Fireworks. Cookouts. Pool parties. Red, white and blue. A laughing family. These are images that come to mind when many of us consider the 4th of July.
Hearing fireworks in the distance from a dark, enclosed room. Being taken advantage of sexually by multiple men. Being physically, emotionally and sexually abused, she wonders whether or not her family is thinking of her as they celebrate the freedom she once knew. These are thoughts that come to the mind of a 14 year-old human trafficking victim on the 4th of July.
“Hopelessness is such a weak word for what[the human trafficking victim] feels.”
-Annie Lobert, Formally Prostituted
“I felt almost subhuman. I thought there was something wrong with me.”
-Helena Evans, Formally Prostituted
This 4th of July, Bridging Freedom’s team will spend time with their families and exercise their right to celebrate precious freedom, along with you and your family. However, let us also remember that 99% of human trafficking victims have not yet been rescued. Let us remember that within a short distance from our homes, there are underage girls in captivity aching to be in our state of freedom. Our thoughts will surround those who long for a family barbeque and can remember the smell of smoke coming from the grill. Tonight, the only smoke she will be able to smell is that of cigarettes being puffed upon by her captors.
It is Bridging Freedom’s hope that you will be encouraged to remember the girls in your city who are yet to be rescued. Once they are rescued, they will need a safe haven to recover in and receive the love and healing required to become rehabilitated.
Bridging Freedom wants these young girls to be able to happily play with sparklers on the front lawn of our future facility on July 4, 2014. We want these girls to smile from ear to ear when they see the fireworks in an open sky because they are free. We know you want the same for them. However, this vision cannot become a reality without action.
“Everyone must do more…”
-Luis CdeBaca, US Ambassador-at-Large to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men [and women] are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
–The Declaration of Independence
Happy Independence Day,
Your Friends at Bridging Freedom