That’s what shocked Dr. Katharine (Kate) Bushnell in the nineteenth century. Authorities wouldn’t believe her stories of girls enticed, held captive, and abused in the pristine forests of northern Wisconsin. And today we’re hearnig such a story right in a Cleveland neighborhood- three girls held captive for ten years and no one knew?
For the last five years — off and on– I’ve been writing Kate’s story. A valiant, fearless, unconventional woman living in the Victorian era, it was a lot more difficult for Kate to talk about prostitution, rape, brothels, bondage then than it is in today’s far too open society. The pendulum swings from one side to the other. As the first book Boundless reaches completion, I’ll be writing more about what I’ve found — not only what’s happening today, but how society dealt with “trafficking” more than one hundred years ago.
Share your thoughts and stories. It’s not a pleasant subject, but it is among us, and I believe God cares about those who are caught in this desperate quickisand.
I’ve shared my joys and concerns over my trip to South Africa — and if new issues arise I’ll get back to it. But I want to begin sharing what I see going on as threats to women around the world. Check out the progress of Boundless, my new book about Dr. Katherine Bushnell, who spent her life trying to release women from cruelty, trafficking and disabling attitudes.
Here are two short pieces about women’s response to recent acts of violence:
In the Muslim world, society often judges a victim of rape, rather than the perpetrator. In spiet of this, women in Turkey are now rallying around a 26-year-old mother of two who killed a man who repeatedly raped her while her husband was away on a seasonal job. She shot the rapist as he again returned to force his way into her house. She then turned herself in to the police, saying she preferred to die but had cleansed her honor for her children’s sake. Intercede for the protection and salvation of this woman and her family. Also uphold Turkish politicians who wrestle with women’s issues in a harsh male-dominated environment. TWO
India (MNN) —
Remember that rape case in New Delhi that got international attention recently?
Six men assaulted a woman aboard a moving bus, and she later died from her
injuries. The defendants’ lawyer blames her for the attack. “That attitude
is very common in India. To blame a woman for dressing inappropriately or being
in a certain place at a certain time: these are just not constructive, not helpful attitudes.” Brent Hample of India Partners says the culture is a big part of the problem. “Even before they’re born,girls are discriminated against.” If they make it past birth, young girls
are often sold into sexual slavery. “Pray that God would do a miracle within the culture of India [and] within the people of India — within their hearts.”
The thought of a little girl kidnapped and sold into trafficking sends chills down my spine. I have twelve granddaughters and thirteen great-granddaughters (If I knew how, I would add all their pictures and let you see those sweet faces; their sparkling eyes, their joy when they see someone they love– their purity and the unlimited value of each life). How my heart would break if one of these precious ones ended up owned by a pimp and sold for sex.
This merciless, ugly, evil industry brings in $32 billion a year—more than drug trafficking today. We tend to think of it as something far away — like Thailand or India. And it is!! But author John W. Whitehead estimates that “at least 100,000 children — girls and boys — are bought and sold for sex in the U.S. every year, with as many as 300,000 children in danger of being trafficked each year. Some of these children are forcefully abducted, others are runaways, and still others are sold into the system by relatives and acquaintances.”
Whenever you read this blog, let it remind you to pray:
- for freedom for those held in slavery
- for protection for vulnerable women and children
- for wisdom for those who are seeking to stop this vile behavior
- for financial provision for those for working to rescue and protect the endangered and unguarded targets.
My interest in this subject started when I began researching and writing about Katharine Bushnell. As a medical doctor in the 19th century she found herself on the streets of Chicago, helping woman, emotionally and physically beaten.
You can read about her in Daughters of Deliverance, available on Amazon.
The picture was taken in the Portland , Oregon airport where Aryanna and Atticus welcomed baby sister, Winnie, home after a week at Grandma’s.
Today I’m writing about an organization which rescues girls and women from trafficking and helps them find a way of life God designed for them. This organization rescues girls caught in trafficking; provides a safe home and training for them after they are rescued. They also train mothers with job skills so that they are not tempted to sell their daughters as a source of income.
The short video attached to this message is a heart-breaking insight into what is happening to thousands of girls in India today. If you want to learn more about She Is Safe you’ll find their contact information at the end of the video.
Click here to watch the video: She Is Safe in India
I wrote historical fiction about Katharine Bushnell , a woman pioneer in the 19th century, who exposed what is today called trafficking. You can find Daughters of Deliverance and The Queen’s Daughters on Amazon.
I’m told that they do, but I have no statistics to prove it.
But free Kindle books did give you an opportunity to read Daughters of Deliverance last week; and The Queen’s Daughter, is free through February 19.
Trafficking, sexual slavery, and slave labor are big business today. One research estimates “sales” of $32 Billion. Praise God for the dozens of Christian organizations focused on education, skills training, freeing girls and women, and rehabilitating them today.
But in 1888, when Katharine Bushnell visited the brothels in the forests of northern Wisconsin, she risked her life and reputation. Decent women didn’t publicly speak of sex slavery and prostitution. After all, “those women were innately sinful.”
When Kate gave the report of her research before the Wisconsin legislature she was called a liar and accused of being unchaste (Daughters of Deliverance). Several years later she and her friend Bess carried on their brave investigation of the British military barracks in northern India (The Queen’s Daughters) , knowing they would be expelled if Lord Frederick Roberts, Commander-in-chief of the forces in India, discovered them.
Based closely on historical people and facts, these books introduce readers to Dr. Katharine Bushnell. They challenge women, young and old, to follow her example of dependence upon God for guidance and provision.*
*not food–money to pay for investigations and ship-travel around the world.
I’ve been going to church for ninety years. Of course I don’t remember much of those early years, but I remember the store-front German Baptist church in my early childhood. It was there at age nine I accepted Christ as my Savior and was baptized.
And I ‘ve been attending church every since — in Milwaukee, Wis; Cicero, Illinois; Johannesburg, South Africa; San Jose California; Colorado Springs and now Highlands Ranch, Colorado;
I’ve been aware that many, especially millenials , don’t find it necessary or desirable to attend church. So I wondered, why at 91 do I still go to church?
Here’s what I scribbled down this afternoon:
This is how I feel about the church: I love to worship even though I can’t sing anymore; I love to praise the Lord alongside my friends and neighbors; I need to identify publicly with the Body of Christ—I want to be known as His follower; I am still learning new things from His Word and from others who have learned to walk closely with Jesus; I want to be prepared for the persecution which is growing even in our own country; I need to be strengthened in my faith as I see others who are facing sorrow and testings remain strong. I love the Church with all its warts because “the church is his body; it is made full and complete by Christ who fills all things everywhere with himself.” Ephesians 1:23
How do you feel about the church?
Almost forgot. Daughters of Deliverance is free on Amazon through
Recently I was reminded that January is National Human Trafficking Awareness Month. Let me update you with some of the unimaginable statistics–
- $32 billion was made by traffickers last year.
- 18.5 million slaves are in India, mostly women and children
- 99% of all sex slaves are female.
Katharine Bushnell, the heroine of my last two books– Daughters of Deliverance and The Queen’s Daughters — was one of the early pioneers to expose the dire plight of women and #girls around the world. But she was not honored or thanked by her audiences. Victorian era women did not want to hear how cruelly their counterparts were treated , and most men refused to believe the truth.
In the nineteenth century Kate, as she is called in my books, courageously entered brothels, and chaklas (in India), to listen to the stories of the women held in sexual slavery. People were shocked to hear Kate’s stories–some even shamed her publicly for speaking about such things.
Today we have no excuse for our ignorance, for many Christian organizations are dedicated to preventing sex slavery and working to rescue girls wherever they can.
I plan to tell you more about those organizations in future blogs.You may want to start by reading Bushnell’s story of 19th century fearless activism to expose the growing subjugation of women and girls. Available on Amazon.