Do you know what most commonly brings people to this blog from search engines? Phrases like “very, very young”; “american men young girls”; “new zealand teen heaven”; “too young girls.” It makes me a little bit sick to think of what people were hoping for when they found my blog.
The commercial sexual exploitation of children is something that is extremely close to my heart. Since I was 12 years old, I have been passionate about seeing children protected and rescued from those who would exploit them. I have done my small part, in being involved in the lives of those at risk both through my job and, more recently, foster care, and have always prayed that work would be done more fully to prevent the commercial sexual exploitation of children in New Zealand. So imagine how happy my heart was, when shopping in The Body Shop with friends, to discover that they have launched a global campaign to Stop Sex Trafficking of Children and Young People in partnership with ECPAT. They are raising awareness, as well as raising funds through their Soft Hands Kind Heart hand cream. In the shop, there was a book of stories about and interviews with child prostitutes in New Zealand, along with resources letting the public know how they can help. You can read more about it here: http://www.thebodyshop.com/_en/_ww/values-campaigns/trafficking.aspx
I feel newly encouraged. Change is possible when people start waking up to the reality of sexual exploitation.