When I began writing Pursuit of the Golden Lily, I did not fully appreciate the quote: "The story writes you as much as you write it." - Billy Marshall Stoneking.
Now I do.
A component of my life path has been to seek out, whenever possible, opportunities to raise awareness of social issues. So when the plot line of my story invited me to examine the nefarious world of sex trafficking, I accepted. The official number of known victims of sex trafficking is staggering - about 4.5 million globally (International Labor Organization). Sadly, one must assume that the actual number is much higher since most victims never escape their captors.
While in Bangkok, we met with Sudarat Seerwat, Director of the FACE Foundation which confronts the issue of sex trafficking in Thailand.
Sudarat and her team of volunteers advocate tirelessly to change laws; they do what they can to rescue girls and young women from pimps and brothels; they try to educate the police and the public about the issue. We were amazed by her energy and optimism in the face of such challenges. She has devoted her life to this. You can listen to Sudarat speaking on this a short Video.
Sex trafficking is a global issue. In North America the problem is on the rise. Gangs prey on vulnerable girls and boys, luring them in with promises of companionship, easy money and an exciting life. Don't think it doesn't happen on your street. It can happen to ANYONE. In the USA the National Helpline is:
1 (888) 373 7888. If you encounter, or see a young person who might be in a precarious situation, call. One phone call could save a life.
To learn more read the The US State Department's Trafficking In Persons Report 2015Thanks to Sudarat, and people like her, who are doing all they can.