[notice]A fortnightly column by a team of real people dedicating their lives to the fight against human trafficking, exploitation and social injustice. This week’s writer is Elanie Kruger.[/notice]
Over the years of working on the ground and seeing the harsh reality of this modern day slavery it starts to break you as a human into small pieces.
It takes away your trust in the human race. Many nights I have spent crying and looking for answers, to the questions of why and how. Just to find myself the next day saving another victim from a cheap old rusty bed, covered in dirt and shame.
You never thought that a towel can embrace so much love, when you put it around the victim to cover her shame. I have seen brave ones, some so brave that they face their “pimp” just to have the last say … “I am no longer scared of you, I am saved and I do not belong to you anymore … you do not OWN me anymore”.
Some are not so lucky — many I have had to hand over to the investigation squad to find families to put her to rest in a grave. Often you wonder if you are not living a dream — could this be real? Can humanity truly be so cold and full of wrath as to let a precious soul be left alone to die on her own?
Every five hours a child goes missing in South Africa. Not so long ago we worked on statistics of six hours, and now the clock is ticking faster and faster.
The root of all this evil — LUST FOR MONEY! Many days I have spent talking to crowds or churches about the reality of human trafficking, the sheep-like faces staring at me thinking: “ IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN TO US”.
Still, after the talk I take time to answer questions and the funny thing is I always get the same response … “But this does NOT happen in South Africa, only in other countries”.
Then, for a second I think to myself, when was the last time you read the newspaper or watched the news? Do you not see the rescues, the raids, the brothels and the captives being set free?
I am asking you, who is reading this now, to please read up about this brutal world and educate yourself and the ones around you.
Many search for work, just to be caught up in a web of being sold. Many live in great poverty, ending up in a brothel or being sold for pornographic material. It is the heartbreaking truth and reality. I am NOT referring here to other countries but to South Africa.
Putting back the pieces
My precious survivors stand up today for themselves. Yes, many live in safe houses as this is where the hope starts — in a place of safety.
If you listen to each victim’s journey and where they come from and how it started, the story is always the same. The details of each one’s journey are different. But it always comes back to one thing only … SEX TRADE!
Some were sold to a pimp for R5 000 or ended up working in a brothel somewhere in an old house. Many were beaten up and drugged for many days just to make them workable so that others could get rich.
My girls are putting back the pieces today. Through the love of Jesus, they have been found and not forsaken, and they are strong women freeing themselves from the bondage of sex slavery. Some are becoming mothers, some are as young as 12 years old. Some are not so lucky. Just as the healing process starts, they want to be reunited with their families, and the sad part for some is that the families want nothing to do with them, and with that I have lost many girls to suicide.
The current status of our babies is that they are also sold — sold to some “farm” where they grow up just to become victims — as a matter of fact they have become victims the moment they were sold. Can I save them? I am trying, each day to connect and work with wonderful teams.
Can this be stopped? NO! And many people in the past have been very annoyed with me when I said that we will NEVER stop Human Trafficking. We simply cannot. Remember their profit gets higher each year. What YOU can do is talk about it, educate yourself and others — and in that way you can make sure that your loved ones do not become the next victims.
Many times I wanted out. Being a survivor myself I want to save all of them, I want to put my arms around those unreachable ones and whisper, I am coming, wait for me, don’t give up, I AM COMING. But it is not always possible.
Jesus sent His 10 000 angels to break my chains. I have seen Him breaking many chains — and He does this DAILY. So I have been a positive voice for those in bondage.
I have also been a negative voice to those doing this evil to humanity — many have chased me, threatened me and my family, but with God and His angels I am always safe in His arms with the resting knowledge that He is in control.
The devil’s playground
There are so many watching pornography thinking it is OK — but the moment your viewing age group drops to young children, you have a problem. You have opened the door of human trafficking and you have brought it upon yourself. You have become a direct “buyer” to make many rich. Can you then truly go home and kiss your own children and NOT think about the clips and movies you watch of YOUNG children? Is that truly who you have become? Because that my friend is the devil’s playground.
Are you not perhaps living this great Christian Life, but when all are sleeping at night, you switch on your laptop to watch some porn? Are you not then still living in the dark world but THINK you live in the light of Christ? That is how the world of human trafficking works — from the outside the light is shining, promises are made to young ones, to parents — promises of a better life for their children. But on the inside it is crawling with darkness, it eats away the soul.
We as parents are so wrapped up in our own world. Days are faster, there are too few hours in each day and we tend to neglect our own precious families who are at home or at school.
Is it so necessary for our teenagers to reach out on the Internet for help? Where have the days gone that you could sit as a mother and listen to your teenage daughter’s feelings and emotions? Where have the days gone that you could sit with her and cry it out — as a mother giving the advice and loving care she most needs, instead of her running to strangers who lure and wait for their next prey on the internet?
I have seen the agony of a mother whose child is missing for months, for years . It stays with me as I am a mother myself.
We are not fighting against the world, but against the spiritual dark world. Demons are crawling all over –into the mindset of our young ones. Be informed and alert.