Friday, November 26, 2010

Thinking outside of myself: "How would you fight?"

I've been doing a lot of much needed personal journaling lately about the past year and so I haven't really had time to pop on here and write anything new for a few days. I've decided to take a break, though, for something important.

Tonight I watched CNN Heroes :)

I feel kind of frustrated with myself now... I won't lie.

I just feel a little disapointed in myself for only being moved to 'make a change in the world' whenever someone talks about it on TV or whenever a store is campaining for a charity. Besides the moments when I'm shopping or the moments when I stumble upon a TV show that's raising awareness for others who have less in the world... I carry on blissfully, worrying only for my own problems, and pretending that my laundry pile that's been steadily climbing up my bedroom wall, is the biggest issue in the world.

I've become the person who only gets upset about world issues when someone brings it up or when I hear about it on the radio. I hate that person; I think that person is concieved and inconsiderate of other's hurts and pains... alas, that person is who I've become. Complacency is a terrible thing to allow into your life.

I need to change!

So I've decided that once a month I'm going to write in my blog about an issue that the world is facing now or highlight someone in need and a way in which I can help to change it/make this pretty world in which we live a better place. Everyone can make a difference and I guess if I have a goal then it'll keep me on track.

If I can ever find time to blog that is! Little Hav is so demanding of my attention lately. On a side note today I was kind of irritated with him all day while trying to get things down (ie laundry, eating, cleaning, sleep in general, showering etc. ;). He's been so fussy and naggy and I couldn't put my finger on what exactly was wrong. Finally, I put him on my lap and just talked to him. He was. in. Haven heaven. All he wanted was a little bit of his Mommy's attention. He smiled and laughed and did that funny 'spit all over the place/blowing out of his slobbery lips' thing that I truely do love (I'm not even being sarcastic there; it really does warm up my heart). Then shortly after those happy moments together I felt something warm on his back; yup... Haven poo. all over my hand (how in the heck it gets all the way up his back I will never understand).

Ya give some, ya get some. Ha. :)

Haven looking pretty impressed with himself after he got Havie poo all over me, the bed, my shirt, his shirt and is just freshly bathed body.

Back on the 'world issues' thing (even though I could probably spend all day on the cute things Havie does ;).

So at the beginning of the blog I mentioned that I watched a show called CNN Heroes. It was so completely inspiring. It show cased 10 different people; ordinary people with extraordinary hearts. None of them were famous or really popular at all; but all of them had devoted their lives to helping those of others. They were all committed to making a change.

Check out these beautiful/amazing/inspiring people here. Donate! Every little bit helps!

I could spend hours talking about every single one of them; I do wish that I could. But Mommy-hood is calling and Hav needs lovin' too. Thus, I will only have time to talk about one of these truely amazing people today.

Her name is Anuradha Koirala. She works to rehabilitate women and children who have been raped and abused; their innosence and child hoods stolen through the sex-trafficking industry.

Here's some information that I got from a website;

 Sex trafficking has become a multi-billion dollar business, and is the third most profitable business for organized crime, after drugs and arms dealing. Due to its very nature, the exact statistics of sex trafficking are extremely hard to estimate. Anywhere from 700,000 and 4 million women and children are trafficked for the purpose of sex and sexual exploitation every year.

Every thirty seconds, another person becomes a victim. Women are lured by traffickers with false promises of low-skilled jobs such as domestic help, models, and other jobs, and are then forced to work as prostitutes.

Traffickers tell the girls that they need to work off debts of thousands of dollars or more. They then are forced to sleep with upwards of twenty men a day at twenty dollars a piece. Out of this the women themselves earn only $3, which goes towards paying off their “debts.” Physical violence, rape, retention of legal documents, as well as the girls’ fear of deportation and corrupt police effectively enable traffickers to enslave these women.

The men these women are forced to sleep with don’t use condoms, affectively increasing the rate of STD’s, including AIDS, especially in countries where sleeping with a virgin is considered a cure for AIDS. If one of these girls happens to become pregnant, they are forced to undergo abortions, the price of which is then added onto their “debts”. The traffickers tell the girls that they have to pay for room, board, the amount it cost to get them into the country, and various other things.

They are denied basic medical care and are subjected to horrific human rights violations. The age of the average trafficking victim is becoming younger and younger. Girls as young as 7 are being trafficked for child prostitution. The average age of prostitutes being trafficked into certain Asian brothels is 14. In South America, children as young as 12 are being kidnapped off the streets and then trafficked into Mexico. In the United States, trafficking has started to become a large problem.

An estimated 14,500 and 17,500 women and children are trafficked into the United States each year, with New York, California, and Florida having the most cases. Since victims of trafficking usually don’t speak out for fear of retaliation, they are usually arrested for prostitution and then deported back to their home country, with no consequences to the traffickers or the brothel owners.

The leading causes of death among trafficked women are, in this order, homicide, suicide, drug and alcohol related problems, HIV infection and accidents. The homicide rate is 17% higher among victims of trafficking then the average.

Due to certain trafficking laws and legislation in some countries, human trafficking can be an extremely profitable business--with very low risks. According to INTERPOL, trafficking generated $19 billion annually.

The emotional and psychological impact of trafficked women is horrendous. Over half of trafficking victims have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The severity of their PTSD symptoms are equivalent to those of treatment-seeking combat veterans and refugees from state organized torture.

This is a deppressing topic, I know. To be honest I think that a lot of people have a hard time actually talking about it. It's kind of like a... no touch zone. Nobody really wants to admit that something this terrible... this dark and twisty... is actually happening. But it is.

And it's a very real reality for the children and women who are forced into it. Can you imagine? I for one, cannot. I can't imagine it. I just can't. And I will not accept it.

In regards to her time in a brothel I watched one young girl, aged 13, 'matter-of-factly' say "I usually 'serviced' 25 - 30 men a day". For goodness sakes. She makes it sound like an auto shop and they came in for the routine oil change.

In closing I'd like to finish off with this quote:

"Just imagine what would happen if your daughter was standing there... What would you do? How would you fight? So you have to join hands. You have to take each child as your daughter."

- Anuradha Koirala

I don't have a daughter. I have a son. So I guess I cannot put myself into this specific scenario but I know that boys are involved in this industry as well. What if it was my baby? Even the thought of it starts pumping adrenaline into my veins. How would I fight? I would do anything. I would use every ounce of my energy to protect him and wouldn't stop untill I was dead.

I don't know what there is in hell but I'm sure that it's filled with twisted things like this.

There are foundations like the one that Anuradha has formed that you can donate to. There are other foundations as well like the Somaly Mam foundation. I can't very well travel across the world, though some day I hope to be able too, but these women can make a change but they need help financially.

Let's put an end to the Sex Trafficking of Women and children!

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