Sweet Life says:

    Wow, so cool Lindsay! I think it’s so great that you organized this and it encourages me to really get moving on a 5k I am considering (Run for Congo Women.) I am especially interested in your post today because I just started reading “Half the Sky” — have you heard of it? It’s all about sex trafficking around the world and has recently been turned into a documentary> I’m sure you’d be really interested if you have’t already read it. Congrats on the race!

  6. Katie @ Talk Less, Say More says:

    Congrats on the race and on doing something good for others. I love to run and after my first race last month, I love the races too, but I love it even more when I know my race fee is going to help someone. It feels so much better because I feel like I’m really doing something worthwhile with my passion.

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