“Here I was on what was supposed to be a five-minute call in my congressional office and I listened for 45 minutes. Just not able to put the phone down, hearing about children being sold for horrible acts and labeled prostitutes.” – Linda Smith, Founder & President of Shared Hope International.
If you haven’t heard, Shared Hope has joined the world of podcasts.
Invading the Darkness: stories from the fight against child sex trafficking podcast, features Linda Smith, the founder of Shared Hope International. We invite you to join Linda as she shares stories from her 23 years of fighting the battle of domestic minor sex trafficking.
In episode 2 of our inaugural season, Linda Smith shares how she first encountered the sexual exploitation of children. Listen as she recounts the pain of that moment and the resolve that came upon her to pierce the darkness with the light of hope.
Here’s an excerpt where Linda take us to where Shared Hope began:
“I think it would be easier for me to start from the beginning of Shared Hope, that’s where I realized how dark it was. Here I was on what was supposed to be a five minute call in my congressional office and I listened for 45 minutes. Just not able to put the phone down, hearing about children being sold for horrible acts and labeled prostitutes. I couldn’t sleep, I got a ticket to India and that very first night I asked to be taken to that place I’d been told about. I couldn’t believe what I saw and what I felt. I was on the streets of Bombay, India. I was still a member of the US Congress. I’d been told about the women and children who were being prostituted, but I just couldn’t believe it. They said that there were hundreds of thousands of women and children, I just couldn’t believe it.
In politics, people stretch the truth a little bit and I thought, “Oh, they’re not telling the truth,” but I couldn’t sleep. So they took me down to the brothel area called Falkland Road and there before my eyes was a crowded street and two storey places that there were little hands sticking out of the bars on the second storey and women and young girls standing in front of doors. I was shocked. The smell of incense, and urine, and diesel, body odor and we in America have a way of kind of not managing that real well. We don’t like things that smell bad, but I was more overwhelmed by the crowded streets of man after man, shoulder to shoulder shopping along both sides, two storeys with women and children who they would buy for a brief sex act or maybe longer for a few rupees and then walk on.”
You can listen to the entire episode here, or by subscribing to the podcast and listening on Apple or Spotify. Over the course of the next few months, you can expect a brand new episode each Tuesday.
Our desire is that each episode of Invading the Darkness will help you understand the importance of fighting child sex trafficking as well as equip you to join in that fight. Thank you for joining us. Together, we are invading the darkness and sharing hope with the many.