Meet Susana Trimarco. Ten years ago Susana was just an ordinary house wife without a care in the world. Today, Susana is a “Women of Courage” recipient (awarded by the U.S. State Department) and a Nobel Peace Prize nominee. Why? Because 10 years ago Susana’s daughter left for a doctor’s appointment and never came back. Ultimately, it was determined that Susana’s daughter never came back because she was sold into the sex trade. In the process of searching for her daughter, Susana has liberated hundreds of sex slaves and been a part of putting a number of their abusers behind bars. Although it has been 10 years and Susana has yet to find any trace of her daughter, she is determined not to stop until she finds her. To learn more about Susana’s story, click here.
A few days ago, Fox News published a story entitled, FBI saves 79 kids held as sex slaves in US. These kids were rescued from 57 different cities around the country and they were mostly all caught up within the trafficking industry through some form of social media. So yes, sex trafficking does happen, and yes, our children should be wary of anyone who contacts them via an online social network. Read more about this story over at Fox News by clicking here.
Next time you’re looking for a unique gift to take to a birthday party or a bridal shower, consider buying punjammies.
Punjammies are stylish sleepwear pants, that are handmade by women in India “who have been rescued, released or [who have] escaped from a life of forced prostitution.”* The women who make them are part of an aftercare program run by the International Princess Project (IPP).
The IPP began in 2005 after its founder, Shannon Keith, visited one of India’s red-light districts. Because, Keith “could not forget what she saw – young girls sold by their families, orphans picked up off the street by pimps, even young mothers just trying to feed their children” – she decided to start a non-profit organization to aid women who have escaped from trafficking.
Through the IPP, formally trafficked women are provided with “medical care, emotional safety, education and the tools [they need] to create a new way of life.” Teaching them to make pujammies is a way the IPP seeks to empower “each woman with an opportunity to learn a marketable skill and become a part of a viable business.”
Visit the IPP’s online store here, to check-out their fun, colorful collection today! Prices range from $18-$35 per pair (as of today).
I am a wife and a mother who simply has a desire to see freedom and justice for all.
How did you become interested in social justice?
I watched a DVD for Willowcreek’s Leadership Summit where President and Founder of International Justice Mission, Gary Haugen, spoke. As He was sharing about God’s heart for justice and inviting us to be part of their work, he showed photos and videos of the violent oppression and injustices all over the world, and within seconds, they no longer became somebody’s family member, their clients became my family and my friends- it became personal. As he shared how IJM is seeking justice in the poorest regions of the world and securing freedom and justice, I knew that engaging with them would be my first step in working towards our family’s life mission of seeking freedom and justice for all.
What inspired you to found Slavery No More?
I had been a volunteer with the LA Metro Task Force Against Human Trafficking for a number of years, and I was able to learn more about the role of law enforcement and NGOs (non-governmental organizations). My husband, who is the Co-Founder of Slavery No More with me, and I never wanted to start “just another NGO” because we saw how under resourced the existing ones were, and the great work they were doing. Instead, we were more of a Community Based Organization, hosting and organizing events and forums to bring about awareness and inspire mobilization. Our events were getting larger and we wanted to reach out to more and more people, churches and community groups, but we found that most churches and groups were less likely to join a “movement” without a substantiated foundation. We also saw that there were things we could do to assist a number of Aftercares and Safe Homes by organizing volunteers and collections, but we needed to have a non-profit status in order to move forward in a significant way.
What sets Slavery No More apart from other anti-trafficking/slavery organizations?