Slavery still exists today; so many children in America and across the world are held in bondage, but rather than physical chains many are instead chained by fear, shame, and depression. Many Americans are still unaware that this is the case, but we are thankful that those who do know about it are willing to do something about it. These people, these modern-day abolitionists, are standing arm in arm with us in the fight against child sex trafficking.
Each month we highlight one of our supporters and fellow abolitionists and give them thanks for helping us in the fight. This month, we wish to single out Linda Anderman, who in addition to being a supporter of work also aids us in changing the laws of New Mexico to better protect children. We asked her to tell us a bit about herself and why she choose to donate to us and volunteer her time these past few years, here’s what she said:
I first became aware of human trafficking as a problem a couple of years ago while doing research for an article I was writing on a local youth shelter. Upon doing more research (because that’s what I do), I was appalled to learn what a pervasive problem this is in both the United States and around the world. Within a fairly short period of time, I also came across two documentaries on the child prostitution, one focused in India and the other in New York.
That was pretty much it for me. I began redirecting my donations, from supporting some arts causes to ECPAT. I’m not saying that supporting the arts is wrong, but in my mind addressing the sexual use of children was a much higher priority.
I have also come to believe that while the victims need to be protected, it’s not enough. The supply side of the business needs to be addressed, as do the traffickers themselves. I’m glad to know that ECPAT is addressing all these issues on multiple levels so I feel my money is being very well spent.
I’m now becoming more active at the state level because, as ugly as this subject is, it is one that needs to be addressed. We can all help get the word out on practices that dehumanize our most vulnerable citizens. Awareness is the first step.