Yesterday, I attended the sixth annual Hope in the City lunch in Vancouver – a fund-raising event for Deborah’s Gate – ” A place of refuge, love, counsel and hope for women rescued from a life of sexual trafficking.” This is a ten bed shelter operated by the Salvation Army and the first of its kind in Canada (to the best of my knowledge).
Emceed by Pamela Martin with Human Trafficking expert, Benjamin Perrin presenting the keynote, it was, to say the least, an eye-opening afternoon. Each attendee was given a copy of Perrin’s new book, Invisible Chains: Canada’s Underground World of Human Trafficking, and Perrin treated us to some heartbreaking facts about slavery in our country, our city and yes, even our neighbourhoods. Buy it, get it from the library, borrow it – it talks about the problem of sexual slavery, but more importantly, if offers ways to fight back.
Also present, Glendene Grant, mother of Jessie Foster, missing for five years and possibly a victim of human trafficking. Jessie disappeared in Vegas and everyone gave up on finding her, except for her incredibly brave mom. Glendene’s talk left me teary-eyed and full of admiration at the strength of the human spirit – at the love of a mom. Please visit Jessie’s site. Who knows – maybe you can help her family.
I learned a lot yesterday and since ignorance is not an excuse, I’m asking you to follow the links I’ve provided, read the book and find out what you can do to protect your children and your families from sexual predators. And by the way, if you can’t think it can’t happen here, think again – it’s only a click away.
Don’t believe me? Visit Craig’s List, exotic services and when have had enough, consider staying away from that site until they clean it up. Not easy, but if it could save a kid, isn’t it worth it?