January 11th is Human Trafficking Awareness Day in the United States. Human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery. From January 1st through January 11th, we’ll be posting daily blogs -- staff reflections, inspirational quotes and more that reflect our passion to see child trafficking and exploitation ended. Our resolution is to protect and defend the vulnerable and to restore and empower survivors. Join us in 2013 as we continue onwards towards abolition!
Years ago I heard stories about children who had been trafficked and brutally exploited – the realities of those horrors broke me. For as long as I can remember I’ve always been sensitive to issues of injustice, but these accounts contained a darkness that physically hurt.
Soon after hearing these reports I met a child in the Philippines who had been trafficked and exploited. In a makeshift therapy room created in a tree house she openly shared her story as I silently listened. In that moment, high in the trees, what was a flame of abolition became a fire. It was clear that the end of child trafficking and exploitation and nothing less was the goal. Anything less than complete eradication of this evil was unacceptable after hearing first-hand from someone who had been through so much.
Now years after first hearing those stories I better understand why I originally felt such pain; I can see how my journey of healing from sexual abuse as a child is helping me input into today’s abolition movement. Today working to protect, defend, restore and empower children is a full time endeavor, one that often makes it into my dreams as I sleep. Simply put, while I’m so very privileged to lead as CEO of Love146, abolition is not a job - it’s a lifestyle.
Steve Martin is the CEO of our Love146 U.S. team. He met injustice head-on when he was documenting stories and producing communications for a global charity. Steve met Rob Morris, our co-founder, and quickly joined Love146 -- a small group he affectionately refers to as "men and women fanning the flames of abolition."