Enlightening Our Neighbors About Modern Day Slavery
Mary Anne Geskie
The problem of modern day slavery and human trafficking is a serious global issue. The profits obtained from the use of forced labor are estimated at $150 billion per year and of that amount $99 billion comes from commercial sexual exploitation.
This criminal activity is second only to the selling of drugs. In New York City alone, it was found that almost 4000 children were sexually exploited. It is difficult to believe that children as young as 12 years old are trafficked for sexual exploitation.
As my factual awareness of this heinous crime has grown, I wondered if I could intervene in some small way to stem the growth and destruction of this horrible crime. I felt I needed to make a contribution and hopefully make a difference in the lives of others.
The way became clearer after attending a presentation by Sister Connie Kennedy, CSJ, on Modern Day Slavery and Human Trafficking during an Associate Day of Prayer. My questions and interest deepened as Sister Connie and I began to share our mutual interests and concerns related to this social justice issue. Becoming a member of the congregation’s Social Justice Committee has also expanded my awareness.
I live in a gated community on Long Island and happen to be a member of the Jewish Cultural Club. The members of this club are probably the most active and involved residents of the community and are mostly retired professional people like teachers, doctors and lawyers. I suggested making a presentation on Modern Day Slavery and Human Trafficking to the President of the club and she was very excited about the offer.
On May 18, 2015 Sister Connie and I presented a program to this group. Sister Connie began with a power point presentation on the global nature of Modern Day Slavery. It was followed by a video called, “What I’ve Been Through Is Not Who I Am.” This video is about a young woman who was trafficked and has used her experience to help other girls who have been rescued from these situations. I then presented a more detailed understanding of the psychological impact upon these young women and a more thorough explanation of Trauma Bonding. The feedback I’ve received indicates our presentation was beneficial. And so in some small way, we hope that our effort increased awareness of this horrible crime.
Paula Goldbaum, President of the Colony Jewish Cultural Club,
Mary Anne Geskie, Ph.D., CSJA, Sister Connie Kennedy, CSJ