Sunday, January 10, 2010

74 Cranes and my thoughts on "unacceptable evil"

When creating characters for my dystopia novel For Cory's Sake, I did not start with family members, friends or co-workers. Rather, I took parts of myself and amplified them. Kerry Bentler--obsessed, angry Kerry Bentler--is an amplification of a small part of me.

Slavery is rampant in Kerry's world. Every day, people including young children are being beaten, forced to work and sexually exploited. And yet, the majority of civilians on her planet ignore this reality, and so it continues. And so Kerry is mad. She cannot understand how her fellow citizens can ignore or accept such evil.

Slavery is rampant in my world. According to the Polaris Project, "modern-day slavery is the second largest criminal industry in the world." According to the United Nations, "over 12 milllion people worldwide are trafficked for forced labor or sexual exploitation." According to the University of Pennsylvania, "over 200,000 children in the United States are at high risk for sex trafficking or commercial sexual exploitation every year."

Monday, January 11 is National Human Trafficking Awareness Day, and so I am going to amplify the angry part of me in this world and say: we need to be aware of this unacceptable evil. We must care about it. We should do something about it. Otherwise we might just be stupid enabling cowards (hey, I said I was going to amplify the "Kerry B" part).

We're most of us not millionaires or powerful voices. We've got what we've got and must do what we can with it. Here's what I've got and what I did or will do with it. I know the Book says we're not supposed to broadcast our deeds on street corners, but it also says we're not supposed to hide our lights under bushels. Since this is an Awareness day, I'm going to follow the latter advice =D.

I have a Twitter account. I am going to use Hootsuite tools on Monday, January 11 to share relevant information, links and quotes (I use quotes sparingly). I am going to use my little voice.

I had Christmas money. I used $200 of it to buy Christmas CDs from an organization called Heavenly Night, which supports restoration services for children rescued from the Cambodian sex trade. Heavenly Night's benefit concert raised over $70,000 for this cause.

I have a book. All author's royalties are donated to organizations that provide services to abused, neglected or exploited children. I've donated $50 to The Innocent Justice Foundation, which helps US law enforcement get more resources for their fight against child pornography (a massive global business in itself).

I would love to know what you are doing.

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