aurora Charity

Winter Feature: Women at Risk International

Saturday, January 30, 2016 HALFSTACK MAGAZINE

Our children and women are at risk. Not just in third world countries, but also right here in America. It seems that people turn a blind eye to the harshness of the world, especially when they believe that those bad things could never happen to them. Not my baby, no they are safely tucked into bed. No, not my daughter – she’s on her way to school. Human trafficking is an evolving and scary issue that people have to face today.

Human trafficking is thought to be one of the fastest-growing activities of trans-national criminal organizations. Human trafficking is the trade of humans, most commonly for the purpose of sexual slavery, forced labor or commercial sexual exploitation for the trafficker or others - Women and children being sold for sex, cheap labor and being stripped of their right to their lives. Young people being forced against their will, to give up their innocence and forgo the beauty of childhood. Instead, they are thrown into the dirty world of evil crime where they begin to lose hope for a way to escape. They fade slowly away into the abyss.

The reality is that women, men and young children are being trapped in a modern day slave trade. Not all of the victims of human trafficking in the U.S. are foreign nationals; some are American citizens or residents. Many of these people are forced into prostitution and face innumerable travesties including death.

Recently, 8 men were charged in Illinois for running an underage sex trafficking sting right in Aurora, IL. These eight men were charged with involuntary sexual servitude of a minor, traveling to meet a minor, and grooming, according to police: The charges are all Class-X felonies, which call for enhanced penalties upon conviction. Human trafficking is much closer to home than you would ever think. So many victims are younger than ever. They are just as likely to be the homegrown American girl next door as they are to be illegally imported foreigners.

As dark as the circumstances may be, there are crusaders who are fighting back. There are organizations like WAR, Intl. who are fighting for those who can no longer fight for themselves. Women At Risk, International unites and educates women to create circles of protection and hope around at-risk women and children through culturally sensitive, value-added intervention projects.

WAR intl. stands for Women at Risk International. The mission of WAR is to fight human trafficking. Rebecca McDonald officially founded the WAR Intl. organization in 2006. Rebecca’s international upbringing first exposed her to world of risk. At just 14 years old her closest friend was raped and then attacked with acid in order to silence her. This moment forever changed McDonald and inspired her to take action. It was at that point that she decided to be a voice for the silenced and a defender of those who are oppressed. Her ultimate goal was to create a haven of healing for those who were hurting.

Check out our winter issue HERE to read the FULL STORY AND INTERVIEW with Women at Risk, Intl. 

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