This episode features Alma Tucker, President and Founder of International Network of Hearts Foundation and Andi Buerger, Founder and Chair of Voices Against Trafficking.
Alma is deeply passionate about creating awareness to help victims of abuse and trafficking, ultimately leading to the eradication of this epidemic. Alma has over 20 years of experience assisting victims of human trafficking and advocating for their rights within the border region of Tijuana, Mexico and San Diego, California. Alma has been invited to speak at several local and international forums where she shared she advocates for child victims of this crime.
We finish out the interview talking about what is happening at the open southern border, what the day to day looks like, and what the Mexican and US governments are doing to contain or contribute to this unspoken epidemic.
The interview begins with Andi, a survivor of child sex trafficking. Her story began years ago, from the time she was six months old, to 17 years. Her birth family and extended family members trafficked her. As a child, the term "human trafficking," didn’t exist. People barely talked about child abuse. In the 60s and early 70s, there wasn't a place to go, there wasn't a way to reach out for help.
By the time she was five years old, her birth mother made it clear that she could take her life anytime she wanted. She thought, you know what, I'm just going to beat her to the punch because the abuse, and the sexual torture was so great. She thought she'd be better off dead because at least she will be at peace. She was just five years old.
I looked up into the big blue sky and wondered, who made this sky? How far does it go? I was a little kid and curious about, was there someone or something bigger than me? Bigger than the people that hurt me and maybe they could help me?
I realized for me in my life, it was God. I heard this voice within my heart say, "this is not the plan I have for you. Suicide is not the answer." For some reason, I trusted the voice.
The interviews digs into her mother's motives for trafficking her, was there other sibling abuse, and finally how do you reach a point of healing, understanding it's not your fault and being able to talk about it. Andi is confident, knowledgeable, and compassionate in her answers. It's a touching recollection and a testament to her relationship with God and believing in the path he had laid out for her, even when all she saw was trauma.
Andi provides hope and a reason for everyone to listen, acknowledge, understand and prevent this child abuse from continuing. Closing ones eyes enables the activity. Open your eyes to your communities, cities, towns, states, and yes the border, and see what is happening in the shadows. It is our job to protect the young the innocent.
International Network of Hearts Foundation: www.inhearts.org
Voices Against Trafficking: www.voicesagainsttrafficking.com
#1 Voices Against Trafficking - The Strength of Many Voices Speaking as One.
#2 A Fragile Thread of Hope
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