As I began to approach the age of 40, life started to take on a different turn. My need to have a cause in life became so much stronger than it was in my early 20′s where I lived quite a care free, selfish and self centred life.
In recent years reading has also become much more of a favourite pass time and I’ve become intrigued with biographies and autobiographies. As I searched iBooks for a new title to peak my interest, I was ignorant to the fact that I would be introduced to a subject that would impact and change my life forever!
As I scaled through the new titles page on my iPad, my eyes were drawn toward a book called ‘Trafficked’ by Sophie Hayes. As a wanna be photographer, I found the close up shot of the female face on the cover quite compelling and as I read through the overall review of the book I decided to take the plunge and chunk my teeth into a seemingly engaging title.
The book began with the pretty regular story of an English girl from a middle class UK family living a regular life as a sales clerk. Her life was drastically changed when she meet a seemingly innocent young man from Albania who named himself as Kastriot, who took a caring and lovingly interest in her. Over a 2 year period and after many rejections and push off’s the young Albanian man finally became Sophie’s best friend and gained an unscrutinised position in her life.
Sophie at the time was having challenges in a relationship with a college sweetheart and the somewhat Albanian hero became a sounding board and trusted confidant to Sophie as she worked through the growing pains of a regular twenty something ‘type’ relationship. More and more our Albanian saviour presented himself as the ultimate shoulder to cry on and Sophie began to share all of her fears and deepest heart felt secrets with him. Little did she know that her soon to be perpetrator was storing all her insecurities for an opportune time where he would put them to use to destroy her innocence and strip her of her dignity and self respect.
Well the story continues when the character, Kastriot manages to win Sophie’s complete trust and invites her to a well deserved trip to Italy with the intention to relieve her of her relational stress. Of course after 2 years of careful manipulation and control Kastriot had managed to convince Sophie that he could be trusted and that he actually intimately cared for her. I mean after all he didn’t once try to take advantage of her sexually and really proved himself as a true friend. Once Sophie was taken to Italy the scene changes drastically into one of most horrific and shocking stories that I have ever heard in my life. All I can say is that my life was immediately affected and I was driven to advocacy! I’m not going to share it with you in this post because I want you to be compelled to read the book.
What I do want to share in this post is some information about human trafficking and the dire necessity for as many people to get involved as possible to STOP the TRAFFIC!
What is Human Trafficking?
“Human Trafficking is a crime against humanity. It involves an act of recruiting, transporting, transferring harbouring or receiving a person through a use of force, coercion or other means, for the purpose of exploiting them. Every year, thousands of men, women and children fall into the hands of traffickers, in their own countries and abroad.
Why Should you be Bothered?
Because you are a woman who is a mother, sister, aunt, or a male who has daughters, sisters, nieces, nephews, cousins. This is a GLOBAL issue and as a member of the GLOBAL community we all have a part to play in ensuring that this form of Human Slavery is quelled and discontinued!
Did you know?
1. 1.2 million men, women and children are trafficked every year and fall into the hands of traffickers, in their own countries and abroad.
2. Human trafficking is the second largest source of illegal income worldwide exceeded only by drugs trafficking.
3. Every single country in the world is affected by trafficking, whether as a country of origin, transit or destination for victims.
3. 600,000-800,000 men, women and children are trafficked across international borders each year. Approximately 80 per cent are women and girls. Up to 50% are minors.
4. Some trafficking groups are switching their cargo from drugs to human beings, in a search of high profits at lower risk.
5. Drugs can only be sold once but HUMANS can be sold over and over again. This makes trafficking much more attractive to criminals.
6. Many females are made to have sexual intercourse anything between 10 – 50 times a day and are made to work anything up for 18 hrs a day.
7. Children are heavily drugged to perform diabolical sexual activities with men twice and triple their age.
8. Trafficking is NOT only targeted at poor people and poor countries, middle class female college students are prime targets.
9. 83% of prostitutes are not voluntarily engaging in that illegal activity but they are being trafficked.
Well hopefully now you have an idea of what the crime is and who the predators and victims are. In my next post I’ll aim to give you some advice on how you can help to prevent this hideous crime from growing. In the meantime I encourage you to read the book ‘Trafficked’.