Reflecting on "I Was Trafficked" Dance and Documentary at Monmouth University

As you may know, in recent years, I have become very interested in the issues of human trafficking, modern slavery, and human rights. In some ways, I feel like I’m still beginning to understand its complexity and in other ways – it’s pretty clear. Like many other Christians, I see these as huge moral violations and my heart remains broken. I wrestle constantly with numerous questions ranging from “Why aren’t more people discussing this?” to “What can I do to help?”. I’m not sure how to answer the first question graciously. It will just sound egotistical (like many bloggers ;-) To the second, the answer always feels like it’s never enough. We give money, attention, and intercession but like so many others, I wrestle.

That said, yesterday (Friday), I went to an event called, “I Was Trafficked” at Monmouth University. It featured choreographed dance and a clips from the documentaries “Very Young Girls” by Girls Mentoring and Education Services (available on Netflix) and “Demand” by Shared Hope International.

I hope to write more later but once again I was moved by what these girls go through. Some are abducted in the early teen years, brainwashed to fall in love with their pimps and forced to have sex with 10-20 men a day. I can barely wrap my mind around that kind of evil. My anger burns towards the pimps and the many men who create such a market.

Regarding the dance portion, I have to say, I found it to be beautiful. If I am being honest, dance is not a language of mine. I’m not good at it, I don’t watch Dancing with the Stars, but when it does cross my path, I do think, “Wow that is really cool.” Watching the dance routines with the moving music in between the documentary clips was powerful. My friend Migel’s wife, Janelle Milazzo Lao danced and choreographed much of the routine. She and the rest of the 5 member team were fantastic. Afterwards, Human Rights and Anti-Trafficking advocate, Debi Marulanda, took the stage and shared some of her experience of working with US governement agencies and non-profits in providing real help for young women rescued from forced prostitution.

There is no question that this is difficult subject matter. For those interested I encourage you to check out the aforementioned documentaries. In the meantime, I’m making it a goal to post more about this important topic.

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