Several weeks ago Ashlee’s Sunday school class took on the Heifer Read to Feed program. As part of the program, which raises money to buy animals for families in need, the kids were to read books and ask for donations for each book read. Heifer provided a suggested list of books that would help kids learn about other cultures and needs. Unfortunately, the books on the list all seemed to be picture books geared for younger kids.
So Ashlee and I spent some time at the library, using key words like “poverty,” “justice” and “hunger” to try to find appropriate books for her age. We ended up reading two that told of children who were sold into sexual slavery. Both books—Sold by Patricia McCormick and They Called Me Red by Christina Kilbourne—were written for preteens. We read the books out loud, so I could deal with anything awful that came up. Both authors did a great job of communicating what these children dealt with as child prostitutes without graphic sex. Ashlee was captured by the stories and appalled to realize that each year 2 million plus kids are exploited in the sex trade.
The heartbreaking stories made me more sensitive when I got an e-mail from change.org about Sara Kruzan. Sara was “befriended” by a man when she was 11, who ultimately raped her and then made her a prostitute. At the age of 16 she killed him. A judge sentenced as an adult in 1994 to life in prison with no parole. Watch the video in which Sara tells her story.
Then if you agree that Sara has paid her “debt to society” over the last 12 years (plus the three years in sexual slavery), sign the petition asking Governor Schwarzenegger to commute her sentence. Does she need to be a victim for life?