Violence Against Women Conference: Delhi & Kolkata, India November 2014It is taboo in India to talk about or discuss any topics about sex. Girls, young women, and young men are eager to learn about sex, how to protect themselves from exploitation, and what is appropriate and what is not in a relationship.
Crowns of Hope teamed up with Operation Outcry and the Disha Foundation and traveled to many states in Northern India to not only teach about these topics, but to reach the people in India with the life saving reality of Jesus Christ.
The response was overwhelming everywhere we went. Young women and men are wanting to do what is right in God’s eyes, but many of their leaders are not willing to take action and speak about this serious topic.
We also met with survivors that have been rescued from sex trafficking. These girls have been sold by their parents, kidnapped from neighboring countries, and enslaved in the brothels and red light districts all over the country.
While in Kolkata, Toni was escorted into the largest red light district in East Asia. There were over 15,000 girls being sold and over 40,000 men walking the streets buying women. Pimps where everywhere you turned watching their product; the women and girls. Toni visited brothels and spoke to girls hoping they will be inspired with some kind of hope to gain the courage to escape their current life. She specifically spoke with an impressionable 11 or 12 year old girl. This girl was dressed in a short skirt with high heals. Her hair was slightly messed up from her last trick and her lipstick was smeared. She was amazed and stared in awe to see an American in her presence. She understood no English, but her eyes lit up as the translator translated the message from Toni about another life that was waiting for her outside the district.
After a while it became too dangerous to stay as the men gathered around arguing with the translator to turn a blind eye so they could take her American visitor. Light skin, no matter what shape or size the person is, brings in lots of money for traffickers in India. “It was difficult to leave so many young women trapped in a hopeless life of slavery and exploitation”, said Toni. She came home wanting to do more for them, but most Americans have difficulty understanding the situation let alone their own trafficking problems in the United States. It is overwhelming for many! She has not forgotten them and desires to visit them frequently.