• JenniferW2323

    Recently committed to a monthly donation to Planned Parenthood (thanks, SCOTUS!!), but did just make a one-time donation to the Exodus Road. I hope it helps. Because this is terrifying stuff.

  • http://www.wildhoneyapothecary.com/ Kat

    It makes my soul ache. The depth of human suffering, all around is overwhelming. Life, being such a miraculous event is so robbed by what we are capable of doing, and let being done, to one another. Thank you for sharing this story and for sharing ways to help.

  • Tiffany Palella Cronin

    Heather, Thank you for sharing how we can help. When I first read about your trip, I didn’t understand why four women bloggers were being asked nor why you would accept. After seeing your pictures on instagram and reading your posts here, I’m so thankful that you saw the importance of the journey. I have been reading everything I can on Exodus Road as well as the posts that the other women posted. I am a single mother of little girl and the thought of this happening to other little girls is sickening. I am not naive and I knew this was happening but I never really understood how or why. I thought it was by choice or lack thereof because that’s just what you do as a woman in that part of the world. I had no idea of how they were being sold by their own families, kidnapped, held against their will. I look forward to donating to Exodus Road and helping in any way that I can. It will be financially when I can swing it but I can also promise that I have a very big mouth and I know I will be sharing everything I’ve learned. We have to hope that if more people knew, more people would help. Thank you for taking time away from your family and putting yourself in danger to spread the word. I wish there were more people out there like you.

  • http://www.sarahaugen.org Sara Haugen

    Freedom is so much more than what we tend to think. Thanks for putting it all in perspective. <3

  • Kate

    I’m still trying to wrap my brain around the banner that says “Turn this space into your cash cow!” with an image of both a cow and a young woman. Jesus. How is this (the blatant selling of under age women) legal there??

  • http://oddlovescompany.com/blog/ Katybeth

    Thank you for sharing both the experience and how we can best help. I am just wondering if anything else is needed beside monetary contributions? I know it is imperative to give these people working in the trenches as much financial support as possible and I am more than happy to write a small but heart-felt check towards their efforts but it seems you have built a community of doer’s, contributors and sharers why not put some of that energy to good use or point people in that directions so that they can create their own initiatives – understandable you can only do so much…Just a thought.

  • Jen Moore

    Beautiful. As a fellow activist I stand by your side and the side of the millions of girls and women who are sold. Thank you for this work you are doing. We will conquer this, we must–it is the imperative of our lifetime to end human slavery. Yours in sisterhood. xo

  • Heather Armstrong

    I appreciate this insight and still have a lot more to say (and more ideas as to how to help). This was our initial ask as it is their most glaring need. And having spent so much one on one time with this team and having them extend their trust to me me, helping them in any way feels like the right thing to do right now.

  • Howie

    As one of the 200 whom Jamie recruited last year, let me tell you that joining DELTA Team has been one of the most heart-breakingly beautiful things I’ve been a part of. And I wouldn’t trade it…

    Thanks for sharing, Heather!

  • Heather Armstrong

    Thank you for this. Most people do not know that there are more slaves today than at any time in human history. This interview with researcher and author Ben Skinner is such an insightful read: http://www.alternet.org/story/142171/there_are_more_slaves_today_than_at_any_time_in_human_history

  • Heather Armstrong

    Thank you so much for coming here to share that. I hope so many more join you.

  • Howie

    You’re welcome. If anyone has questions about being in the group, I’d be happy to answer whatever I can! :-)

  • http://www.lauraparkerblog.com/ Laura Parker

    Kate,
    It’s hard to fathom, for sure. The elements are ripe, I think particularly in SE Asia, to allow the sex industry to flourish so. One of the main factors, honestly, is the cultural view of women across Asia– they are often regarded as second class citizens (especially if they are from remote villages or are uneducated.) Thanks for wrestling with this with us. It IS a difficult thing to fathom.

  • http://www.lauraparkerblog.com/ Laura Parker

    Tiffany, thank you for being moved to help. And please know that SHARING the realities for these girls (and our work, if you can) is a huge help. That is advocacy as well and it matters. People can’t help unless then first KNOW. So, thank you for that, too.

  • http://www.lauraparkerblog.com/ Laura Parker

    Jennifer -

    Thanks! Every little bit helps!

  • http://www.lauraparkerblog.com/ Laura Parker

    Christina,

    Heather gave a great response. Because we work with local police always, we need to build solid evidence of trafficking through evidence gathered — case reports, video / photo evidence, maps, testimony, etc. Once we find the case, build it, then we can take it to local trusted partners who will move on it. Unfortunately, the police are understaffed and underfunded to be able to do the “legwork”/evidence gathering on the front end. We never “grab” a girl, as like Heather said, that doesn’t work to affect systematic change. Thanks for your question!

  • Cassidy Stockton

    This series keeps me on the verge of tears and gives me chills with each post you ladies are sharing. Thanks for bringing this story to us.

  • Dana B.

    Heather – I want to share this post and all the included information through all of my social media channels. I am planning on just sharing this post with a bit of an introduction as to why I’m sharing, however, is there another way you/the organization would prefer we share this information on our own social media? I want to get as many people aware and involved in this oh so very important issue. Love.

  • Dalaina May

    Heather, I am loving your series about your trip. I started sponsoring the Alpha Team almost a year ago, and it has been a joy to be a small part of this work. I am curious if I could get into the facebook group too? (I don’t think Alpha team has anything like that.) My facebook profile name is maygrrl (Dalaina May). Thanks! And keep writing.

  • Natalie

    Hi Heather,

    I’m curious if you’ll be discussing the role of the customers in this industry? It seems that so often when discussing the sex trade, the majority of the focus is on the workers and prosecuting those that run the operations. All vital information which I’m not trying to distract from. However, it seems to me that too often we overlook the people that actually partake in purchasing these girls and their services. It’s simply mind blowing to me that someone can knowingly take part in this by ‘purchasing’ one of these girls knowing full well that the girl they are purchasing is being held against her will or some similar form of distress. Is there anything being done about this? I don’t mean to distill the problem down to a simple supply and demand model, but will this ever end until we live in a world where all people abhor the very idea of purchasing sex under these conditions? Until then I can’t see it ending.

  • Michelle

    Thank you, Heather. I’m hoping others also make a contribution, no matter how small, and that all our drops will add up.

  • Jen Moore

    Yes thanks Heather. I teach a Women of the World (Women’s Studies) course and my students are SHOCKED to learn that there is more slavery today than any other time on the planet. My experience is that folks think since we ended segregation and slavery in the South it is gone. Oh how I wish that were true. Again, thanks for shining the light. Together with all our lights we will banish this darkness. ps..if you are interested there is a beautiful and uplifting documentary called The Day My God Died that I share with my students. Human faces to the stories.

  • Stephanie Ezzell

    I didn’t read well enough so I didn’t pick a particular “team,” but I have been so moved by all that you and the other three ladies have written. It’s easy to block these things out, pretend like they don’t matter because they’re not right in front of us, so thank you for putting them right in my face where I can’t ignore them.

  • http://www.lauraparkerblog.com/ Laura Parker

    Dana- Thanks for wanting to socially share! I think just getting the word out any way you like is fantastic with links to both Heather’s articles and our website — that would be fantastic! THANK YOU – people have to KNOW before they can ACT.

  • http://www.lauraparkerblog.com/ Laura Parker

    Dalaina — facebook message me with your email and I will add you :) We are hoping to start one for ALPHA, as well. . . sometime. :)

  • http://www.lauraparkerblog.com/ Laura Parker

    Natalie, Yes the supply issue is a serious one, too. Honestly, working in rescue an prosecutions is “cutting down supply” because it is making the purchase of underage girls/trafficked victims more dangerous and less attractive. By bringing in legal force, we are making the industry less lucrative for all involved.

    There is however, much to be done in many of these countries in regards to women’s rights, especially. Another cultural aspect that begs attention.

    Thanks for your comment and for engaging in this issue — its a broad, complex one for sure.

  • Susan Johnson

    Today is the most appropriate date to donate and I did. Glad to help.

  • http://www.lauraparkerblog.com/ Laura Parker

    Thanks to all who are giving! We are so grateful — and so is the team here in SE Asia that you are supporting!