Please welcome Jessica Kristie to this special edition of FWF. Jessica is an award winning author, an advocate for art, and an activist against human trafficking. Barbed-Wire Butterflies, her first novel, released January 2013, is a fiction account of a young girl faced with the atrocities of human trafficking and her struggle to find freedom. Jessica has committed 100% of all print royalties and a percentage of digital copies and merchandise to Courage Worldwide, an international non-profit organization that is building homes around the world for children rescued out of sex trafficking.
The floor is yours, Jessica…
What if I told you that today there is a worldwide epidemic of slavery? Some of you may know that already. Some of you may feel confused and think back to 1863 when Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. What was not told since that signing is that slavery was never eradicated. In fact, there are more slaves today than there ever were in civil war times. There is an estimated 30 million slaves today worldwide. They work in factory’s, coal mines, rock queries, private homes, and on the streets. They are forced into the sex trade and made to work in brothels and sold on the internet. There are 161 countries that have been identified as effected by human trafficking, including the US.
These overpowering statistics were enough to change me. Something so widely spread and often swept under the rug, needed a movement and a big one. My book came about at a time when I saw that movement growing. The opportunities for me to contribute and make change are continuing to expand every day. Barbed-Wire Butterflies is a great tool that I intend to use to educate and inspire others to also join in the movement. And what exactly is that movement?
Take some time to learn about human trafficking. What it means and what you can do. It isn’t just about donating money, but time and resources. It’s about educating your loved ones, looking for warning signs, and giving tools for prevention. There is something everyone can do, find what contribution works best for you.
Elani Benjamin had never imagined the level of fear and uncertainty that was now a demoralizing part of her everyday life. With freedom ripped from her world, Elani must stand alongside the hundreds of other women forced into slave labor by the mysterious organization that runs The Hub. At only thirteen years of age, she must decide if she will give in to the daily atrocities surrounding her or keep fighting her courageous, emotional battle for freedom. Malnutrition, intimidation, and abuse force them all into an isolated depression that guarantees compliance. On the edge of surrender, Elani finds an ally in Eddie, a repentant long-term employee of The Hub who gives her the resolution to find a way out of her imprisonment and the hope of reclaiming her stolen freedom.
100% of all print royalties and a percentage of digital copies go to Courage Worldwide, an international non-profit organization that is building homes around the world for children rescued out of sex trafficking.
Here is your Free Write Friday Prompt…
What Does Freedom mean to you?
“My movements, destination, thoughts and choices are all my own. I am not caged or left voiceless… that is my freedom.” – Jessica Kristie
Discuss: What is your freedom and how can you help give it back to those that it has been stolen from?
What is Human Trafficking?
Human trafficking is modern-day slavery. It is among the fastest growing criminal activity in the world. It is estimated that 600,000 – 800,000 people, mostly women and children, are trafficked across borders worldwide every year.
Human trafficking happens in nearly every corner of the world.
How do people become victims? Victims of trafficking are typically tricked or forced into sexual or labor exploitation. Desperately seeking an escape from a life of poverty, they are lured by the promise of high paying jobs and safe entry into a foreign country. Upon reaching their destination, they are forced to work in slave-like conditions in prostitution or other forms of involuntary labor.
- Get Involved For Human Trafficking Awareness Month! (gbpan.wordpress.com)
- Pray on National Human Trafficking Awareness Day! (gbpan.wordpress.com)
- Human Trafficking On The Rise In Alabama (whnt.com)
- Combating Modern Slavery 150 Years After the Emancipation Proclamation (larahentz.wordpress.com)
- Georgia human trafficking law receives high marks (mysouthwestga.com)
- MTV Takes on Human Trafficking (voanews.com)
- UN report on human trafficking exposes modern form of slavery (kaieteurnewsonline.com)
- Human Trafficking Forum (markconner.typepad.com)
- Actress Jada Pinkett Smith and human trafficking survivor Minh Dang advocate for new Human Trafficking Senate Caucus (startingpoint.blogs.cnn.com)
- Sex Trafficking in the U.S. (bethyherself.wordpress.com)