Just had to quote one of our Hawaii locals for this story because “Surprise, surprise, surprise!” certainly sums it up for me! Across my domestic violence coconut wireless this morning came a forwarded message from a DV survivor mom that led me from one surprise to another. I’ll let the original message sender introduce himself:
My name is Dugal Trimble, I am 37 years old, I am married, have a 16yr old daughter and live in Bellefontaine, Ohio. I began my career in Trucking in May, 2000. Currently I drive locally hauling auto parts for Honda. I work a lot of hours every week, but always have some time for issues near to my heart.
I couldn’t understand why a survivor mom would forward an email to me from a truck driver because what does the trucking profession have to do with violence or abuse? Don’t they just move things from Point A to Point B? I was in for my first big surprise – the trucking profession’s exposure to the sex trafficking industry. Dugal went on in his email to talk about an organization called Truckers Against Trafficking saying:
In early 2011 I happened to learn about Truckers Against Trafficking, which totally gave me an eye-opening slap in the face. I had been out on the road all those years and saw it all, but never had an idea what exactly I was witnessing. It then hit me that if only I would have known in the beginning what I know now, how many young women I might have been able to help out.
Reading this, Dugal just warmed my heart and gave my faith in the goodness of humanity another boost up. Compelled to see what he was referring to, I went to the Truckers Against Trafficking website and watched their half hour training video here http://www.truckersagainsttrafficking.org/ that explained it all.
I had absolutely NO IDEA any of this was going on, and not only that, considering the amount of victims involved “out in broad daylight” (cause it’s not like they were sneaking around or trying to hide themselves) how is child trafficking not a national priority? In light of what’s happening at truck stops across the nation, The Center For Missing & Exploited Children should just set up satellite offices at truck stops because then they could kill two birds with one stone by finding abducted children while helping to stop child trafficking simultaneously!
And check out the math on this one everybody:
- One phone call
- Rescued 9 minor victims of sex trafficking
- Led to the arrest of 31 offenders
- And shut down a 13 state prostitution ring
Not bad for one phone call, huh? Want to know who the superhero was who spearheaded this round-up? The trafficked victim who was the first one rescued and her mom would actually like to know too because the call was made by an anonymous truck driver. What this man did couldn’t be a more perfect example of “the power of one”; he shows us all how one simple action can lead to a chain reaction large enough to change the course of people’s lives – this man’s a hero and doesn’t even know it – how amazing is that?
But we don’t have truck stops in Hawaii so I went looking for what we do have and was surprised at what I found – did you know we actually have brothels in Honolulu?! And on Ward Avenue too!!!
As the attached You Tube video played, I was just shocked and appalled by what I saw and heard. In case anyone’s not familiar, a “Mama-San” – who Jana refers to in the video clip – is a prostitution “madam” (so is the equivalent of a pimp). When the non-profit, Sisters Offering Support, http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/2006/Sep/23/ln/FP609230335.html used to be around some of the women there told me that Mama-Sans were worse then the pimps because they were meaner, stricter and more particular then the pimps were.
So as surprised as I was to hear that there are three brothels operating 24 hours a day on Ward Avenue, I was even more shocked to hear that the properties are actually owned by Victoria Ward and that Honolulu personal injury attorney, Rick Freid, holds a master lease! The Hawaii Reporter You Tube report goes on to say that Mr. Freid and his property manager say “there’s no illegal activities that they know of” going on there, but I’m sorry, that’s just not good enough.
Hasn’t anyone learned anything from the Penn State case where higher-ups knew for years but chose to do nothing about the abuse? And what about the more recent Boy Scouting scandal? Turns out there were even some Hawaii cases found in the 5,000 “Perversion Files” according to the Los Angeles Times dating back to as early as 1947! “No one knew” or did they choose to look the other way?
As I’ve pointed out numerous times already, who is being accused doesn’t negate the fact. If Mr. Freid is a “prominent Hawaii lawyer” as his CV reflects him to be http://www.croninfried.com/bio/LFried.asp then it’s his ethical and moral responsibility along with his property manager and Victoria Ward to find out if the three establishments named that they profit from are indeed illegally-operated brothels participating in child and human trafficking! Victoria Ward, Mr. Freid and his property manager should be able to say with confidence and certainty that they know for a fact that no illegal activities are taking place at the three named establishments and that they are not condoning such as stakeholders – again, when people and children’s lives hang in the balance “not that I know of” ISN’T good enough!
This isn’t rocket science: we’re talking right and wrong, good and evil, serving God or serving the devil – it really is that simple. Wealth and fame are indicators of evil if they result from the exploitation of just one human being and not from a day’s honest work. The way to turn this world around to make it a safe and better place for all is to choose to act, just like the anonymous truck driver did. It’s never too late to right a wrong – start today and keep on keepin’ on.