Shared Hope International http://sharedhope.org Leading a worldwide effort to eradicate sexual slavery...one life at a time Tue, 21 Oct 2014 08:22:44 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 Congressman Frank Wolf Receives Shared Hope’s Lifetime Pathbreaker Award for Anti-Trafficking Efforts http://sharedhope.org/2014/10/17/congressman-frank-wolf-recieves-shared-hope/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=congressman-frank-wolf-recieves-shared-hope http://sharedhope.org/2014/10/17/congressman-frank-wolf-recieves-shared-hope/#respond Fri, 17 Oct 2014 22:37:55 +0000 http://sharedhope.org/?p=9357 Shared Hope International will honor Congressman Wolf for lifetime dedication to eradicating trafficking ARLINGTON, VA. – Congressman Frank Wolf (VA-10) has been named a 2014 Lifetime Pathbreaker Award recipient for his continuous leadership in combatting child sex trafficking. Congressman Wolf is one of the House of Representatives’ leading crusaders for human rights. He believes members [...]

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Shared Hope International will honor Congressman Wolf for lifetime dedication to eradicating trafficking

ARLINGTON, VA. – Congressman Frank Wolf (VA-10) has been named a 2014 Lifetime Pathbreaker Award recipient for his continuous leadership in combatting child sex trafficking.

Congressman Wolf is one of the House of Representatives’ leading crusaders for human rights. He believes members of Congress have an obligation to speak out for those who are persecuted around the world—a belief that led him to some of the most remote and desperate nations to witness and address grave human rights violations. His global perspective on human trafficking spurred national action on the issue. Congressman Wolf actively implored the Obama Administration to increase its efforts to combat child sex trafficking facilitated through online classified sites like Backpage.com. As chairman of the Commerce-Justice-Science Appropriations Subcommittee, Rep. Wolf used his position and passion to strengthen anti-trafficking laws in the U.S. In 2014, Rep. Wolf championed a FY 2015 Commerce-Justice-Science Appropriations Subcommittee bill that included $429.5 million for Violence Against Women Prevention and Prosecution programs. Rep. Wolf has historically supported increases for Victims of Trafficking grants to develop stronger programs for victims.

In 2000, Rep. Wolf recognized the need to energize the global conversation about the issue of trafficking and share innovative approaches to combat the problem. At the recommendation of Rep. Wolf, the U.S. Department of State engaged Shared Hope International to hold Pathbreaking Strategies conferences in six countries to facilitate this discussion and generate solutions. The conferences led to significant change in the national responses to human trafficking in countries that were lagging behind the global response. During this process, the Pathbreaker Award was established to recognize the pioneering efforts of individuals around the world who broke the trend of inaction and initiated proactive responses to prevent trafficking. See all Pathbreaker Award recipients.

“Congressman Wolf’s resolve to combat sex trafficking will make a lasting impact globally, nationally, and locally in his home state of Virginia,” Shared Hope International President and Founder Linda Smith said. “He served as the inspiration for the Pathbreaking Strategies Conferences in 2000. How fitting that nearly 15 years later, Shared Hope International has the opportunity to honor him with the award that was truly inspired by his leadership and dedication to the issue.”

The 2014 Pathbreaker Award recipients also include Brendan Johnson, United States Attorney for the District of South Dakota and Marian Hatcher, Project Manager for the Sheriff’s Women’s Justice Programs at the Cook County Sheriff’s Office. U.S. Attorney Johnson and Ms. Hatcher will accept the award on November 7 during Shared Hope International’s JuST Conference in Washington, D.C.

MEDIA MATERIALS

For media convenience, a variety of video clips and resources, including survivor comments, are available at this location: http://vimeo.com/user12564384/albums. Clips are password protected, please contact Taryn Offenbacher at Taryn@sharedhope.org for access.

ABOUT SHARED HOPE INTERNATIONAL: Shared Hope International was established in 1998, by former U.S. Congresswoman Linda Smith, to prevent, restore, and bring justice to women and children in crisis. We provide leadership in awareness, training, prevention strategies, restorative care, research, and policy initiatives. For more information about Shared Hope International, go to www.sharedhope.org.

For more information contact Taryn Offenbacher at (602) 818-3955 or taryn@sharedhope.org.

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Marian Hatcher Recieves Shared Hope Pathbreaker Award for Anti-Trafficking Leadership http://sharedhope.org/2014/10/17/marian-hatcher-recieves-shared-hope-pathbreaker-award-anti-trafficking-leadership/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=marian-hatcher-recieves-shared-hope-pathbreaker-award-anti-trafficking-leadership http://sharedhope.org/2014/10/17/marian-hatcher-recieves-shared-hope-pathbreaker-award-anti-trafficking-leadership/#respond Fri, 17 Oct 2014 22:34:00 +0000 http://sharedhope.org/?p=9354 Shared Hope International honors Marian Hatcher for dedication to fighting demand for sex trafficking ARLINGTON, VA. – Marian Hatcher, Project Manager at the Sheriff’s Women’s Justice Programs for the Cook County Sherriff’s Office, has been named a 2014 Pathbreaker Award recipient for her determined leadership in pursuing the buyers of sex trafficking. Marian Hatcher escaped [...]

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Shared Hope International honors Marian Hatcher for dedication to fighting demand for sex trafficking

ARLINGTON, VA. – Marian Hatcher, Project Manager at the Sheriff’s Women’s Justice Programs for the Cook County Sherriff’s Office, has been named a 2014 Pathbreaker Award recipient for her determined leadership in pursuing the buyers of sex trafficking.

Marian Hatcher escaped from the world of commercial sex. At 38 years old, Hatcher was well established— holding a Finance degree from Loyola University, advancing in the corporate world, and living in a good neighborhood in Chicago with her five children. However, she entered a relationship with a man who abused and threatened Hatcher and her family. Depression caused Hatcher to turn to drugs, resulting in prostitution to support the habit. She served four months in jail, enrolled in the Cook County Sheriff’s Women’s Justice Programs, before her release and subsequent employment by the same program.

Today, Hatcher has been with the Cook County Sheriff’s Office(CCSO) for 10 years. She is the Human Trafficking Coordinator and member of the Human Trafficking Response Team. She coordinates several of CCSO’s anti-trafficking efforts such as the “National Day of Johns Arrests,” a nationwide effort with more than 59 participating federal, state and local law enforcement agencies targeting buyers of sex as the driving force of sex trafficking. As a national expert on combating the demand for commercial sex, she has testified before the Illinois and Colorado legislatures, has been featured in the OWN documentary “Prostitution: Leaving the Life” which focused on her work as a survivor advocate and the Ink 180 Documentary. In July 2014, her article “Ten Years and Counting” was published in Police Chief Magazine as a companion article to a piece written by Cook County Sheriff, Thomas J. Dart, both focused on human trafficking.

“Marian Hatcher is a brave example of a survivor who overcame great strongholds to free herself and blaze a path of freedom for others,” Shared Hope International President and Founder Linda Smith said. “She has made significant contributions in the fight to hold buyers accountable for their crime and to eliminate tolerance for commercial sexual exploitation.”   

In 2000, the U.S. Department of State engaged Shared Hope International to hold Pathbreaking Strategies Conferences in six countries to energize the global conversation about the issue of trafficking and share innovative approaches to combat the problem. The conferences led to significant change in the global landscape of national responses to trafficking in countries that were behind the global community and enabling an environment that was fostering trafficking with no developed response. During this process, the Pathbreaker Award was established to recognize the pioneering efforts of individuals throughout the world who broke the trend of inaction and initiated proactive responses to prevent trafficking. See all Pathbreaker Award recipients.

The 2014 Pathbreaker Award recipients also include Congressman Frank Wolf (VA-10) and Brendan Johnson, U.S. Attorney for the District of South Dakota. U.S. Attorney Johnson and Ms. Hatcher will accept the award on November 7 during Shared Hope International’s JuST Conference in Washington, D.C.

MEDIA MATERIALS

For media convenience, a variety of video clips and resources, including survivor comments, are available at this location: http://vimeo.com/user12564384/albums. Clips are password protected, please contact Taryn Offenbacher at Taryn@sharedhope.org for access.

ABOUT SHARED HOPE INTERNATIONAL: Shared Hope International was established in 1998, by former U.S. Congresswoman Linda Smith, to prevent, restore, and bring justice to women and children in crisis. We provide leadership in awareness, training, prevention strategies, restorative care, research, and policy initiatives. For more information about Shared Hope International, go to www.sharedhope.org

For more information contact Taryn Offenbacher at (602) 818-3955 or taryn@sharedhope.org.

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U.S. Attorney Brendan Johnson Receives Shared Hope Pathbreaker Award for Anti-Trafficking Leadership http://sharedhope.org/2014/10/17/u-s-attorney-brendan-johnson-recieves-shared-hope-pathbreaker-award-anti-trafficking-leadership/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=u-s-attorney-brendan-johnson-recieves-shared-hope-pathbreaker-award-anti-trafficking-leadership http://sharedhope.org/2014/10/17/u-s-attorney-brendan-johnson-recieves-shared-hope-pathbreaker-award-anti-trafficking-leadership/#comments Fri, 17 Oct 2014 22:32:26 +0000 http://sharedhope.org/?p=9339 Shared Hope International honors Brendan Johnson for prioritizing the prosecution of buyers of sex trafficking ARLINGTON, VA. – Brendan Johnson, U.S. Attorney for the District of South Dakota has been named a 2014 Pathbreaker Award recipient for his determined leadership in combatting child sex trafficking. U.S. Attorney Johnson has taken a progressive approach to demand [...]

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Shared Hope International honors Brendan Johnson for prioritizing the prosecution of buyers of sex trafficking

ARLINGTON, VA. – Brendan Johnson, U.S. Attorney for the District of South Dakota has been named a 2014 Pathbreaker Award recipient for his determined leadership in combatting child sex trafficking.

U.S. Attorney Johnson has taken a progressive approach to demand enforcement through broad collaboration and aggressive prosecution of buyers which established broader federal engagement in combating demand for child sex trafficking.  At the request of Attorney General Eric Holder, Johnson was one of fifteen U.S. Attorneys selected to serve on the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee from 2012-2013. He has prioritized the prosecution of cases involving violence against Native American women and children and human trafficking. Mr. Johnson has overseen the prosecution of more than 25 human trafficking cases in five years, including three life-sentences and the federal prosecution of numerous men who attempted to purchase sex from trafficking victims. His office pursued the case of United States v. Jungers through the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, securing the critical decision that buyers of sex acts with minors are committing crimes of sex trafficking under the federal law, upping the risk of such activity by those who drive the sex trafficking markets.

“Brendan Johnson is a force of determination, initiative and skill that should leave buyers terrified to purchase sex with a minor in South Dakota,” Shared Hope International President and Founder Linda Smith said. “By creating a threshold for buyer accountability, he sets a national precedent that, if applied, will make significant strides in reducing tolerance for purchasing sex with a minor.”   

In 2000, the U.S. Department of State engaged Shared Hope International to hold Pathbreaking Strategies Conferences in six countries to energize the global conversation about the issue of trafficking and share innovative approaches to combat the problem. The conferences led to significant change in the global landscape of national responses to trafficking in countries that were behind the global community and enabling an environment that was fostering trafficking with no developed response. During this process, the Pathbreaker Award was established to recognize the pioneering efforts of individuals throughout the world who broke the trend of inaction and initiated proactive responses to prevent trafficking. See all Pathbreaker Award recipients.

The 2014 Pathbreaker Award recipients also include Congressman Frank Wolf (VA-10) and Marian Hatcher, Project Manager for the Sheriff’s Women’s Justice Programs at the Cook County Sheriff’s Office. U.S. Attorney Johnson and Ms. Hatcher will accept the award on November 7 during Shared Hope International’s JuST Conference in Washington, D.C.

MEDIA MATERIALS

For media convenience, a variety of video clips and resources, including survivor comments, are available at this location: http://vimeo.com/user12564384/albums. Clips are password protected, please contact Taryn Offenbacher at Taryn@sharedhope.org for access.

ABOUT SHARED HOPE INTERNATIONAL: Shared Hope International was established in 1998, by former U.S. Congresswoman Linda Smith, to prevent, restore, and bring justice to women and children in crisis. We provide leadership in awareness, training, prevention strategies, restorative care, research, and policy initiatives. For more information about Shared Hope International, go to www.sharedhope.org.

For more information contact Taryn Offenbacher at (602) 818-3955 or taryn@sharedhope.org.

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AZ Central – ‘Why can’t she run away?’ and other nonsense http://sharedhope.org/2014/10/10/az-central-why-cant-she-run-away/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=az-central-why-cant-she-run-away http://sharedhope.org/2014/10/10/az-central-why-cant-she-run-away/#comments Fri, 10 Oct 2014 14:50:03 +0000 http://sharedhope.org/?p=9121 The vivid graphic of a fist in the face quickly dispatched the platitudes we offer for domestic violence, especially when it involves a superhero. It unhinged the “she could have just run” line of reasoning — one that is still prevalent today in the attitude toward child victims of sex trafficking. The video of Ray [...]

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The vivid graphic of a fist in the face quickly dispatched the platitudes we offer for domestic violence, especially when it involves a superhero.

It unhinged the “she could have just run” line of reasoning — one that is still prevalent today in the attitude toward child victims of sex trafficking.

The video of Ray and Janay Rice has sparked long overdue re-engagement with the reality of domestic violence as opposed to the words about it now ensconced in law.

Ray is not the first partner to abuse his fiancee, nor is Janay the first woman to stay with a violent spouse. The scene that unfolded in the TMZ video that has racked up 900,000 views is the same scene that plays out in homes across America each day.

So, why did it take this video to reawaken a nation?

The answer is complicated. The outrage is due, in part, to Ray Rice’s celebrity status as a football hero and the graphic video’s power to eliminate ambiguity. There is little room to make excuses for him. Perhaps it is an indication we still have the capacity to recognize injustice and label it as something that should have consequences for the perpetrator, even if he is an object of our hero worship.

But much of the intrigue comes from the uncomfortable, lingering question: Why did she stay? It’s the question everyone feels guilty asking but secretly wonders. Twitter is ablaze with the trending #whyistayed. The reasons victims attribute to staying in a relationship of intimate partner violence include isolation from others, lack of financial independence, broken self-esteem, fear of escalated violence and the psychological bond to the abuser that such trauma creates.

Historically, the term commonly used for domestic violence was domestic disturbance. The violence was masked as simply a “disturbance” that was a private matter. Today, laws and language have evolved to call it what it is: violence.

Progress has been made in addressing domestic violence. Shelters have been built, programs implemented, awareness campaigns launched. Yet countless women still stay in relationships of intimate-partner violence.

Why? Despite laws, we haven’t offered them the justice they deserve. We still blame the victim and fail to recognize abusers as criminals. We still ask why she didn’t leave.

Rice was initially handed a two-game penalty. Only after the video became public did he face a meaningful consequence. Yet supporters arrived for a Feb. 11 game sporting his No. 27 Baltimore Ravens jersey. Some have opposed the NFL’s decision to release Rice, calling his actions “a mistake” and suggesting that everyone “deserves a second chance.” For them, a win for the Raven’s carries higher value than justice.

Advocates address lenient punishments and societal tolerance of people who are caught soliciting a child prostitute.

The social indifference toward the violence of child sex trafficking lies on a dangerous parallel path.

In 2000, the Federal Trafficking Victims Protection Act was passed, defining sex trafficking with a child as the exchange of any item of value for sex acts with a minor under 18 years old. Until recently, however, the crime was more commonly identified as child prostitution. Because of that label, children were arrested, criminalized, racking up criminal histories that included prostitution before they were old enough to vote. Similar to domestic violence, society often placed the blame on the victim and the perceived freedom of “choice.”

We want to believe a wife chooses to stay with her abusive husband rather than recognize that escape comes with the very real threat of murder. We also believe child sex-trafficking victims choose to engage in prostitution to make money. We conveniently overlook the trafficker taking the money and issuing beatings if she doesn’t meet her quota.

The idea that a trafficked child carries enough agency to choose to engage in prostitution but must be protected from other potentially life-threatening decisions, like joining the military, drinking alcohol and renting a car, is illogical and hypocritical.

Like a victim of domestic violence, trafficking victims are kept in isolation, barred from education, unable to obtain employment that will provide financial independence, struggle with extreme abuse and broken self-esteem and live in a constant state of fear. Then, we wonder why the victim doesn’t exercise her “choice” to leave.

A Valley woman says she was snared into a life of prostitution at a young age. Now, she’s trying to help others before it’s too late.

Sadly, whether a celebrity engages in domestic violence or exploits a trafficking victim, the long arm of the law seems to be too short to reach his pedestal.

New York Giants linebacker and Hall of Famer Lawrence Taylor purchased sex with a 16-year-old girl from a trafficker operating in New York. In an interview with Fox News’ Shepard Smith, Taylor describes the victim as “a working girl who came to my room.” Under federal law, Taylor could have received 10 years in prison.

2010: Taylor arrested for third-degree rape

Like the fans with Ray Rice jerseys and sympathetic TV interviewers, there are those who say we should go easy on the offenders. And by extension, the pass we give to people like these should be applied to any abuser who similarly claims it was “just a mistake” or “I just couldn’t help myself.” Shopping for sex with a child is never just a mistake — it is a violent crime against that child, and when authorities fail to adequately penalize offenders, they actually encourage the violence.

For child victims of sex trafficking, nothing will change without the kind of public outcry generated by the video of the attack on Janay Rice.

As the Super Bowl approaches, it is encouraging to see key leaders in the sports industry launching offensives against this crime. The “Arizona’s Not Buying It” campaign, organized by the Arizona Attorney General’s Office, includes Derrick Hall, president/CEO of the Arizona Diamondbacks; Anthony LeBlanc, co-owner/president/CEO of the Arizona Coyotes; Jason Rowley, president of the Phoenix Suns; sportscaster Mark Lewis; and Kurt Warner, a retired NFL quarterback for the Arizona Cardinals.

There are men across the nation who shop for sex with children and believe it is just what men do. As Taylor says: “I’m not the cause of prostitution. Sometimes, I make a mistake.”

For these men, Arizona’s law enforcement has a message for you: If you come to shop … plan to stay.

Linda Smith is founder and president of Shared Hope International.

FULL STORY: http://www.azcentral.com/story/opinion/op-ed/2014/09/19/ray-rice-domestic-violence-sex-trafficking/15891303/ | AZ Central

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ArtPrize Exhibit Uses Real Suvivor Voices to Bring Awareness to Sex Trafficking http://sharedhope.org/2014/09/15/artprize-exhibit-uses-real-suvivor-voices-to-bring-awareness-to-sex-trafficking/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=artprize-exhibit-uses-real-suvivor-voices-to-bring-awareness-to-sex-trafficking http://sharedhope.org/2014/09/15/artprize-exhibit-uses-real-suvivor-voices-to-bring-awareness-to-sex-trafficking/#comments Mon, 15 Sep 2014 14:09:16 +0000 http://sharedhope.org/?p=8701 Working with Shared Hope International, artist Pamela Alderman created an ArtPrize exhibit to bring greater awareness to the problem of sex trafficking. Using audio files from Chosen (one of Shared Hope’s documentary video resources), Pamela was able to add real voices from survivors and law enforcement to the exhibit. “The Scarlet Cord reveals the deception that enslaves innocent children. [...]

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“Tethered”

Working with Shared Hope International, artist Pamela Alderman created an ArtPrize exhibit to bring greater awareness to the problem of sex trafficking. Using audio files from Chosen (one of Shared Hope’s documentary video resources), Pamela was able to add real voices from survivors and law enforcement to the exhibit.

“The Scarlet Cord reveals the deception that enslaves innocent children. As visitors step inside a 40-foot storage container filled with thirty doors, they enter a secret world. This dark world crosses religious and social economic borders to sell our children for sex. A twisting scarlet cord depicts the trauma bond that connects the children to their traffickers. The weathered doors represent these abused children whose youthful minds have become knotted. My art—dedicated to these suffering children tethered within the sex industry—calls for compassionate action.”

Set against the backdrop of “The Scarlet Cord” ArtPrize installation, the collaborative music video featured below from artist Pamela Alderman and singer Kelsey Rottiers aims to confront the harsh reality of child sex trafficking and to call for compassionate action.

Midnight Wars & The Scarlet Cord from Pamela Alderman on Vimeo.

 

Some important facts the exhibit aims to confront:

  • There are 100,000 teens trafficked in the USA between the ages of nine and nineteen (FBI)
  • The average age at which a child is first exploited through prostitution is 12 to 14 (FBI)
  • Cybersex sells children as young as six weeks old for sex to customers in the USA (Women at Risk International)
  • Children are sold by their families for drug money and rent in West Michigan (Manasseh Project)

ArtPrize is the world’s largest open art competition and this year’s 19-day event expects to draw over 400,000 visitors. ArtPrize runs September 24 – October 12 at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Learn more about Pamela on Facebook, Twitter and on her website.

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Ajay’s Story of Hope http://sharedhope.org/2014/09/12/ajays-story/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=ajays-story http://sharedhope.org/2014/09/12/ajays-story/#comments Fri, 12 Sep 2014 16:58:23 +0000 http://sharedhope.org/?p=8586 I am Ajay Pun Magar, and I’m 17. I’ve been living at Asha Nepal 11 years. When I was young, my mother was taken from Nepal and sold into the brothel in India. From that time on, I lived with my uncle and aunty in Nepal. Those times were very hard for me. I was [...]

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16th Anniversity Dinner headshot 1I am Ajay Pun Magar, and I’m 17. I’ve been living at Asha Nepal 11 years.

When I was young, my mother was taken from Nepal and sold into the brothel in India. From that time on, I lived with my uncle and aunty in Nepal. Those times were very hard for me. I was not sent to school; instead I was sent to work in the fields, to graze cows and goats. My mother did not forget me, though, and after a few years she arranged for me to come to India. I was sent to India and stayed with her for some years. I was still very young and unaware of the life my mother was suffering. Though I stayed with my mom, I was not given proper love and care. She seemed busy with her work all the time, unable to give me the attention I needed. I came under the influence of the bad people in the brothel, and I became a street kid, wandering here and there. Later on, I came to know about my mother’s profession, and it made me very sad.

Fortunately after a few years, my mother and I were rescued by Bombay Teen Challenge and we went to Ashagram, outside Mumbai. I was very happy to arrive there. I felt like I had a really big family. Eventually, we were able to go back to Nepal, and we were sent to live at Shared Hope Intenational’s Village of Hope Asha Nepal, where I was even happier. Aunty Bimala [the director] was very supportive, loving, and caring. Unfortunately, my mother died in 2004. I was very sad and depressed. But again, I was loved by everyone, and they helped me overcome my sorrows. I used to think I was alone — that nobody understood me, but God showed and reminded me of His promises and always lifted me up when I was down.

Now, I have completed the 10th grade and am enrolled in a high school course in Hotel Management. In the future, I want to open a fine restaurant of my own and treat people with good food and service. But my dream is also to be a football player (which Americans call soccer). I play football for renowned clubs here in Nepal — and I am good at it! — so I want to utilize my talent and share the Gospel through sports ministry.

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Meet Ajay: Attend one of our 16th Anniversary Night of Hope events to hear this story in person.


Other stories of hope:

Our international guests will share how you have given them a hope-filled future…and how you can make that gift available to others like them.

Our international guests will share how you have given them a hope-filled future…and how you can make that gift available to others like them.
Learn more and register here

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Manisha’s Story of Hope http://sharedhope.org/2014/09/12/manishas-story/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=manishas-story http://sharedhope.org/2014/09/12/manishas-story/#respond Fri, 12 Sep 2014 16:57:52 +0000 http://sharedhope.org/?p=8589 My name is Manisha Sunuwar. I am 20 years old. Asha Nepal has been my home since I was 7. I knew nothing about myself — I didn’t know where I came from, who my parents were, where my home was, nothing. I learned the bitter truth from another resident at Asha Nepal, Renu. I [...]

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16th Anniversity Dinner headshot 1My name is Manisha Sunuwar. I am 20 years old. Asha Nepal has been my home since I was 7.

I knew nothing about myself — I didn’t know where I came from, who my parents were, where my home was, nothing. I learned the bitter truth from another resident at Asha Nepal, Renu. I call her “Aunty.”

Born in a small village in central Nepal, my mother grew up very poor. At 16, she fell in love with a man who offered her a job and a better life in the city. But she was betrayed and sold in India. She soon got pregnant with me, but she did not want a baby: a boy was destined to be a criminal, a girl a sex slave like her. She wanted to get rid of me, so she started neglecting me.

That’s when my dear Aunty Renu, also trafficked to the same brothel, began caring for me, while encouraging my mother to send me to someplace I could be saved. But both of them were helpless until the wonderful day my Aunty was rescued by Shared Hope International’s local partner organization. She urged my mother to take me, to seek shelter there, but my mother was not convinced. Instead, she sent me to a relative in Nepal while she stayed to work. I am told that I lived there for three years.

Eventually, my Aunty Renu came to Nepal and searched for me. When she found me she saw that I was miserable and was being used by these relatives as anything for money. She immediately arranged to bring me to Shared Hope International’s Village of Hope, Asha Nepal. Asha Nepal gave me the parental love and care I had never had; they gave me a family! The best part is, I know Jesus. I was living in a dark cage, but He used many people to rescue and restore me. I believe that God had a plan for me from the beginning, and He allowed these things so I could testify that He is the one true God!

I am now a second-year college student pursuing a degree in Social Work. My dream is to bring change to my country in the area of Human Trafficking. Having gone through this bitter experience, I want to restore trafficking victims trafficking back into society and see sorrowful lives transformed to joyful ones.

Share this story on Facebook.

Meet Manisha: Attend one of our 16th Anniversary Night of Hope events to hear this story in person.


Other stories of hope:

Our international guests will share how you have given them a hope-filled future…and how you can make that gift available to others like them.

Our international guests will share how you have given them a hope-filled future…and how you can make that gift available to others like them.
Learn more and register here

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Pooja’s Story of Hope http://sharedhope.org/2014/09/12/poojas-story/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=poojas-story http://sharedhope.org/2014/09/12/poojas-story/#respond Fri, 12 Sep 2014 16:55:31 +0000 http://sharedhope.org/?p=8587 My name is Pooja Ghimire. I’m 21. I’ve been living at Asha Nepal since I was 8. My mother, Shoba, was from the same rural village in Nepal where I was born. She was the eldest of seven; when her father died, she and her mother raised the younger children. At 16 my mom married, [...]

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16th Anniversity Dinner headshot 1My name is Pooja Ghimire. I’m 21. I’ve been living at Asha Nepal since I was 8.

My mother, Shoba, was from the same rural village in Nepal where I was born. She was the eldest of seven; when her father died, she and her mother raised the younger children. At 16 my mom married, and soon I was born; but when I was five months old, my dad married another woman for her dowry and left us without food or money.

Mother desperately struggled to care for me, but life was hard. I was very sickly. Just to survive, she left me with my father and his mother and returned to her own mother. Then a woman offered her a good job in a Kathmandu factory. That woman’s “sister” arranged the trip and gave my mom some dry meat — it was drugged. She awoke as a slave, thousands of miles away in a Mumbai brothel — where she spent five miserable years in pain and darkness, without hope.

Meanwhile, I was also in severe distress. My cruel stepmother beat and threatened me, forced me to do all the housework and take care of my stepbrother. I had no education, proper food, or clothes, while my stepbrother did. I couldn’t even remember what my own mother looked like.

My mom was finally rescued by the team from Shared Hope International’s local partner organization, and went to Nepal to stay with Aunty Bimala [the director] at Asha Nepal. They formed a plan for rescuing me. When she came to my village, my stepmother hid me — she wanted to keep her slave. But one day my mom grabbed me and ran! We fled to Shared Hope International’s Village of Hope, Asha Nepal. There I got everything I had been denied — good education, food, clothes — and lots of love and care.

At 9 I accepted Christ as my Savior. All my painful experiences have helped me realize that God is there for me. Jeremiah 29:11 became real to me: I know that God has a good plan for my life; whatever He does is to prosper me, to give me hope and a future. I’m pursuing a degree in Business Administration, to become a banker and build my own business. I want to glorify God and encourage women who have gone through the same pain my mom experienced. I believe that God will help me achieve those dreams.

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Meet Pooja: Attend one of our 16th Anniversary Night of Hope events to hear this story in person.


Other stories of hope:

Our international guests will share how you have given them a hope-filled future…and how you can make that gift available to others like them.

Our international guests will share how you have given them a hope-filled future…and how you can make that gift available to others like them.
Learn more and register here

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Savita’s Story of Hope http://sharedhope.org/2014/09/12/savitas-story/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=savitas-story http://sharedhope.org/2014/09/12/savitas-story/#respond Fri, 12 Sep 2014 16:54:30 +0000 http://sharedhope.org/?p=8588 I am Savita Tamang, 30 years old; Asha Nepal has been my home for 10 years. My mom was sold in India when she was very young. She became pregnant and sought an abortion, but my father said he would take full responsibility if the child was a boy. When I was born a girl, [...]

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SavitaI am Savita Tamang, 30 years old; Asha Nepal has been my home for 10 years.

My mom was sold in India when she was very young. She became pregnant and sought an abortion, but my father said he would take full responsibility if the child was a boy. When I was born a girl, he refused to accept me. My mom was miserable; she had never wanted me in the first place. She sent me to various people who kept me for short periods. When I contracted polio, it became even harder to find someone to take me. Finally my mother paid a maid a large sum to take me, and I was raised in that family.

The woman’s son and daughter-in-law abused me. They forced me to do household chores dawn to dusk even when I was seriously ill. I have the bitter memory of being hungry for long periods. Eventually they forced me to marry a very poor man who didn’t even have a proper place to stay. But they lied to my mom, continuing to request money for my support.

When I refused to do what this man told me, he became violent. One day, he threw me out of the house. I was miserable. I went to stay with an aunt who had been trafficked to the brothel. She hid me in her place for three weeks, but knowing she couldn’t protect me long, she begged for help from the Bombay Teen Challenge outreach team. They arranged my rescue. I asked them to help my mom too, and they were able to free her a few months later. We both were recommended to Shared Hope International’s Village of Hope at Asha Nepal — where we started our lives again.

My mom was with me for three years before she died. My family at Asha Nepal consoled me in my grief.

I wanted to utilize the beautiful life God gave me. At school, I got good grades. I work at Asha Nepal as a caregiver for the children. Now I’m in my second year of college, studying Sociology. I’m working very hard: it’s difficult after such a long gap in my education!

God has blessed me in many ways; my dream is to be a good example for those who have lost hope and faith. I also want a family of my own, and lead a normal, happy life. God has proven to me that nothing is impossible in Him!

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Meet Savita: Attend one of our 16th Anniversary Night of Hope events to hear this story in person.


Other stories of hope:

Our international guests will share how you have given them a hope-filled future…and how you can make that gift available to others like them.

Our international guests will share how you have given them a hope-filled future…and how you can make that gift available to others like them.
Learn more and register here

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Shared Hope Files Joint Amicus Brief to Support Justice for Victims http://sharedhope.org/2014/09/10/amicus-brief-against-backpage/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=amicus-brief-against-backpage http://sharedhope.org/2014/09/10/amicus-brief-against-backpage/#comments Wed, 10 Sep 2014 19:22:27 +0000 http://sharedhope.org/?p=8385 On July 30, 2012, J.S., S.L., and L.C., three juvenile sex trafficking victims, filed a lawsuit against Backpage.com, LLC alleging that the website participated in their exploitation by creating an online marketplace of escort ads where children are sold and bought for sex. Backpage.com claims it is immune from civil liability under Section 230 of the [...]

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On July 30, 2012, J.S., S.L., and L.C., three juvenile sex trafficking victims, filed a lawsuit against Backpage.com, LLC alleging that the website participated in their exploitation by creating an online marketplace of escort ads where children are sold and bought for sex. Backpage.com claims it is immune from civil liability under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA), 18 U.S.C. § 230. The trial court denied Backpage.com’s request to dismiss the case and on July 26, 2014, the Supreme Court of the State of Washington granted review of the decision.

Backpage.com is a primary venue for buyers of commercial sex, including with minors who are exploited through trafficking. Just as buyers will continue to seek commercial sex acts with juveniles until we take seriously criminal deterrence efforts, Backpage.com will continue to facilitate these buyers until we stop them.

Shared Hope International joined National Crime Victim Law Institute, Covenant House New York and Human Rights Project for Girls in filing an amicus (“friend of the court”) brief urging the court to allow the case to proceed, giving the child victims in this case the right to seek justice and have their day in court. Other advocacy organizations and the Washington State Attorney General’s Office have filed briefs in support of these children also.

The Washington State Supreme Court will hear arguments in the case on October 21, 2014.

Amicus Briefs in Support of Child Respondents

Case Filings

Federal Legislation

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