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Anti-Trafficking Donor Spotlight Real Stories from the Field

Awareness to Action: How One Mother Helped Protect Another

two mothers with their children

Based on a true story.

Grace

Twenty-four-year-old Grace stood at the shoreline watching the tide come in, roaring waves beating rhythmically as they came closer and closer—all too soon around her ankles, her waist, her head. She opened her eyes to see blue all around her, little bubbles floating up from her mouth, everything suddenly quiet. She tried to swim to the surface but her body felt heavy and the light was too far above her, her lungs about to burst…

A baby’s cry woke her from the dream. The moon outside shone glaringly into her bedroom. She hadn’t slept a full night since her second child was born five months ago.

 

Awareness

Amanda

On the other side of the world, another mother made dinner for her family. One of Amanda’s teenage daughters was at soccer practice, the other doing homework in her room. Amanda put the food in the oven and set a timer, wiped down the counters and washed her hands, then sat at the kitchen island to scroll on Instagram. 

cell phone in hands

“What if it was your daughter?” one of her friends—another mom from her daughters’ school—had posted. Amanda scrolled past it, then paused and scrolled back up. 

The picture was of a young teenage girl sitting in a chair, flowers covering her eyes. Amanda’s friend went on to explain how the girl had nearly been trafficked before someone found out what was happening and stopped the trafficker. The girl had returned home safely, but Amanda’s friend wrote about the connection she felt to this story when she realized the girl was the same age as her daughter. Only fifteen. 

Amanda thought of her own 15-year-old daughter at soccer practice. What would she do if her daughter didn’t come home one day?

 

Irresistible hope

Grace

Grace: young vulnerable mother at risk of human trafficking

Aside from not sleeping, Grace also hadn’t been able to work since the birth of her second child. Her former boss had offered her a small maternity leave, but Grace was still in the throes of postpartum depression when it ended and unable to find childcare. She did her best, sometimes able to leave her kids with her husband or her parents—until her husband left suddenly and Grace lost the last of her fighting spirit. Her boss let her go, and she moved in with family, surviving on welfare while trying to recover ever since. 

She didn’t want to be a burden on her family any longer. She wanted to work again and move on with her life. She began looking on Facebook for job advertisements in the area. 

One ad caught her eye—a simple customer service position answering calls. It seemed like it might even be a job she could do from home, meaning she wouldn’t have to worry about childcare. She filled out an application and received a call from the company less than an hour after submitting. 

“Hello, Grace; this is Carlie from _____ Consulting! We received your application and are very interested in having you work with us. Are you available to come in for an interview later this week?”

Grace felt hope shoot through her for the first time in months. 

“Yes, I’d be very happy to come in for an interview.”

 

Moving into action

Amanda

Amanda couldn’t get the image of the young girl her friend had posted out of her mind. “What if it was your daughter? What if it was your daughter?” She held her daughters’ hands tightly around the dinner table as they prayed together and gave thanks for the meal. 

woman on computer

After dinner, she went back to the post again and followed the link to a website where she read more facts about human trafficking. She learned that trafficking happens most often not by kidnapping but by deception, and that the most common targets for trafficking are people with vulnerabilities and unmet needs. She realized her daughters were actually unlikely to be targets of human trafficking since she and her husband had been able to provide them with everything they needed. 

But as she continued reading stories online, she realized that not every mother was capable of providing those things for her children. Her heart went out to those parents, desperate to survive and give their kids a better life than their own, still unable to protect them when slavery came in the disguise of an opportunity. She felt compelled to do something. 

That night before bed, she told her husband everything she had learned about human trafficking. 

“We have been given so much. I’d like to donate to help stop those people from being trafficked.”

“I think that’s a wonderful idea,” her husband said. 

 

Grace

A monitor for Love Justice scrolled through job ads on Facebook, looking for anything that might be a guise for human trafficking. She found a customer service job posting with suspiciously little information in the listing. There were a handful of likes on the post, Grace being one of them. The monitor reached out to her and asked her about the job. 

woman on phone

“I haven’t spoken with anyone since that first phone call,” Grace answered. “I’m supposed to go to an interview tomorrow.”

The monitor called the number that had contacted Grace about the job and claimed interest in the same position, asking for more information.

“I can’t disclose any information about the company over the phone, but if you’d like to come for an interview tomorrow, my superiors will give all the details then,” Carlie told the monitor, adding, “it could be a really great opportunity for you. I encourage you to come check it out.”

She gave the location for the interview. The monitor realized right away that the area was a hotbed for human trafficking.

The monitor thanked her and hung up. On further investigation, she found reports of other people who went to an interview at that exact location for the same company—and had gone missing or been found dead. 

The monitor shared all this information with Grace and encouraged her not to pursue the job any further. She educated Grace on human trafficking and how to know if a job is legitimate before putting herself at risk. 

 

The power of taking action

Amanda’s donation came through and covered the monitor’s salary for that month. That same monitor went on to intercept 11 more people like Grace that month, helping prevent each of them from being trafficked. 

What if that monitor hadn’t been there looking for potential trafficking situations? What if this had happened in a country where Love Justice doesn’t have stations or staff guarding against injustice?

The reality is that human trafficking IS happening in other places like that. We are ready to expand, but we currently lack the funding to do so. We need more people like Amanda to move from awareness to action.

Grace: young African mother kissing her baby

Love Justice has intercepted over 50,000 people to prevent them from being trafficked. How many more people can we intercept if we have more monitors, stations, and funding? 

Now that you are aware of the problem of human trafficking, we want to encourage you to move into action. Now is your chance to help keep another person like Grace from becoming a victim of human trafficking. Generous donors have offered to match all gifts given until December 31, up to $750,000—so any amount you give will be doubled in impact for 2x the freedom for people like Grace.

 

*All data and statistics current at the date and time of publishing. Names changed and some specific locations excluded for privacy and security purposes. Images are representative and do not picture actual victims. 

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