MOUNT VERNON — A call to arms was heard Tuesday evening at First Church of the Nazarene when the second annual Women At Risk informational event was conducted. Guest speaker for the evening was Sarah Rogers, vice chairman of the board of directors of WAR International. Rogers was introduced by State Rep. Margaret Ann Ruhl.
Organized in Grand Rapids, Mich., in 2006, WAR’s purpose is to give voice to the silenced cries of women of the world through various projects, creating circles of protection in the name of Christ. The mission Rogers addressed Tuesday was the atrocity of human trafficking. Other issues WAR addresses are domestic violence, AIDS, poverty, honor killings and dowry death.
Rogers shared instances from her experiences about cultures where women have no right to cry out in the face of danger. They are treated like property, “Where they are to do what they are told.”
“This is a carnage of the innocent in our land. It’s here. It’s very real. And we are here to do something about it,” said Rogers. “We are a faith-based organization, and we tell women and children that we rescue that ‘God has a design for you far better than this.’”
Shocking yet true statistics Rogers shared included:
•800,000 people are illegally trafficked against their will every year.
•100,000 people are trafficked inside America.
•5,000 honor killings are reported yearly.
Rogers explained that trafficking is not a gender issue. “Men, you are not the enemy,” said Rogers. “We love the men who circle us with protection and support us and are interested in these things. It’s not an ethnic issue, it’s not a race issue. The majority of our victims are women selling women.” Human trafficking, according to Rogers, is a money issue. It is a multi-billion dollar industry each year. Rogers gave numerous examples of the ways women and children are exploited and abused, with numerous cases never being reported.
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