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[personal profile] chataki
I was reading an article the other day written about this guy called Raymond Bechard who runs "Ahava Kids", travels around the world and gets children out of horrible situations (eg child prostitution). I went on the site for his company and read some of the stories, like this one.



I was directed to a small house on the western edge of the village where male tourists were coming and going. It was about 2:30 PM. Things are very quiet in the afternoon, and the less people on site the less trouble we have. I went up to the door, which was more like a blanket hanging by a few nails, than a real door. Someone would be watching - so I just waited.

A woman put her head around the hanging blanket and stared at me. She was trying to intimidate me, but I just returned the look. I shrugged my arms making sure she noticed that I was holding American money in my hand. Without speaking, I was asking her, “Well?” She said, “Twenty.” With one movement she took the $20 from my hand while pushing aside the old blanket. I went through and almost gagged at the smell inside. She walked and pointed, telling me I had to “pick, just pick.” She took me down a hall and up a narrow stairway to a room where five very young girls and boys were sitting and drinking sodas. Two boys, three girls. They all just looked at me with blank stares – no fear or emotion at all.

The youngest was perhaps 10 years old. The oldest, perhaps 13. The woman told me that the $20 I paid was “for the look, just pick,” but that to have, “party” would be $40. I intentionally stared at the youngest for a long time, a girl. I wanted to take them all out, but we had to bring this little one out to prove this was happening here, in this house. If I could get her to some authorities we could trust, then we could get enough pressure on the local police to shut the place down – leading to the rescue of all the kids.

The woman was looking at me very hard. She was smart not to trust me. I knew I would have to get her interested in having me become a customer fast, rather than throwing me out. I pointed to the little girl and said, “So, it’s like, a few hundred bucks to take her with me?” I started to reach in my pocket. The woman said, “More! No. Wait. I have to see. Maybe you can’t take with you.”

I wasn’t leaving without this little girl. And I wasn’t going to try to come back later. The woman would certainly bring in others to check me out, or worse. I had to use her greed right there and then. It was now or maybe never.

I was wearing cargo pants with lots of pockets. In each was a separate amount of money. I do this so I don’t have to count cash. I just remember the amount of cash in each pocket and reach into whatever pocket is necessary for a particular situation.

I reached into the $500 pocket.

A few minutes later I was leaving with the young girl. I didn’t hold her hand. I just pointed which direction she should walk. It’s frightening how robotic these children become. The will do whatever you tell them. They become accustomed to being abused at the slightest infraction of behavior so they rarely question anything adults tell them to do, especially men.

In fact, one girl was placed with a wonderful American couple. They have four of their own children, but wanted to help others who were victims of trafficking. They were told that a girl would be coming to stay with them, but that she was very quiet, almost non-communicative. Expecting a teenage girl, they were shocked to find that the little victim was only six years old. They were very gentle and kind to her from the minute she arrived. They brought the girl to her new bedroom which they had decorated especially for her and got her settled in so she would feel safe. That night she ate a big dinner and they tucked her into bed. The husband was tired and went to bed while the wife was catching up on some computer work downstairs. An hour later, the little girl came into the parents bedroom, took off her clothes and got into bed with the husband. He woke up in horror. Her only words were, “What do you want me to do first?”

This was a six-year old girl who was already trained to satisfy men. In fact, she believed that was why she was alive. That belief becomes so entrenched that they think rape is normal; that it is expected of them.

So, I knew the little $500 girl would stay close to me as we walked out.

There was a car waiting for us across the street in an alley. My driver was a brave man from a nearby ministry who was afraid someone in the area would recognize him and bring retribution. As the little girl and I passed through the blanket to the sunlight outside, the woman looked anxious. She still wasn’t quite sure if she should be letting me take her. She might get in trouble with someone later on, but $500 was just too tempting. So, she made me a quick offer, “Bring back girl, get some money!” She wasn’t selling her, she was renting her.

I looked across the street to the car that was waiting to take us away. The motor was running and they were motioning for me to get in. Before we crossed the street together, I turned to the woman and said, “Girl not coming back.”

The next day when we returned to the house for the other children, everyone was gone.

Shit, his job must be emotionally taxing. He shouldn't have said that last bit to the woman though, they might have still been there when he went back.

Anyway, other than that... it's been a damn long week. I need to call and email my mum more, though, she gets upset at the length of time that elapses between each time we communicate.

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chataki

December 2008

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