From Liberty to Captivity

What if on one cold, rainy night you watched the FBI descend upon and raid your neighbor’s house and you had no idea why they were there? What if you found out from an article that had been put in your mailbox anonymously several weeks later, that the FBI Agents had found thousands of files on your neighbor’s computer, many of which contained videos of young children being brutally raped and tortured? What if you found out that the very same places you frequented with your friends, where CHILDREN frequented, like coffee shops, outlet mall stores, sporting events, and family vacation hotels, were HUNTING GROUNDS for human traffickers? And what would you do if you found out that sex slavery and human trafficking were not just topics for some Dateline news story, that you watched while you were doing the dishes, about India or countries in Eastern Europe, but that it is a plague that has quietly spread ACROSS AMERICA to every state, in towns and cities and suburbs of every size and type, where victims have been dragged across our borders to satisfy insatiable appetites and increasingly younger and younger American children are being rented out to be raped, every single day, every single hour, for profit? Wouldn’t you want to scream, “What is going on?” “Why didn’t I know about this?” “Aren’t there laws to deal with this?” WOULDN’T YOU WANT ANSWERS? Would you be outraged enough to quit your job to go on the hunt for and to demand answers? I did.

My name is Debbie, and I live in a small town on the eastern side of Pennsylvania. This happened to me. This is my story. And this is the journey that I and my good friend and neighbor, Janet, have embarked upon, flipping our lives upside down, putting it all on the line, having zero credentials to do any of this—to investigate and uncover the truth. We invite you on our journey as we search for the answer to the question of how our beloved state, Pennsylvania, went from a place that represented freedom at the foundation of America through the time of the Underground Railroad and has since received a failing grade in a report card created by Shared Hope International for its lack of effective legal measures taken to address the most insidious form of slavery—sex trafficking, especially as it relates to minors. We invite you to follow our journey—the journey of two regular suburban women and former teachers—as we explore the struggle of our state to protect victims and to prosecute the perpetrators who have turned our beautiful state into a breeding ground for the worst kind of evil. We invite you to join us as we walk in the shoes of victims and we look into their eyes and hear their stories. And we invite you to help us to discover the seeds of hope, planted by the hands of modern-day abolitionists—courageous civil servants and others serving on the front lines of this war and every day people just like us, in Pennsylvania, and in other states that have taken a stand and started to turn the tide. Abolitionists who have chosen to stand in the gap between our youth and those who abuse them in unspeakable ways. Abolitionists who are saying “no more!” to those who boldly hunt for and desire to profit from the sale of America’s little tender bodies and spirits and others from countries around the world who have been enslaved behind America’s doors. Abolitionists who have created bridges for victims to cross over from being victim to being victor.

We invite you to experience the documentary of our journey, “From Liberty to Captivity.”

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Read International Justice Mission’s article: SWITCHING TRACKS FOR FREEDOM: WHY DEBBIE QUIT HER JOB

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