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Tricked and Trafficked

Jeannine Jones (not her real name) dreamed of getting out of her small town, rural Texas community. She never finished high school but went to work as a waitress to help with the family bills during her mother’s long illness. Jeannine yearned for a way out of her fate of want and poverty even after her mom’s death.

Someone gave her a tip about a marriage broker offering the opportunity to meet prosperous men looking for wives. Wide-eyed and hope-filled, Jeannine inquired. Before long she accepted a proposal from an older man, who appeared both successful and kind. Following a simple Justice of the Peace wedding, Jeannine thought she was going on an exotic honeymoon trip. The third day they were in China, Jeannine discovered the reality. This was no E-Harmony.Com! What Jeannine got was a variation of modern-day slavery known as Human Trafficking.

This so called “invisible crime” is not easily detectable because victims fear speaking out. Our U.S. government has estimated 15,000-17,000 people are trafficked to and from here annually. Debt bondage, sexual exploitation and forced labor are the main objectives.

People need to know why human trafficking happens, who are the victims and why they become victimized, who the predators are, red flags to watch for and how to respond if you come into contact with a victim. The Leadership Conference of Women Religious, Region V is doing what it can to promote good education about this horrid situation. With the Superbowl in New Orleans in 2013, the LCWR members are working in collaboration with local hotels to get the word out and to make a difference.

Have you ever felt victimized in some way? What put you in that state and how did you break free of it? As Sisters and Associates let’s join our prayers for the victims of such horrid injustice as Human Trafficking and make plans for a suitable action! Go to www.humantrafficking.org.