“The girls made cookies yesterday.” Bee tells me this as we chat.
‘The girls? Ohhh, THOSE girls.‘
Wrists that have been tied and bloodied
Mouths that have screamed a million unheard screams
Eyes that have seen the real live demons housed in humanity
Yes. Making cookies.
The gooey chocolatey kind that crinkles and then you sprinkle white powdery sugar on top.
Yes, I know the ones. My girls make them too.
Wrists that have firmly grasped while they swung around in giggly circles in billowy dresses
Mouths that have laughed a million impromptu giggles
Eyes that have closed in prayer believing that God sees and hears their every plea
The vulnerability of a girl: it is like a bleeding piece of meat in the scent stream of a predator.
When I last visited Bee and Maria, the stories they shared chilled my soul. My two good friends who serve as the psychologist and the director of The Open Door invited me to stay for lunch. We sat down and ate with the girls who had prepared mashed potatoes and chicken. Delicious.
When a living soul becomes a commodity, an item, a thing to be bought and sold for my personal financial gain …
When my personal, financial gain becomes dependent upon doing a small, seemingly inconsequential task in a long line that leads to a factory that I never see …
Then acquiring the object is simply step one in a recipe for success.
STEP ONE: Find a vulnerable person.
People, especially teens, become vulnerable for a myriad of reasons. Perhaps a caretaker dies or the family becomes financially bankrupt, or they are enticed by a family member. Some victims are simply sold by family members – yes, it is true.
The trafficker smells vulnerability like raw blood.
Some girls are lured by a man who becomes their boyfriend and then initially pimps them out to friends.
Some kids are orphans, and when they turn 18, the orphanage abandons them on the street to survive on their own.
Some kids are kidnapped, brutally raped, tied up in cellars or to trees in the woods. They might be there for a day or a month.
Some kids apply for jobs that promise good paying, international positions in the tourist industry and then find that they have been tricked.
In each of these situations, once the product has been procured, the victim is quickly moved across international borders via routes that are known to the traffickers. There is a detailed, well-oiled, well-organized infrastructure that makes the movement of the product to market seamless.