On Friday nights, I like to eat out. Just something about me. I’ve worked hard all week. I’m sure that I’ve contributed to the preparation of more than one meal during the week. It’s my thing.
This Friday night, mom and I went to a local dive bar for some good seafood. Prices are good. Food is good. Beer is cold. What more could a gal want?
On our way, we passed a shopping center in Westville that I pass at least 5-6 times a week. I saw a storefront for a “physical therapy” business. Open at 7PM. On a Friday night. With darkened windows. And a huge, neon “Open” sign. Does any of this strike you as…I don’t know…odd?
Did you know that Philadelphia is one of the cities in the US through which thousands of men, women and children are trafficked in the US? By trafficked, I mean brought into our country (or through our country) to be sold as slaves. Could be a domestic “servant” in a home. Could be someone who picked the greens and vegetables in the salad you had for dinner last night. Could be a woman who is housed in a storefront labeled physical therapy with darkened windows, a big neon “Open” sign, who is forced to have sex with men. The slave owner (I mean the person who brought her here with the hope of freedom and the reality of forced prostitution) makes money off of the woman’s shame and the man’s lust. The woman gets diseases, emotionally destroyed, loses hope in the goodness of the world.
My friend is a crusader in the fight against human trafficking. She’s opened my eyes to what is hidden in plain sight. One day her name will be commonly known…though when she reads this, she may vomit 😀
Keep your eyes open. No matter where in the world you find yourself, you come into contact with people who are enslaved. Though you may see no physical chains, there are heavy chains involved.
Imagine a young girl you know. A daughter, a niece, a granddaughter, the little girl who rode her pink bike by you while you were walking today. The woman who has been trafficked is someone’s daughter, niece, granddaughter. Imagine if your child were stolen and forced to have sex with however many men would pay for her in a night.
If you see something suspicious, something that just doesn’t fit, do something. The number for the National Trafficking Resource Center is 1-888-3737-888.