A Modern Plague – Trafficking in a Small Town

ANNA WALDHERR A Voice Reclaimed, Surviving Child Abuse

Main Street, Smyrna, DE, Author Dough4872 (CC BY-SA 4.0 International)

The I-95 Corridor which links New York City, Philadelphia, and Washington DC with Miami is a major conduit for human trafficking, a plague that has spread across this country [1A].  According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, as many as 100,000 children each year are victims of sex trafficking in the US.

Some 70% of trafficking incidents occur at truck stops.  There, predatory pimps seek out desperate young girls and boys, often runaways [1B].  Most vulnerable are children between the ages of 12 and 14 from broken homes, with low self-esteem and a history of trauma [1C].

Given its nightlife and gambling, Jersey City is considered a trafficking hot spot [1D].

Though situated on the I-95 Corridor, Smyrna – a small town in Delaware founded before the American Revolution – would seem an unlikely location for a…

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Rotten Apples – Dangerous Apps at the Apple Store

A MUST SEE FOR PARENTS !
Reblog from A Voice Reclaimed

ANNA WALDHERR A Voice Reclaimed, Surviving Child Abuse

Rotten apple, Author Vitalii Shmorgun, Source https://web.500px.com (CC BY-SA 3.0 Unported)

An investigation by the Washington Post has uncovered more than 1500 complaints of unwelcome sexual behavior on popular apps offered by Apple’s App Store [1].

Children were frequently the target of offensive behavior that included surprise masturbation by adult males and pressure for participants to disrobe.  Along with sexual content, complaints were, also, made of racism and bullying.

The apps investigated were Monkey, Yubo, Skout, Holla, ChatLive, and Chat for Strangers.  These social media platforms allow strangers to connect via video chat.

Apple markets its App Store as a safe setting and claims to carefully review each app.

Tragically, we value commerce over the safety of our children.

[1]  iMore, “The Washington Post:  1,500 instances of ‘unwanted sexual approaches’ uncovered in App Store reviews of random chat apps” by Stephen Warwick, 11/22/19, https://www.imore.com/washington-post-says-it-found-1500-instances-unwanted-sexual-approaches-app-store-reviews-random.

FOR MORE OF…

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Forced Panhandling

Post By: Anna Waldherr : A Voice Reclaimed

ANNA WALDHERR A Voice Reclaimed, Surviving Child Abuse

“The Old Beggar” by Louis Dewar (1916) (PD-Art, PD-Old)

Leaders of the non-denominational Imperial Valley Ministries appear to have devised a new form of clergy abuse.  They are alleged to have imprisoned dozens of homeless, forcing them to panhandle 9 hours/day on the church’s behalf [1].

The church’s programs are billed as drug rehabilitation.  Destitute men and women were lured with offers of free food and shelter, along with promises of the funds to return home.  Instead, victims were required to adhere to strict rules, and denied food if they disobeyed.

Church members held them captive in group homes with deadbolts, taking their identification documents from them.  In some locations, windows were, also, nailed shut.

Meanwhile, church leaders stole Food Stamps and Welfare benefits from victims, threatening to remove children, if their parents tried to leave.  Others were told their loved ones had abandoned them and only God loved them.

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Why are there so many broken people among us?

Why are there so many broken people among us?
By Ron Whited: A Front Row View Of The Church

A Front Row View of The Church

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. Doesn’t it seem to you that everywhere you turn there is another person whose life has been shattered by something? What used to be somewhat of a rarity in families has mushroomed into an epidemic of brokenness.

Broken promises and shattered dreams now litter the landscape like so much garbage, leaving in their wake legions of shattered, disillusioned people all trying to make sense of what has happened to them.

What happened to the Utopia promised to us by the elite class of scholars, politicians, and the like? All of them at one time or another have tried to serve up their own version of a Utopian life, one where hardships and troubles can be voted away, taught away, and dare I say…prayed away.

Whatever happened to those promises?

Instead of Utopia, countless people are left trying to survive in the jungle…

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Abuse Victims and Failure, Part 3 – A Fresh Perspective

Abuse Victims and failure Part 3: By A Voice Reclaimed

ANNA WALDHERR A Voice Reclaimed, Surviving Child Abuse

Sylvester Stallone in film “Rocky VI”, Source https://commons.wikimedia.org, Arthur Lance Cpl. Ray Lewis (PD as work product of federal govt.)

“ ‘Hope’ is the thing with feathers –
That perches in the soul –
And sings the tune without the words –
And never stops – at all…

– Emily Dickinson

Abuse skews the perspective we have on our lives.  But our viewpoint (and the labels we choose to apply to our experiences) can make a surprising difference.

What others may call “failures” can be seen as new avenues of exploration or stepping stones to the next success.

  • Thomas Edison made thousands of unsuccessful attempts at creating the light bulb.  When a reporter asked him how it felt to fail so often, Edison responded that he had not failed.  He had merely ruled out ways that would not work.
  • Babe Ruth was famous for his home run record.  But for…

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Abuse Victims and Failure, Part 2 – Bad Advice

Abuse Victims And Failure- Part 2
By Anna at A Voice Reclaimed

ANNA WALDHERR A Voice Reclaimed, Surviving Child Abuse

“Blue Suede Shoes” sheet music at Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Source Flickr, Author Sam Howzit (CC Attribution 2.0 Generic)

“Well, you can knock me down,
Step in my face,
Slander my name
All over the place.

Do anything that you want to do, but uh-uh,
Honey, lay off of my shoes
Don’t you step on my blue suede shoes…”

– Elvis Presley, Blue Suede Shoes

Discouragement from those significant in our lives often accompanies abuse.  Sadly, we may adopt the negative opinion others have of us based on their own shortcomings.

But bad advice is simply misdirection – not an infallible predictor of our future.  The important thing is that it not become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

  • The author of a beloved 19th Century girls’ novel worked as a maid, seamstress, companion, and teacher.  Thankfully, Louisa May Alcott found her true calling, and left us the classic Little Women

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Abuse Victims and Failure, Part 1 – A Slow Start

Abuse victims and Failure Part 1
By Anna Waldherr A Voice Reclaimed

ANNA WALDHERR A Voice Reclaimed, Surviving Child Abuse

“The Cat in the Hat” by Dr. Seuss, Source http://www.dvidshub.net (VIRIN 170302-F-EZ530-010), Arthur Airman 1st Class Donald Hudson (PD as work product of federal gov’t)

“Today you are YOU,
That is TRUER than true.
There is NO ONE alive
Who is YOUER than YOU!”

– Dr. Seuss

As abuse victims, most of us are familiar with failure.  This is not necessarily because we have failed.

Many victims are successful in the work world.  Work may actually help us to deal with the abuse we once endured.  It can provide a focus for our energies, sometimes to the point of exhaustion [1].

What we experience, however, is a persistent feeling of having failed in the most important arena of all; having failed at love.

This feeling stems, in part, from a mistaken belief that we “deserved” the abuse to which we were subjected (surely, if we had been lovable, we would…

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Hope for Sex Trafficking Survivors

Hope For Sex Trafficking Survivors By: Anna of A Voice Reclaimed

ANNA WALDHERR A Voice Reclaimed, Surviving Child Abuse

Acer Aspire 4930G laptop, Author Jeff777BC (CC BY-SA 3.0 Unported)

Catie Hart was trafficked by a man she thought of as her boyfriend.  Their relationship became increasingly threatening, till the 18 y.o. was forced into prostitution.  Fear kept her from escaping.

The line between “boyfriend” and “trafficker” was intentionally blurred from the outset.  This type of grooming is typical.  Catie’s story did not though end there.  She is now training to become a computer programmer.

The fledgling non-profit AnnieCannons https://www.anniecannons.com/ helps survivors of human trafficking achieve financial independence by teaching them web design.  Since survivors are often stigmatized by a past which includes an arrest record, AnnieCannons, also, assists graduates of its program with networking and job placement.

Obstacles remain.  The non-profit operates on a small scale.  While involved with the program, survivors must provide their own food and housing.  With limited job skills, some continue to work in…

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A Burden Lifted

Post by Anna Waldherr: At A Lawyers Prayers

A Lawyer's Prayers

This is an update from Christian Legal Clinics of Philadelphia (CLCP) https://www.clcphila.org/, a faith-based non-profit whose predecessor I helped found years ago.

CLCP is a legal ministry serving the poor of Philadelphia.  (Additional information on Christian legal aid can be found above.)  Please, pray for this worthy cause and consider donating, if you can.

“Matt and Deborah have been embedded in North Philly this summer through the InterVarsity Gateway program working for CLCP as our summer interns.  Deborah is from New Orleans and will be a junior this fall at Villanova…Matt is from Scranton and will also be a junior this fall…[He] is studying actuarial science at Temple…

Matt and Deborah got to experience our clinics where Deborah who is also fluent in Spanish helped as a translator.  Deborah shared how she has learned that ‘God can use [her] identity as a First Generation Latina in the U.S. to participate in His mission of…

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