Travel’s Ugly Underbelly


Not everything about travel is pleasant. Some things are downright ugly.

I’ve been carrying around the following story inside my head for nearly two years—waiting for the right time to share it. That time is now.

April is National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month

Two years ago we made one of those choices travelers sometimes wrestle over. Late in the day we took a cheaper flight to Seattle and booked a room for the night at an airport hotel. By doing that we could take another inexpensive flight in the wee hours of the morning. The cost of the hotel was offset by the money saved on flights.

We checked in at the hotel desk and took the elevator to our room. The doors opened. As we stepped out of the elevator a beautiful Asian teenager approached from the hallway to the stairwell. Her straight bleached blond hair hung below her waist, her makeup a flawless mask.

Her raised eyebrows registered surprise at my presence a moment before she veiled her thoughts under hooded eyelids.

She turned down our hallway ahead of us. Another young Asian woman or teen—slightly disheveled—opened a hotel room door. Recognition lit her eyes when she saw the beauty walking toward her. The two girls acknowledged each other with a slight nod as they passed. Otherwise they pretended not to know each other.

It was hard to tell how old the girls were. They may have been in their early twenties. They may have both been teenagers. Heavy make-up is deceptive.

Vulnerable girls and boys are pulled into prostitution. They are groomed and exploited by evil people—some of whom masquerade as charming individuals.

So what inspired me to write about these two young call girls? Why tell you about them now?

I recently saw an interview of Rebecca Bender, author of: In Pursuit of Love, from Trafficked to Triumphant. https://rebeccabender.org/in-pursuit-of-love

Rebecca’s book tells the story of how she was forced into sex trafficking for nearly six years. She eventually began her way out after Federal Investigators raided the home of her pimp. Through her story, she teaches what trafficking looks like in America and what we can do about it.

According to her website, these days Rebecca can be found either telling her story or helping others tell their own. Her trainings on this underground world are highly sought after by FBI, Homeland Security, undercover, SVU (Special Victims’ Unit), medical professionals and prosecutors. She speaks on leadership and founding non-profits, serves on the United States National Advisory Committee, Dept of Justice Human Trafficking Advisory Council, and the board of Exodus Cry. Read more on Rebecca’s website: https://rebeccabender.org

What Can You Do?

1. Be informed. Read Rebecca Bender’s book. See the links below.
Short Interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eY-AnwQo4Ek
Interview on Eric Metaxas Radio Show:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zAcUjP1QOMY
Rebecca’s Message at the Abolition Summit 2016
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NgyhW50ojqk

2. National Center for Missing & Exploited Children
Explore their website https://www.missingkids.org
• Search Missing Children and Check Amber Alerts,
• Locate Therapists and Attorneys
Get Help through their 24-hour hotline: 1-800-843-5678
• Make a CyberTiplineReport     https://report.cybertip.org

3. Teach Your Children So They Won’t Be Victims . . . or Customers.
Let’s raise healthy young men and women who won’t go looking for love in all the wrong places and in all the wrong ways.
4. Make a Donation to a Non-Profit organization that helps victims. Here are two choices: https://www.missingkids.org                          https://exoduscry.com
5. Shut Down the Porn Industry, sign petitions against them and do NOT view their sites.
6. Pray! Pierce the darkness, Lord. Storm the gates of hell. Deliver the victims chained and enslaved by evil.

I’m grateful for courageous women like Rebecca Bender who expose this evil underbelly of society.

I was caught off guard when I saw those girls in the hallway of what appeared to be a reputable hotel. Now that I know Rebecca Bender’s story I can give her name to others so they can escape. I can give them the 24-hour hotline number, 1-800-843-5678. And I can make a CyberTiplineReport.

What would happen if the pimps had no more customers?

© 2020 SuZan Klassen



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