AXUS: Across the United States
Organized by: Ian Kallay
EVENT DATE Jun 23, 2014
When I was young, I heard an amber alert come on the radio. I started to develop this irrational fear that I could be kidnapped. My parents assured me that they would never let anything happen to me. About ten years later, I went on a mission trip to Africa. It really began to open my eyes to some of the struggles that are taking place in the world today. On the way back from the trip, I read a book called “Be the Change,” written by Zach Hunter. At that point, I had never realized how prevalent slavery still was in the world. I thought I was too young and inexperienced to take any sort of action. Recently I heard I woman speak about the slavery that takes place in America, and even in Dayton, Ohio. She talked about how young women and men get sucked into stripping at a young age, and they often turn to prostitution or even sell their children because they can’t afford them. When I heard her speak, I really felt God place His hand on my heart. This is when I knew that I wanted to raise awareness for this particular cause.
More people are enslaved today than at any other time in history. This is horrifying to me which is why I am taking action to end human trafficking. So what exactly is human trafficking? Human trafficking is the practice of modern-day slavery in which victims are forced or coerced into labor or commercial sexual exploitation. Labor trafficking encompasses a variety of situations including domestic servitude, sweatshops, peddling rings and local farm operations. Sex trafficking involves any form of sexual exploitation through prostitution, pornography, bride trafficking and the commercial abuse of children.
Those who are at risk of being trafficked are usually young men and women in a vulnerable position, such as runaways . One in every three children are lured into sex trafficking within just two days of leaving their house. But really, it could happen to anyone. When someone is taken into prostitution, usually there is no force involved. The victim does not self-identify themselves as “victim of crime” initially. Whoever is committing the crime is very skilled and inducing trust upon individuals. After abduction, the pimps train the prostitutes not to trust anyone or anything. They often have very low self-esteem and do not trust authorities. It’s amazing, because many victims of trafficking may look like the people we see in our everyday lives.
I wanted to do something, but I didn't know what I was going to do or how I was going to do it. As an endurance athlete, I decided to use the abilities God has given me to raise awareness for this terrible epidemic.