It was just a night like any other night, as 8 of us girls walked out of the swinging doors to head back home. As 2 of my friends walked out the door I heard yelling & screaming. I bolted out the door to figure out what was going on. I was pushed to the ground, along with my 7 friends. When I looked up I couldn't believe what I saw...4 men had surrounded us with big guns yelling "Get on your knees! Get on your knees NOW!" I tried to resist but one of the men roughly held me to the ground. "Don't get up scum!" they continued to yell. Although we easily outnumbered the 4 men who had us captive, they held the deciding factor in our thoughts of escape. The large, hard pieces of metal threateningly gleamed in the moonlight as we sat huddled on the ground. The men jeered & poked us with the ends of their guns, while one man broke away from the group & went towards the white van.
The other 3 men threw blindfolds at us & ordered us to put them on. If anyone objected they would be shot. Obediently we put the blindfolds around our eyes & began to gather closer with each other. But as soon as we had the blindfolds tied around our heads, we were jerked up to our feet & herded like cattle towards the white van. We were poked & prodded into the vehicle, & by this point I had no idea who was next to me, only that she was as scared as I. As we were all shoved into the back of the van, I thought maybe an escape was possible, if they just left us back there alone. Unfortunately, I heard the loud clank of the door as it was slammed shut, & the jeers of a soldier sitting there trying to scare us more. As the van bumped & rolled along, my mind began to race. "Why had they attacked us? Why were we singled out? What were they going to do with us?"
As the van lurched to a stop, we all tumbled over one another but had no time to recover. Already, we were being dragged out of the van & onto the wet, muddy ground. I clung to the person beside me, not able to see their face or even ask their name...we simply held onto one another like our lives depended on it. As we were dragged further on I began to hear screams & shouts. The screams were coming from 2 women's voices I did not recognize, they were tearfully pleading "NO! Please, don't do this!" Tears began to stream down my face, I knew someone was going to die here tonight. We were forced to our knees again, all the while the soldiers screamed insults into our faces.
I could hear the soldiers discussing that they wanted "a nice, pretty one" & fear enveloped my entire being. I felt a soldier roughly grab my arm. I began to shake uncontrollably for I did not know what I was going to face. I was pulled closer & closer to the sounds of the screaming women & was finally forced to a halt & thrown to the ground. The women's screams were terrifying, "NO! Please! We haven't done anything! Please don't kill us!" They continued to cry as I felt something cold & heavy being thrust into my hand. A soldier screamed "Pull the trigger!" Numbly, I pushed the gun away...it was immediately shoved back into my arms & directed forward until it hit a hard surface & I heard the shrill scream of one of the women. Oh my word, Oh my word...they want me to shoot the woman.
"Who do you think you are?! Pull the trigger!!" one soldier yelled over & over. I began to struggle, but then I felt another gun pressed firmly into the back of my head. "Do you want to die???" a soldier yelled in my face. I could feel his spit dripping down my cheek as I shook my head no. "Then pull the trigger!" he whispered in my ear. I could not clear my thoughts to figure out what was going on. If I didn't shoot this woman than I was going to die, but how could I kill an innocent human being. I raised the gun again & placed my finger over the trigger. My mind was off somewhere else as I faintly heard the shouts of the soldiers, "Pull the trigger!" I couldn't believe I was going to do this. I felt rough hands clasp over my fingers...THIS CANT BE HAPPENING TO ME...
& it was then that I heard the scream that would resonate in my nightmares forever. I heard the crying of the other woman asking "Why?" & I heard the laughter of the 4 men. It had all happened so fast, I could not comprehend what had just happened. It was then that I realized my finger had been on that trigger, & when I couldn't do it one of the soldiers had forced my finger to pull back. I had just killed someone, whether I liked it or not. I began to sob uncontrollably. The soldiers laughed at my dismay, enjoying the pain that had inflicted on so many. I was forcefully dragged back with the rest of the group & i could hear another person being dragged forward toward the last woman.
My mind & body were completely numb. I heard the begging of the woman & another "BANG" & then complete silence. As the soldiers began to laugh again I was pulled to my feet & dragged back towards the van. The soldier pulling me along whispered in my ear "You're mine now!" I could only guess what we were to next...but I didn't care. All that was running through my mind was "This can't be happening to me...This can't be happening to me..."
This story was a dramatization that we as a YWAM group were put through a couple weeks ago during a human trafficking conference. Sorry it's so late but I thought it was still really important to tell. We were put through this & it was completely dramatized, but the fact of the matter is this really happens. People are forced into the military & prostitution regularly. The men were not nearly as rough or mean as I made the story sound, but it was still convicting nonetheless. Here are some facts about human trafficking:
- Human trafficking is the world's 2nd largest criminal activity after drugs, earning up to $39 billion per year.
- App. 900,000 people are trafficked across international borders 80% are female and up to half are minors
- Nearly 200,000 people live enslaved at this moment in the US and an additional 17,500 new victims are trafficked across the borders each year.
- Modern slaves are expendable. At about $100 a person, it is more costly to care for the enslaved than to replace them.
- Girls as young as 8 & 9 are being captured & sold into sex trafficking.
I debated on whether or not to put this story on the Internet. I got the idea of putting this into a story form from one of the DTS girls here named Kristi. I did not put it on here to scare you, or to be dramatic, I do so because there needs to be awareness about human trafficking. Sometimes, you have to face things that are hard to deal with. Sometimes you have to put a face to suffering, because that is what will push you into action.
If you have any questions about this please feel free to contact me. I love you all! :) God Bless!