Missing Kids…

Child Abductions…

Human Trafficking…

Slavery No More…

If you’re a mother you know all too well about the missing children cause. I’m sure at times you’ve anguished over not being to locate your son or daughter. Thoughts raced through your mind. Where are they? How come they haven’t called? They always call when they’re going to be late. Or maybe they’re never out of touch. But the train or bus is late. Or they missed the bus, but did not call to notify you that they missed it. In the end, it all turns out well. You learn from a teacher that they retreated to wait inside the school for you to come and pick them up. For other parents they aren’t so fortunate. Their child is never found.

There are moments in your life when you know that something profound is occurring and you have no control over its presence within your reality that you feel powerless to its force. I’m talking about those times when something happens or somebody says something that rocks your world leaving you to ponder its weight and substance. Often these things lead to some soul searching and introspection and how you view certain things in the world. And, often times they leave you wondering how such things are possible and why they happen to people. I’m primarily speaking about bad things and how they impact your life when you hear about them. Most of the time, the common reaction is disbelief to the unspeakable that has occurred. But as someone once said, “Bad things happen. They don’t discriminate. They just happen.”

The other day, I met someone whose brother went missing 13 years ago. She had been looking at the information about my novel, “The Dead Boy’s Legacy,” on my iPhone when she got really emotional, shared her story, and broke down into tears. I asked her what had happened. How her brother went missing. She said that her family didn’t know what happened. They had no idea how he went missing. They came home from a vacation and he was gone. He was 17 years young. She was practically speechless after sharing that privileged info with me. I tried my best to console her, but my attempts to truly comfort her were futile. She was so shook up that she had to walk away.

I had no idea when I wrote my book that the journey would lead me down a path where people would share these kinds of tragic stories with me. This wasn’t the first time that this has happened either. A mother told me how her two sons were abducted. She also explained that when her husband tried to investigate the matter he came too close to uncovering the human trafficking network responsible for their abduction and was murdered. She’s now devoted her life to the human trafficking cause. She travels around the world addressing the issue and offering any help she can to bring about awareness and support for the issue.

For a writer like me who has never had personal experience with having a close friend or relative abducted these kinds of stories seem too amazing to believe. The thought… The truth is stranger than fiction comes to mind. The closest I’ve come to a personal tragedy like this was when a family friend’s son went missing. At the time I wasn’t aware of how big an issue that the abduction and human trafficking issue was in this country, and around the world. It is a global epidemic suffering from a lack of visibility and awareness. Most people walk around ignorant of this issue in our society today. Sadly, to say that it’s a major problem is a gross understatement. And something desperately needs to be done to investigate and address the issue so that its evil practices can be eradicated. While I acknowledge that evil will always exist in our society I’m hoping that somehow there will be an effort that will begin to chip away at the problem and make a difference, but how that might happen is a complete mystery to me at the moment.

At the end of my book, “The Dead Boy’s Legacy,” I provide information provided by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. The following numbers may shock you: According to the U.S. Department of Juvenile Justice an estimated 800,000 children are reported missing each year –- more than 2,000 children every day. Forty-six percent of abducted children are murdered within one hour of their abduction. Seventy-six percent of abducted children are murdered within three hours of their abduction. Eighty-eight percent of abducted children are murdered within twenty-four hours of their abduction. There is a misconception that killers keep children alive for a long period of time after an abduction. This misconception isn’t supported by data from research conducted on child abductions.

There are good charities and foundations out there aimed at supporting the fight against the ‘missing’ and human trafficking. One of them is a charity in Los Angeles called Slavery No More. I bring them up because I hear that they do some great work. Their motto on their website reads: ‘Abolish 21st Century Slavery’. Hard to fathom that the word ‘slavery’ is required to be used in our modern society. Slavery No More’s mission statement is: to resource a diversity of the most effective organizations working to combat and abolish modern-day slavery and human trafficking, and to create awareness and a diversity of opportunities for meaningful personal engagement. Please take time to peruse their website here: http://www.slaverynomore.org/

You should also know that a portion of the proceeds from my novel, “The Dead Boy’s Legacy,” will be donated to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (www.missingkids.com).

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