Friday, January 15, 2016

A classic example of human trafficking, in Pomona

A few days ago, a trafficking victim escaped her captors. This story is a dramatic depiction of what's happening right in our own cities. A girl is kidnapped in another state, held against her will, forced into prostitution, and threatened with physical harm if she doesn't do what she's told. Her ID taken away, she's moved to a place where she knows no one. The amazing thing this time, however, is that this young woman had the courage to escape. Forced to work on East Holt Avenue, while her captors waited at a nearby Claremont hotel, this courageous girl flagged down the first Pomona police car she saw.

Having been involved with Every ONE Free (formerly Traffick Free Pomona) from its beginning through Purpose Church in Pomona , I can't help but think of how far we've all come. No longer are girls on the street considered criminals, but the police recognize them as victims and demonstrate tremendous compassion. Officers go after the perpetrators--and this time they caught the bad guy and girl! And whenever possible, instead of taking the victims to jail, the police do what they can to get them the services they need. This time they connected the young woman to L.A.'s Dream Center.

Right now I have street kits ready to give to Dream Center representatives tomorrow at the L.A. Freedom Walk. Put together by a team of ONE volunteers, these small gifts demonstrate to girls in the life how much someone cares.

Another thing we're working on at Every ONE Free is an online guide to help people learn more about human trafficking and how they can get involved. It's release will coincide with an article published in Facts and Trends magazine's Spring issue that will educate Christian leaders about the problems connected with human trafficking and encourage them to get involved. Pomona's Every ONE Free is featured in the article because of all the great work happening in that community. CARE 18, one of the sponsors of the Freedom Walk, is also mentioned because without collaboration we can't make nearly the strides forward that we can with it.

Won't you join us in this significant effort to fight a heart-wrenching travesty? At the very least, please keep informed. In the next few weeks I'll be posting excerpts from the guide as they are written. By subscribing to this blog, you can find out what's happening right in our own neighborhoods. And we'd sure appreciate your feedback, What's helpful? What's not? What do you want to know?

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