Recently I’ve gone to several meetings with Saddleback Church’s Justice and Trafficking Initiative on the topic of helping victims of sex trafficking. It has been eye opening. I didn’t realize that California, my home state, has one of the largest trafficking problems in the nation according to the FBI. I also learned, it isn’t just women from impoverished countries being smuggled in, not to diminish that problem. American children and young adults are also in jeopardy.
Here are a few disturbing statistics:
- It’s estimated at least 100,000 American juveniles are trafficked each year.
- It’s estimated even a small time pimp makes approximately $632,000 from the girls they victimize.
- The average age a girl is introduced to prostitution is between 12 and 14 years old.
Children in the foster care system and runaways are at high risk, but there were also stories of kids from healthy homes and college students being approached and sometimes lured away by pimps. It’s a scary problem.
Enter my new heroes: Shannon, the founder of Run2Rescue and Donna, the program director.
These women put themselves in some pretty harrowing circumstances (some of which will be showing up in future novels) to rescue these girls.
If you’d like to learn more about the exciting work they do and support a fantastic cause, think about joining us for the Read2Rescue event at Books on Broadway in Costa Mesa, California.
Three very generous authors, the owner of the store, and yours truly have agreed to host an author reading and book signing event. The proceeds will go to support the Run2Rescue crowd.
Two things you can do if you can’t join us:
Three of the authors have agreed to give 20% of all ebook sales during the month of February to the organization.
Here are the links to the books:
And, put this number in your phone:
National Human Trafficking Hotline 1 (888) 373-7888. If you see anything suspicious, make sure you give them a call.
Looking forward to seeing you on February 8th!