A plea for help – “I have a 2nd grader who is a victim of this too.”
Two months ago, we received a call from a principal at a local elementary school. Her request, “Could you come and talk to our 4th– 6th girls about sex trafficking?” What?!
My response, “We don’t have presentation designed for that age group, but if you give us until after the first of the year, we will create something for you.”
Her response, “We need you now!”
So I set up a time for Lindsey and me to meet with the principal, school counselor, and another teacher the following week.
What we learned was sadly startling. They already had girls 9 and 10 years old who had been trafficked. I’m not sure why I was startled by that information when I know the average age is 13 years old. I guess because our youngest so far has been 12 and the thought of a 9 year old who should be jumping rope and playing hopscotch having to deal with this trauma just sickened me.
During the meeting we decided set up a date to first train the teachers, staff and parents about the red flags of trafficking and some of the behaviors that stem from this trauma.
The next step is to partner with this elementary school and together develop a Preventative Program that will be piloted with them. This will be a priority for us in 2015.
Last week, Lindsey went to the school to train the teachers and staff. As she was leaving, Lindsey was stopped by a teacher who said to her “I know that the program focus is for 4th – 6th grade girls, but I have a 2nd grader who is a victim of this too.”
Very few times do we find ourselves without words, but this is one of these times. Our hearts are breaking for these young children. The need is great and the pain runs deep. I’ve been told many times that these stories are too difficult to hear; my response “Imagine being the child.”
Would you consider helping us reach our December Challenge? Money raised will not only help the girls we now serve but also help us launch the Preventative Program. If you are willing and able to make a contribution, please click here and select the GIVE NOW button. Donations of any amount make an impact.
With a heart of sincere gratitude, I thank you.