Wednesday, December 29, 2010

In Their Own Words. Trafficked American Girls.

Every year there are upwards of 50 thousand foreign nationals trafficked into the US. Some for forced labor, many for sex. But there are also tens of thousands of American kids
trafficked each year within our borders. Many are the 300,000 homeless kids living on our streets but some are taken from our neighborhoods, from our schools, from our malls and in the case of 17 year old Shauna, a sleepover....

"I was the new girl at school looking for friends," says Shauna. Another new girl in town invited Shauna for a sleepover in her Pensacola, Fla., neighborhood. A man posing as the girl's father slipped Shauna a drug. She woke up to a nightmare.

“My legs were being held,” she says. “And my head ... my hands were tied like this, above my head. And I remember saying, 'No, please don't do this. Stop.'"

While her parents frantically searched for her, Shauna was drugged, raped and beaten. Investigator Brad Dennis suspected Shauna was a victim of human trafficking, a growing problem in the Florida Panhandle. Investigators spent four days looking for Shauna, she was found but the traffickers escaped. (

Or in Debbies case, her driveway...

Fifteen-year-old "Debbie" is the middle child in a close-knit Air Force family from suburban Phoenix, and a straight-A student . Unbelievably, police say Debbie was kidnapped from her own driveway with her mother right inside.

One evening Debbie, said she got a call from a casual friend, Bianca, who asked to stop by Debbie's house. Wearing a pair of Sponge Bob pajamas, Debbie went outside to meet Bianca, who drove up in a Cadillac with two older men, Mark and Matthew. After a few minutes of visiting, Bianca said they were going to leave.

"So I went and I started to go give her a hug, and that's when she pushed me in the car. "As they sped away from her house, Debbie said that one of the men told Bianca to tie her up and said he threatened to shoot Bianca if she didn't comply. "And she put tape over my eyes," Debbie said. "While she was putting tape on me, Matthew told me if I screamed or acted stupid, he'd shoot me. So I just stayed quiet."

Debbie said her captors drove her around the streets of Phoenix for hours. Exhausted and confused, she was finally taken to an apartment 25 miles from her home. She said one of her captors put a gun to her head. Debbie said she was then drugged by her captors and other men were brought into the room, where she was gang raped.

"And then that's when I heard them say there was a middle-aged guy in the living room that wanted to take advantage of a 15-year-old girl," she said. "And then he goes, 'Bend her over. I want to see what I'm working with.' And that's when he started to rape me. And I see more guys, four other guys had come into the room. And they all had a turn. It was really scary." After the horrifying gang rape, police say Debbie was trapped in one of Phoenix's roughest neighborhoods. In a rundown, garbage-strewn apartment, her captors were trying to break her down.

"They were asking me if I was hungry," she said. "I told them no. That's when they put a dog biscuit in my mouth, trying to get me to eat it."

After a sleepless night, Debbie was tossed back into the car and again driven around Phoenix. She said they talked to her about prostitution, and that one of the men forced her to have sex with him in the car and then later in a park. The same man took her back to his apartment, and Debbie said, "I ended up in the dog kennel."

Greg Scheffer, an officer with the Phoenix police department, said Debbie was kept in a small dog crate for several days. Lying on her back in the tiny space, her whole body went numb."She was subject to various abuses while in there," Scheffer said. "This is all part of the breaking down period where [he] gains complete control of this girl."

Unbeknownst to Debbie, police say her captors had put an ad on Craig's List. Shortly after the ad ran, men began arriving at the apartment at all hours of the day and night demanding sex from her. She said she had to comply. "I had no other choice," she said. Debbie says she was earning her pimp hundreds of dollars a night. Scheffer said Debbie was forced to have sex with at least 50 men -- and that's not counting the men who gang-raped her on a periodic basis. For more than 40 days, police say Debbie remained captive, often beaten and forced daily to have sex of the most degrading kind. During that time, she said she did not try to escape because her captors had done what police say so many pimps do -- threatened her and terrified her. Debbie said that the pimps told her they would go after her family, and they even threatened to throw battery acid on her 19-month-old niece.

"After they told me that, I didn't care what happened to me as long as my family stayed alive," she said. "And that's pretty much what I had in my head. Staying there to keep my family alive." (

Each year, 2 million kids are sexually exploited. Close to a million of those children are trafficked. All over the world, every day, well over 2500 kids are bought and sold. Their childhoods stolen from them, their innocence destroyed. Please help Conspiracy Of Hope stop this evil. Please fund these organizations that are on the front-lines stopping the trafficking and sexual exploitation of children. Thank you.

International Justice Mission

Shared Hope International

Project Rescue

Polaris Project

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Sexual Objectification of Girls and Human Trafficking

A new study by the Parent's Television Council shows an alarming trend in prime-time television, the widespread sexualization of underage girls and boys. In their study they found that underage kids, especially girls, were presented in sexual situations more frequently and with more casualness than that of their adult counterparts. Fashion seems to be following suit with companies such as Diesel making their intentions crystal clear, as with ads like the one below. Sex sells, and for companies like Limited Too, even it seems to kids, as they marketed a whole line of kids thongs a couple years back.

In Japan the obsession with sex and young girls can only be described as mass fetishism. In 1998, Interpol estimated that nearly 80% of the world's Internet-based child pornography websites originated in Japan. This is the same society that had vending machines that dispensed used girl's panties and continues to elevate the sexuality of barely pubescent children through graphic novelization. Lolicon, short for Lolita complex, is one of many types of pornographic renderings of children. Adult versions of Anime and Manga populate the shelves of DVD and book stores. This was one of few "clean" Lolicon images we could find...

Closer to home magazines that boast the title "Barely Legal" and "Just 18" are some of the tamer porn magazines that blur the lines of what is sexually acceptable, depicting girls that look as if they are 14 and 15. And then there is 16 year old Miley Cyrus posing naked with only a piece of fabric draped across her, apparently with her father's consent. What message is this sending young girls who idolize Cyrus? What is this re-enforcing in young girls desperate for their dad's approval?

As child sexuality becomes more pervasive, more socially acceptable, groups like NAMBLA, the National Association for Man Boy Love, up their rhetoric, and break down the resolve of decent society. Is it any wonder that many of the young boys trafficked into America end up in pedophile rings. Susan Song put together a heart-rending report on child sex-tourism. Here is the text. According to her report, American men traveling abroad make up 25% of all sex tourists. One estimate is that half of those sexual encounters are with minors. Travel brochures offering exotic, very young girls, are easily found in some Men's magazines.

Some Japanese men believe that sleeping with a virgin can bring great luck, renewed vitality, and sexual prowess. Japanese men traveling to Thailand are, percentage wise, the largest group visiting brothels. Many pay large premiums to rape a virgin girl. Their American and European counterparts aren't far behind in their desire for underage girls. In Cambodia 35% of prostitutes are underage. In Mumbai, India there are an estimated 100,000 underage girls in brothels. Supply meets demand, and in societies that continue to fetishize children, demand increases, desire increases, and more and more children are bought and sold into sexual slavery.

Please help stop the sexual exploitation and trafficking of children by supporting organizations that fight this evil.

International Justice Mission

Shared Hope International

Project Rescue

Polaris Project

Thank you from all of us at Conspiracy Of Hope.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Giving Freedom.

In case you were off planet...traffic is gridlocked, tempers are fomenting, and the great machine of retail is whining in high gear, wrapped in red and green....Happy Holidays!!

We at Conspiracy Of Hope want to extend you our warmest wishes in that regard. May your winter be white with days full of cheer, of good food, and family and friends. May your nights be warm with roaring fires and peaceful reflection.

And while we are enjoying those things, may we be ever mindful of the children of the world still enslaved. Some, God forbid, by manufacturers who use their labor to make the goods we give as gifts. May we always remember the young girls caged in brothels, may we keep them dear to our hearts, and for those young boys trapped in conflicts as child soldiers, may we never forget to keep them in our prayers.

And if you can, why not send them a gift. There are several organizations that offer a chance for you to give children freedom this holiday season. Some even have gifts made by freed slaves and survivors of sex trafficking. Here are some links:

International Justice Mission

Love 146

Not For Sale

She Dances

Made By Survivors

Thank you!!!!!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Hunger And Human Trafficking.

In his book "Children Of Hope" Vernon Brewer asks "What would you do if your children were so weak from hunger, so in pain but too weak to cry? Would you do whatever it took to feed them?" The question answers itself really. But would you steal? Would you sell your body? Would you be susceptible to every false promise? Would you be susceptible to being trafficked? Would you consider selling one child to save four others? What would you do if these were your children....

Kevin Carter's Pulitzer prize winning picture of a starving Sudanese child.  Below children eating bugs to survive.

And because they are not our children. Because they are far away, with dark skin, in countries whose names we cannot pronounce. Do we care less? Or maybe not at all?

Hunger and hunger related illness kills 40,000 children a day. 14 million children a year. That's the equivalent of eighty-five Boeing 747s crashing everyday and killing every passenger. Or 34,000 crashes a year. That would stay in the headlines. Every headline, of every news show, every day. But starvation doesn't. Human Trafficking. Doesn't.

The desperation that those statistics represent is the daily reality for a fifth of the world. It is one of the gravest factors that leads to exploitation. If we are going to stop human trafficking in our lifetime we are going to have to remove the precipitating factors that create the environment where the cancer of trafficking thrives.

I almost didn't post the picture below. To be honest I hoped it was a fake. A photo-shopped piece of journalistic propaganda. Apparently not. You may not want to look. It may make you ashamed to be human....I know it does me...

Hunger, that makes a child do this, should not be able to exist in a world where so much excess and waste exist. This is not ok.

Here are some organizations that fight global hunger:

Stop Hunger Now

World Vision

World Food Programme

Bread For The World

Food For The Hungry