Today’s blog is a guest post from our dear friend and Wellspring Living advocate, Cindy Simmons, one of the hosts from Star94!
I’m sure you have heard me talk about Wellspring Living and the issue of Sex Trafficking in Atlanta. It is something I learned about a year and a half ago while we were planning our wedding. Our wedding photographer Andy Brophy opened our eyes and now my husband Eric and I can’t stop talking about it. We talk about it because so many people (just like how we used to be) don’t even know that this problem exists right in our own backyard. I think the thing that really threw me is how prevalent it is outside the perimeter, ya know…OTP! This isn’t just a “downtown Atlanta” thing. Can you believe that Atlanta is one of the major hubs for human trafficking and childhood sex exploitation in the United States? A former Sandy Springs police detective, Jeff Thomas, was assigned to trafficking cases and his investigation led to a local high school where he found evidence of five additional trafficked girls. Ugh!
I recently learned that President Obama proclaimed January as National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. This will culminate in the annual celebration of National Freedom Day on February 1. He said, “I call upon the people of the United States to recognize the vital role we can play in ending modern slavery, and to observe this month with appropriate programs and activities.”
So here are some facts to digest…At 27 million, there are more slaves on NOW than at any other time in human history! In the United States alone, more than 100,000 children are forced into sex trafficking each year, according to FBI reports. That is sickening to me! With such a big issue you may be thinking, “how can I make a difference?” I know that is what my husband and I thought…what could WE do? Well, it’s EASY! Give, Serve or Advocate! Eric and I try to actively do all of the above! The more people who know about this issue the better. This issue will only continue to exist as long as we as a community allow it to exist.
100 girls a night are being raped for profit right here in Atlanta. Up to 500 different girls a month in our backyard. Wellspring Living is a restorative home that serves these survivors! But Wellspring Living only has 14 beds! 14! You do the math. That’s a huge gap! You can make a difference by getting involved, talking about the issue, and giving to the cause. Wellspring Living needs you; these girls need you!
Together we CAN make a difference!