I’m running my first official 5K tomorrow! A friends’ daughter is hosting a 5K Freedom Run to help bring awareness to human trafficking in the US. If you want to donate, it’s not to late. Go here. I think it’s amazing what she is doing. Here is her story of why she decided to do it.
In the excitement of being able to go, (just found out yesterday that I can,) I was blinded by a couple thoughts.
1. I’ll have Lizzeth with me and I’ve never ran with the jogger stroller before. Thank God I found someone to watch her while I run. My mom is awesome!
2. People will see me run! OMGosh! I seriously don’t know if I’m ready for this.
3. Fear/embarrassment. Not just of people seeing my big o’l ass running, or the fact that I don’t fit into my real running clothes yet, but I don’t want to be the last one crossing the finish line. I’m a slow runner…slow. It takes me about 40 mins to run 3 miles.
I have been sick to my stomach thinking about this since I decided to do this run. Fear is ugly and I need to overcome it! I know, I’m petty for even having these thoughts. While kids are trapped in the most horrible life I could possibly imagine, I’m afraid of being seen running. I’ve been praying God keeps my mind on why I’m running. That in the smallest why, I am helping ,maybe, save someone.
If I was looking into the face of someone who was trapped in human trafficking, and they told me they would be free if I ran right then and there, I would NOT be thinking of what people are thinking of my fat ass running, or that my shorts would be riding up my butt, or that I don’t “look” like a runner. God no, I’d be running before they could finish their sentence.
So tomorrow, when I’m standing in the crowd of runners, I will NOT be thinking of myself, I will NOT be judging how I look compared to others that “look better,” I will NOT care if my shorts ride up or that I feel ridiculous flopping down the stress. This is NOT about me in anyway.
I WILL hold my head high and be proud that I get to be a part of something that could save a life, if even in the smallest way. Every time I slip and start on the “poor me” thinking, I will stop, tell my brain to shut up, then pray.
Sex Trafficking Statistics & Source Documentation
- Human trafficking generates $9.5 billion yearly in the United States. (United Nations)
- Approximately 300,000 children are at risk of being prostituted in the United States. (U.S. Department of Justice)
- The average age of entry into prostitution for a child victim in the United States is 13-14 years old. (U.S. Department of Justice)
- A pimp can make $150,000-$200,000 per child each year and the average pimp has 4 to 6 girls. (U.S. Justice Department, National Center for Missing and Exploited Children)
- The average victim may be forced to have sex up to 20-48 times a day. (Polaris Project)
- Fewer than 100 beds are available in the United States for underage victims. (Health and Human Services)
- Department Of Justice has identified the top twenty human trafficking jurisdictions in the country:” Houston • El Paso • Los Angeles • Atlanta • Chicago • Charlotte • Miami • Las Vegas • New York • Long Island • New Orleans • Washington, D.C. • Philadelphia • Phoenix • Richmond • San Diego• San Francisco • St Louis • Seattle • Tampa (Department of Justice)
- One in three teens on the street will be lured toward prostitution within 48 hours of leaving home. (National Runaway Hotline)