By SALTY Admin
By Richard M. Tovar
There is one word that describes the last 12 years of my life – me. Always wanting to satisfy my needs, I got a Bachelors, Masters degree, traveled the world and started my Doctorate, all with the sole purpose of becoming a successful man. There is nothing wrong with getting an education, but during these years despite being aware of the great injustices that plague our world, I did nothing. In fact, I took a stand of criticizing everything and became cynical toward the widespread indifference in our society. I hated what society had become, yet offered no alternative other than criticism.
Over the years, my criticism and complaining lead me to become pessimistic and arrogant. I began to condemn everybody for their apathy regarding the many injustices in our society. One day, my best friend asked me a simple question: What are you doing about it? It struck me, I was doing nothing. Naturally, I came up with excuses in order to continue to live my self-centered life. I told myself, “I’m getting prepared; when I’m done with school I’ll do something about it, I can’t make a difference unless I’m qualified.” If I had been honest with myself, I would have realized that I made up all these excuses so that I could focus on my needs first. I let myself believe that once I was done with school I would finally do something instead of just complaining. In reality, it was only wishful thinking. If I was not troubled by the fact that children were being sold into slavery at that time, then why would I be concerned to do something about in the future?
However, last September God changed everything. He altered the way I look at myself and as a result, also the way I perceive society. For years I tried to be a good person expecting to find God but I was unsuccessful. In the end, it was all about His grace. It was not me who found Him; It was He who found me. There is no way to explain it, other than to recognize that it is a miracle and to accept that there are things in life that we just cannot understand. I am still aware that we live in a very corrupt society that is full of darkness and selfishness but now I have hope that ordinary people can make a difference in our world.
Time To Fight
Last November, I began working with some like-minded friends on a project to raise awareness about human trafficking. Six months later, in May 2010, Fight Injustice and Global Human Trafficking (FIGHT) became a legal Not For Profit Corporation by the State of Florida. We are not famous, we do not have money, we do not have important jobs, we do not know prominent people; we are just ordinary people passionate to eradicate the demand for human trafficking, especially women and children that are sold to become sexual slaves.
We are not famous, we do not have money, we do not have important jobs, we do not know prominent people, we are not special in any way; we are ordinary people passionate to eradicate the demand for sexual slavery.
FIGHT is not a Christian organization nor is it associated or affiliated with any religious denomination. However, the founders of the organization believe that Jesus Christ is Lord and strive to follow Him. Because of our faith we endeavor to stand against injustice, fight for the rights of the enslaved and deliver them from the grasp of those who would enslave them. Our mission is to empower people to take a stand and stop the trafficking of human beings by: raising awareness, creating opportunities for people to get involved, addressing the impact that the pornography industry has on sexual slavery and supporting other organizations that are fighting sexual slavery and human trafficking. The Sex Market THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE estimates that in the last decade, over 20 million women and children have been sold into sexual slavery throughout the world. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) reports that human trafficking is one of the fastest growing criminal activities in the world. The growth of the sex trafficking market is a response to the expansion of the commercial sex industry.
The increase of this criminal activity can be best explained by looking at the problem from a business perspective. Markets exist because buyers demand a product. Markets need buyers to survive otherwise they collapse. In the commercial sex industry, women and children are the products that are for sale. As the demand for these products increases, the sex trafficking market becomes the supplier that can efficiently meet the needs of the buyer. In the end it is the buyer, not necessarily the trafficker, who creates the demand and therefore is responsible for the sexual exploitation of millions of women and children every year.
THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE stimates that over 20 million women and children have been sold to become sex slaves during the last decade.
We live under the belief that human trafficking is a problem that affects only foreign countries such as Thailand, Russia, Moldova and India; but this is not true. This criminal activity is also thriving and growing in the United States. The U.S. Department of State estimates that up to 17,500 people are trafficked across international borders into the United States every year. Furthermore, 80% of the people trafficked into our country are women and children and of those 70% become part of the commercial sex industry. Therefore, approximately 10,000 women and children are trafficked into the United States every year to be sexually exploited. In addition, Shared Hope International estimates that every year 300,000 American children are at risk to be trafficked within our borders to be part of the sex market.
We live under the impression that we do not participate in this injustice. That is because we think of the sex market as a synonym for prostitution and we choose not to recognize that pornography is a major component of the commercial sex industry. According to Family Safe Media, of the $13 billion the commercial sex industry made in 2006, $10 billion came from sales in the pornography industry alone. Consequently, the notion that watching porn is harmless is an erroneous belief. We glamorize porn stars that are millionaires and we assume that all the women that are part of this industry are willing participants that want to make a quick buck.
The worst sin towards our fellow creature is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them; that’s the essence of inhumanity. –George Bernard Shaw
However, we fail to realize that the very few successful porn stars can only produce a small fraction of the vast amount of pornographic material released. Teenagers and children are extremely vulnerable and become exploited by the commercial sex industry. They are coerced or forced to become part of pornographic material. Family Safe Media reported in 2006 that 20% of all the pornographic images on the Internet were of a minor. Thus, it is important to realize that any purchase, no matter how small, contributes to fuel the demand created by the commercial sex industry and directly or indirectly promotes the trafficking of women and children to become sexual slaves. This is why FIGHT is taking a stand against the commercial sex industry by raising awareness regarding the link between human trafficking and pornography.
The heartbreaking reality is that in 2010, not the 1800s, women and children are being raped, beaten and sold into sexual slavery. The cause is obvious; men are willing to buy sex to satisfy their selfish desires. In a society that promotes self gratification rather than unselfishness, men have been led to believe that it is acceptable to fulfill their sexual desires without regard to the means by which they are attained. Our message is simple, “Stop Demand.” However, our purpose is not to convey condemnation, judgment or despair. We want to bring hope, awareness and encouragement.
We live in a world where every day we have to fight for ourselves because nobody else will. I have always heard people say, “Stand up for yourself because you are on your own.” We fight to finish school, get a comfortable job, a nice car, a big house, have a good family, achieve recognition, become successful. In the end, we are fighting to satisfy our needs and desires. But if we are fighting for ourselves, then who is fighting for those that cannot? Who speaks for those that have no voice? Who is standing up for the countless women and children that are every day sold to become sex slaves?
Our world does not need governments, experts, politicians, famous people, scientists, lawyers, or even super heroes to fight injustice. A friend once told me, “It is not the people that are considered to be great by our society that accomplish great deeds; it is ordinary people that focus less on themselves that change the world”. Who do you fight for?
Having heard all this, you may choose to look the other way; but you can never say again that you did not know. –William Wilberforce
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