In the past, I have written about things I fear as a single woman, things I am afraid of (MONKEYS), and things that make me worry for, well, for the human race as a whole, really. I have written about my worries and concerns, and have shared my friend's post about the fear of men that is sadly ingrained in all women.
But something in the news recently has triggered a reminder that no matter how many local murders, school shootings, mass killings, or kidnappings take place, I do not walk around in fear of my life. I am aware of my surroundings, I don't walk the streets late at night, and I avoid dimly lit parking garages, but overall, despite the very real risks, I do still live my life.
I try to remember that I can't control the bad in the world. If someone is going to kill me, it's going to happen; I'm not going to live in constant fear of what might happen. That'd be like never leaving home out of fear of a car crash or never traveling out of fear of a plane hijacking. You can't live like that. Get up, get out, and live the life you want - it's not your time to go until it's your time to go.
That said, I am absolutely fucking terrified of human trafficking. It scares the shit out of me. And the fact that there is a possibly trafficking case within a few city blocks of my apartment, is truly frightening. Despite that it may be the least likely disaster to actually happen to me, it is the one that scares me the most.
There is something just very finite about sex trafficking. I once read an article about it that said, if you go missing and are believed to be involved in the trafficking ring, if you are not found within 12 hours, you will never be found. Never. That is so final! With kidnapping or carjacking or rape cases, there is a chance. A chance to escape, a chance to be found or saved. With trafficking, there is no chance. You're literally never seen or heard from again, and that scares me more than anything else.
I recently drove from Vancouver to Olympia for a baseball tournament, and on the way up, Rachel and I had to stop to pee. In the bathroom at the rest stop on I-5 was a sign, written in about 11 languages, that said basically, if you are being forced to work or have sex against your will, call this number. It was eerie and chilling, and just too fucking scary for words. To know that this exists here, so close to home, and to know that really, if you become involved in it, there is no getting out...makes the hairs on my neck stand up.
What prompted this topic, is that there is a teen girl missing from Camas, which is just a leap from my own home. The news has stated that they are afraid she is involved in some human trafficking ring, and reading it just made my heart sink. Looking at all of the posts on her parents' "help us find our daughter" Facebook page was upsetting, because in reality, as pessimistic as it may be, she will never come home. If the suspicions of where she is are correct, these people will never see their daughter again. She is already on drugs, in another country, getting a bar code tattooed on her neck or her arm, and we'll never have any answers on her disappearance. And even though I don't know her, that makes me sick to my stomach.
I try to end my blogs on a positive, but I don't seem to be finding one today. It is just a very scary, chilling, frightening situation, and my heart goes out to this poor girl's parents.
It makes me wonder what I can do. How can I help? How can I make a difference? There are articles everywhere about fundraisers and awareness, and of course, the knowledge is power brigade. Talk about it. Know that it's a real thing, and that sadly, it is happening more and more, instead of less and less. Human trafficking is the second largest crime...how is that even possible? I've been doing my research, reading the facts, absorbing the information - and being scared fucking shitless. But sometimes, you have to find the thing that terrifies you to your very core, to know what human rights campaign you should be trying to help. And this is mine.