Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Power Of One

It has been a long time since I've posted in this blog. It's not that I haven't been involved in fighting human trafficking, I certainly have. I've been super-busy with several things, one of them being planning an event that took place this past Friday. It was called The Power Of One and it was amazing! We had Amber Robinson, author of Mercy Rising; Theresa Flores, author of The Slave Across The Street; Peter Everett, the Chief Operations Officer of Destiny Rescue; Rob Morris, co-founder of Love146; musicians, artists, over 15 organizations, and more. It was a great night.

You can watch what took place, it streamed live over the internet, and now it is archived on TheUGTV.

Watch live streaming video from theug at livestream.com

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Rapha House Girl Visits Her Mother In Prison

Try and watch this and not be moved - it's a video of a girl whose mother is in prison for trafficking her kids. She decides she wants her mom to have a pillow and blanket, so she brings them to her (along with food and other things).

Wow.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Fragile By Ten Shekel Shirt

I owe the band Ten Shekel Shirt a lot - after all, listening to them and then reading up on what they were about was one of the ways I started on this journey towards becoming an abolitionist.

One of my favorite songs of their latest CD is the song Fragile. I was wondering if they were ever going to put a video with this song. And now they have! Thanks Lamont and Ten Shekel Shirt for what you stand for and what you stand against.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Power Of One

It has once again been a long time since I've posted anything in this blog, but it's not because I have been slacking with fighting human trafficking! In fact, over the last couple of weeks, I've been working hard with a couple of others in planning what I think is going to be a great event!

It's called "The Power Of One", and it's going to be held at The Underground, which is a concert venue in Cincinnati. It will be held on 1.11.11 (get it? The Power of One?), which is also the official National Day of Human Trafficking Awareness. We are lining up guest speakers, musical artists and other artists, as well as trying to get other organizations in Ohio and beyond involved in helping us make this awareness event a success!

If you would like to help in any way, please contact me at young[dot]adam7[at]gmail[dot]com.

More information is on the way!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Ohio's Dirty Sex Secret

Here's an article about how trafficking is rising in the state of Ohio. Scary.

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A new report shows Ohio has become the new hotbed for human trafficking.

It's illegal, but some say state lawmakers aren't doing enough to stop it.

You may think this is all about prostitution and sex.

Surprisingly, we found people, many times children, are not only being forced to become sex slaves, but also forced into slave labor.

And, it could be happening right in your own backyard.

Ohio is often referred to as the Midwest with cornfields and solid family values.

However, the Buckeye State's image of good old fashion values has been shattered by a new report from the Trafficking In Persons Study Commission.

"It's a $44 billion a year industry. It's the second largest in a criminal enterprise in the world and the fastest growing and we don't even have a state law making it a felony," explained Debbie Porter of End Slavery Cincinnati.

Porter spent a day in Columbus in April urging state lawmakers to pass a law that will make trafficking in persons a felony offense.

"He drugged me, which I didn't know, and raped me," said Theresa Flores of Columbus. That is how Flores says her nightmare began when she was 15-years-old living in a Detroit suburb.

She says a student from her school raped her and had his cousins take pictures of the crime.

Flores says she was then blackmailed over the next two years and forced to have sex with men, with the promise that she would get the pictures back. She says they also threatened to kill her family if she didn't cooperate.

"Being locked away for person after person after person to come in until they decided to take me home," said Flores.

Flores, who now runs a shelter for child sex victims outside Columbus, went public with her story to bring more attention to human trafficking.

Jessica Donohue-Dioh with End Slavery Cincinnati says as shocking as Theresa's story is...it is not an isolated case.

"Several of the cases that we've had come up in Cincinnati have been forced labor cases. In a couple of the cases, they were recruited from other countries and brought to the U.S. on the grounds that they were going to have a wonderful opportunity here to build their life and have employment," Donohue-Dioh explained.

Donohue-Dioh says with few laws in Ohio to punish human traffickers, many are setting up shop in the state.

"They were put into housing with sometime over 15 people in a house and being charged things like $100 or $150 a week in rent. Well, they weren't being given enough work to earn enough to pay even just the weekly rent. So, what ended up happening is that they ended up being in debt bondage," added Donohue-Dioh.

Senate Bill 235 would make human trafficking a felony in the State of Ohio.

However, State Senator, Bill Seitz, from the 8th District, says he wants to be careful that the legislation doesn't target the wrong people.

"We want to target this legislation at the people we're really concerned about. The head of the tapeworm, the pimps, the organized rings of pimps who are forcing young women into these degrading activities. We want to get them, but we don't want to cast the net so wide that now we have our jails full of those who are at the bottom of the chain, those who patronize these prostitutes."

End Slavery Cincinnati says if you suspect someone is a victim of human trafficking, you can make an anonymous call to a national hotline.

The number is 1(888)373-7888.

In the meantime, Senate Bill 235 is still in committee at the Ohio Statehouse.

Senator Seitz says he would like to see the legislation passed by the end of the year.

If you would like to learn more about former sex-slave Theresa Flores and her story, you can read her book "Slave Across The Street".

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Rapha House Birthday Party


I thought this was really cool:

Aiden Palmer just celebrated her eleventh birthday. It wasn't your typical party for an eleven-year-old. But, then, Aiden is not your typical eleven-year-old.

The invitations to her party read: "My WISH is for a brighter life, not for me but for the victims of human trafficking." And her guests were instructed not to bring any gifts but only donations to benefit Rapha House.

Leading up to her party Aiden wore a different Rapha House tee shirt to school every day for a week. She called it "Impact Week" and wanted to tell as many people as possible about Rapha House and human trafficking. (Once she even wore her Rapha House tee shirt to the doctor's office and had a chance to talk her doctor about human trafficking.)

On the day of her party, Aiden wore another Rapha House tee shirt as she greeted her guests. During the party, they laughed and ate some cake that displayed a Rapha House logo. Then the girls watched a short homemade video about life in Cambodia.

My daughter Karen Johnson shared a little about Rapha House with the moms who attended. Altogether about $450 was raised at Aiden's birthday party to benefit the girls at Rapha House.

Thursday, April 29, 2010