Rape for Profit [Movie Alert]

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I just become aware of this upcoming film, which will be released through iTunes on August 6 (next Tuesday).

Here’s the description from the website:

Typically known for coffeehouses and cloud cover, Seattle has also gained another title: 3rd most prostituted children in the nation. Experts estimate that there are up to 300,000 underage girls sexually trafficked nationally every year. These girls (many as young as 12 and 13 years old) are bought and sold for the pleasure of men all over the country. This isn’t just happening in 3rd world countries, it’s happening right here in our own backyards. It has been said that prostitution and rape are two sides of the same coin. None of these little girls want to be out in the freezing cold night after night to get into cars with strange men; they are trapped inside a system of coercion and fear that gives them no hope for a normal childhood – much less a healthy future.

You can watch the trailer here or visit the website here.

Roots of Justice Bible Study

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International Justice Mission has created a five-week group study exploring the biblical foundation of God’s call to a justice lifestyle. IJM does amazing work in rescuing people out of modern day slavery. I’m excited about this series and look forward to reviewing it. I hope to start a Roots of Justice study group soon if I like what I read.

Check it out here. There are 6 downloadable videos and a PDF discussion guide.

Movie: Whistleblower : Disturbing, intense, & engaging.

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My wife and just watched a disturbing but engaging film called The Whistleblower. The 2010 film starring Rachel Weisz dramatizes the true life story of Kathryn Bolkovac, a Nebraska cop who served as a peacekeeper in post-war Bosnia and outed the U.N. for covering up a sex scandal. The scandal was the trafficking of young girls into the sex trade. Not only were UN and various international personnel involved as clients, they also became directly involved in the trafficking of the girls, using UN clearances and vehicles for the task. As one character in the movie said “After the war, all our men are dead. So, who is using these girls?”.

The film is quite graphic, just as much in what it implies, as what it directly shows. If the girls speak to Bolkovac and are discovered they risk being tortured, or in one case, murdered. There are billions in government contracts as well as reputations on the line. To make things harder, all international personnel have diplomatic immunity and are never prosecuted by their home countries. Unfortunately, the movie does not have a happy ending. The girls aren’t recused and some are left in a worse state because they spoke to investigators.

I can’t recommend the movie enough, but not for the squeamish. The one lesson you should take away from this movie is that sex trafficking is real and modern day slavery is alive and well. Girls become the worst kind of property, are abused, tortured and sold like cattle (and I dare say cattle are likely treated better).

Sex trafficking is a problem everywhere. I live in Toronto, Canada’s most populace city. I know it happens here. I know somewhere in this city there are young girls being prostituted. They have been torn way from their families and are told they are “working off their debts” to their captors. It disgusts me, as do the ancillary industries that it supports like strip clubs and pornography. We are loosing what it means to be human. We have, as Pope Benedict XVI said “The world has lost its story”(1) and with an understanding of the human story.

If you’re interested in knowing more or getting involved in action against this evil, there are several organization working to end this evil. If you are interested, here’s three of them that friends have pointed me to.

Additional article
What the UN Doesn’t Want You to Know (Telegraph UK)

(1) Light of the World: The Pope, the Church, and the Signs of the Times (Ignatius Press), Peter Seewald in conversation with Pope Benedict XVI.