"What is it about the human spirit that we believe we can rise again, become more than our former self told us we could be? I believed..."
Those are the first words of a documentary teaser for Trade in Hope, a story about human trafficking filmed in Austin, Texas. Yes, that's right, a documentary about modern-day slavery in the US, in my hometown.
Did you know that twelve is the average age of of entry into prostitution in the US? When I was twelve do you know what I was doing? I was reading A Wrinkle in Time and worrying about my math test and talking about the cuteness of Hunter Samberson and wishing my mouth wasn't so huge. I was a little girl.
Twelve years old.
Please watch this video. Seriously, if you don't do anything else today, watch this video.
[vimeo http://www.vimeo.com/30453888 w=400&h=225]
There are some injustices that feel far away from us. Starvation in Uganda, child labor in the Phillipines. But, how often do we drive past the building labeled "Girls Girls Girls"? And how often do we consider that those "Girls" might be actual children who have been taken from their homes, their childhoods, who have been forced by pimps into the lives they live, who keep none of the money they earn in their forced daily life?
Twelve years old and taken by a man she trusted, a man who said he loved her...
Slavery is real and it's under our noses. It's there in your city.
If you live in Austin, please join me at Trade in Hope's benefit Showcase this Saturday night, March 24 from 7 to 10 at the For the City Center. The night will include a silent auction, and interactive art experience, and an exclusive screening of a short film from Trade in Hope. Proceeds from the night will support the Trade in Hope feature film. See more information here.
If you're not in Austin but want to do something about sex trafficking in the US, take a look at Trade in Hope's website.
And if you have read all the way through this post and haven't yet watched the video, do it. It's that good.