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human trafficking awareness month

In the Booth with Ruth – Holly Austin Smith, Survivor of Child Trafficking and Anti-Human Trafficking Advocate, Speaker and Author

January 17, 2013 // 9 Comments

The first survivor I ever connected with was Tina Frundt, founder of Courtney’s House in Washington D.C., an organization which provides services to male and female victims of child sex trafficking. I attended a training session to volunteer at Courtney’s House, and Tina explained to us the tactics used by traffickers to lure children away from home. The tactics were exactly the same as those used on me in 1992. I was blown away. It wasn’t until that moment that I truly realized that I had been a victim, and I knew I had to speak out. I knew I had to share my story in order to educate teens, parents, and teachers.

In the Booth with Ruth – Philip J Cenedella, Executive Director, The National Association of Human Trafficking Victim Advocates

January 16, 2013 // 2 Comments

I manage www.stopslavery2013.com. I also collaborate with other advocates via The National Association of Human Trafficking Victim Advocates and I answer hotline calls from throughout the US. As well as that, I help lead the fight against online trafficking, which involves Craigslist, Backpage and Google AdWords - there's information on that here and you can help here, even if it's just by quickly sharing some links on Twitter.

In the Booth with Ruth – Aimee Galicia Torres, Anti-Human Trafficking Activist, Filmmaker and Non-Profit Founder

January 13, 2013 // 1 Comment

I was inspired to support the movement against human trafficking by creating and starting a non-profit called The Majestic Dreams Foundation (www.themajestic.org) because I wanted to create awareness on all forms of abuse. Having been in the film industry for a little over eight years as an award-winning cinematographer, I decided to create a company that would embody and create films that make an impact, therefore, making a difference. I was featured on CNN's Anderson 360, Al Jazeera English on my work on human trafficking and sexual exploitation.

In the Booth with Ruth – DublinCallGirl

January 12, 2013 // 13 Comments

I worked as an escort for nearly five years from my early twenties. During this time I was very open minded about the whole thing, and very much on the side of it being empowering and a confidence booster. The effects it left me with I still struggle with every day. I made my choice. I can live with and conquer the consequences. However, I cannot sit by and see women and girls get exploited who made no choice to be there, or were lured, coerced or otherwise exploited and taken advantage of...

In the Booth with Ruth – Kimberly Benson, Human Trafficking Survivor, Anti-Human Trafficking Advocate and Non-Profit Co-Founder

January 11, 2013 // 5 Comments

My passion stems from being a victim once myself. When I was 18, I thought I knew it all - enough to keep me from trouble, but didn’t know that trouble would come looking for me. I left home to live on my own. After having been in several negative and abusive relationships, I was all alone. A young lady and I became friends. She was the best, was always there, encouraged me, bought me clothes, took me to get my hair and nails done. We were great friends...

In the Booth with Ruth – William Eberle, Anti-Human Trafficking Advocate

January 10, 2013 // 4 Comments

It is my view of this problem that too often these people find themselves with little to no hope for bettering their situation. I realize that this is my view and doesn't necessarily reflect everyone's reality, but it is what motivates me. I remember a time when I had lost hope and it was through the caring of friends and family as well as my faith in God that I found hope again...

In the Booth with Ruth – Dina Leah, Survivor of Sexual Exploitation and Anti-Exploitation Author

January 10, 2013 // 9 Comments

Sex was so much the currency of my life that I didn’t even think about it. I just assumed that this was the price of my independence from an abusive home. Unfortunately, the price I ultimately paid was not just counted in physical trauma from violent rapes, but ongoing psychological trauma that has followed me throughout my life and made normal intimate relationships impossible, since sexual contact triggers my Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and I dissociate—my consciousness leaves my body and I am simply not present during the act.

In the Booth with Ruth – Jill Starling, Author of St. Agnes’ Place – a novel about child sex trafficking

January 9, 2013 // 3 Comments

Many years ago, Rob Morris, co-founder of Love146, a non-profit international organization that fights child sex trafficking, spoke at my church. What he said struck a chord in me; I couldn’t believe how in this day and age, children were put on display to purchase for one’s sick perversion. When I decided to write my novel, I wanted to bring attention...

In the Booth with Ruth – Michelle Sweeney, Anti-Human Trafficking Activist

January 7, 2013 // 18 Comments

I have a heart for justice. I cannot bear the thought of others exploiting people for their own selfish gain, plus the fact that the pain and terror the victims have to face is just pure evil and wrong. Knowing that it happens and the suffering that is forced on them breaks my heart. These children, women and men are human beings. Their lives are just as precious as anybody else’s...