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iCare for the voiceless

Elizabeth Murdock

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“I don’t know who you are but if you don’t let my daughter go. I will find you. And I will kill you.” This popular quote from the movie Taken, is recognized by many Greenbrier students as just a movie. A daughter who has been kidnapped and forced into prostitution and her ex-CIA agent dad who will stop at nothing to get his daughter back.  Although the movie is fake, the issue is not. Human trafficking targets the age range of 13 and 14. Right at the age range of many students at Greenbrier. There are an estimated 27 million slaves and any student could become a victim. Human trafficking make about $32 billion each year. iCare, a local, non-profit organization, hopes to change all that.

iCare raises awareness and take action against the growing stem of human trafficking. Using concerts and gift card drives, such as one held on December 17, they raise money to help furnish two local homes to restore victims of human trafficking, Rivertree Ranch. One of the homes will be for children and the other for women. Both will provide relief to those who have been trafficked.

The founder of iCare, Ginger Amerson, shares her experience with human trafficking. “I joined the fight because I met women and children who were suffering from the abuse of sexual exploitation and trafficking. This realization changed the life of me and my family in ways that are profound. We started iCare and began serving these victims. this meant leaving a lucrative job and sacrificing to make a difference in the lives of the victims who often have no one to speak up for them.”

Most of the children who were trafficked had run away from homes where they are physically or sexually abused. The National Incidence Studies of Missing, Abducted, Runaway, and Throwaway Children estimates that nationally 450,000 children run away from home each year. One out of three teens on the street will be lured toward prostitution within 48 hours of leaving home. How many children had run away before this group was formed? How many are still lost?

The age of children entering forced prostitution or labor is 13 or 14. The age, however, seems to be plummeting to ten or 11. Officials see an increase in human trafficking during sports events, such as the Masters. Due to so many people flooding in to watch the events, it is harder to catch all offenders.

Students cannot be expected to fight human trafficking single handedly. Ginger Amerson offers ideas of what students can do though.

“Students at Greenbrier can do three things: Help raise awareness at their school, host an event to raise funds for the restoration homes, and invite a young iCare speaker to make a presentation to their school group, civic organization or youth group.”

What else do you think students can do? Comment below.

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iCare for the voiceless