X
GIVE 24 HOURS TO MAKE
THEIR EVERYDAY KNOWN.
Watch >
949
PEOPLE
STANDING
156
EVENTS
$14.1k
RAISED
 

STANDINGS

THE TOP 10 SCHOOLS

1.
Northwestern College
82 Standing
2.
Purdue University Generation:JUSTICE
80 Standing
3.
Baptist Bible College / Scranton Stand
71 Standing
4.
James Madison University
43 Standing
5.
Christopher Newport University
39 Standing
6.
University Of Wisconsin - Whitewater
31 Standing
7.
University Of Georgia
31 Standing
8.
University Of Wisconsin
29 Standing
9.
Penn State University
24 Standing
10.
California Baptist University
22 Standing

STAND

OPPRESSION & VIOLENCE IS AN EVERYDAY REALITY FOR THOSE TRAPPED IN SLAVERY.

JOIN OR CREATE AN EVENT
SPREAD THE WORD
SUPPORT THE CAUSE
SIGN THE PETITION

You're about to create a Stand for Freedom event. Are you sure?


Please double check your school or community for existing events to avoid duplication. In creating an event, you will become the event organizer and will manage the event.

USE THE MAP TO FIND AN EVENT HAPPENING IN YOUR AREA

DON'T SEE ONE NEAR YOU? CREATE YOUR OWN STAND FOR FREEDOM EVENT!

KNOW

PROTECTION + FREEDOM SHOULD BE AN EVERYDAY RIGHT FOR EVERYONE

Routine & relentless violence is an everyday reality for those trapped in slavery.

 

The unchecked plague of slavery, rape, trafficking, illegal detention, land theft, police abuse and other brutality against the poor is a global crisis that undermines the well-intentioned fight for their freedom. Unless we STAND against it, nothing will change.

 

Last year, thousands of passionate college students raised awareness for the millions trapped in slavery.

 

On April 9, 2014, stand for 24 hours with us to forever change your community's awareness of the everyday violence of those trapped in slavery.

 

In 2013, 500 schools and communities signed up to Stand For Freedom across 36 states and four countries, raising over $130,000 and collecting more than 37,000 signatures asking President Obama to make ending slavery a priority.

 

CNN recognized the students, and countless others learned about the millions of slaves hidden in the world's poorest communities.

CEBU, THE PHILIPPINES – Charina* is one of the first young women to stand and walk to the front of the room to sign her name to the bill of rights. She is proud of the declarations she and the other girls have written together: I have the right to be loved. I have the right to live peacefully. I have the right to my own body. I have the right to express my feelings.

 

Charina, 20, is participating in a meeting with the Reintegration Support Network, a support group for trafficking survivors. The network is an innovative partnership between IJM Cebu and the local government. Government social workers, staff from IJM and volunteers from the community provide medical and psychosocial support. The young women received trauma-focused care in aftercare shelters, and they have now returned to their home communities. The support network offers them a chance to keep learning about topics that promote psychosocial well-being and healthy living.

 

IJM staff first met Charina* almost

five years ago.

 

She was one of two girls rescued in an undercover operation. IJM investigators had been building a case against the pimp, who was notorious for selling young girls to men for sex. Charina* was only 15 years old, but she looked even younger. The pimp exploited her youthful looks, selling her for sex to the men who were willing to pay a higher price for younger girls to abuse.

 

Charina* was all too familiar with the routine on the streets. Pimps sold the younger girls and women; prostitutes stood on corners of the street or waited by the pier for customers to drive by to negotiate a price. So Charina* thought it was just another night when a pimp told her that she would go to a hotel along with a couple other girls for a private party.

 

But it was not just another night: The men negotiating with the pimp were undercover police. They were not interested in abusing Charina; they were there to free her.

 

At first Charina* was confused. IJM aftercare staff was on the scene to accompany Charina* and the other girls and women to the police station. The IJM social workers explained what was happening and reassured the girls that they were not in trouble. Charina* and two of the girls were taken to an aftercare shelter, where they received crisis care and counseling.

 

But after years of trauma and learning to survive on her own, building trust was extremely difficult.

 

"We knew we did not want to give up"

After her father died when she was a young girl, Charina* had been sent to live with her grandmother. Aside from the abusive and angry visits from Charina's mother, the home was warm and loving – but very poor. Although Charina's grandmother sold small rice cakes, a popular Filipino snack food, there was never enough.

 

After completing fourth grade, Charina* dropped out of school. Eager for acceptance and desperate for an escape from the hardship that had defined her young life, Charina* started hanging out with a rough crowd. These new friends introduced her to drugs, and before long her own mother decided it was time for Charina* to start earning some money. Charina* was 13 years old when she was first sold for sex. Two years later, she became pregnant and endured a painful miscarriage.

 

When she was rescued, Charina* was three months pregnant, struggling with drug addiction and very hesitant to receive support from IJM social workers. She saw the rules of the aftercare shelter as a threat to the independence she had been forced to learn at such a young age. She resisted the counselors and attempted to run away.

 

Despite Charina's initial resistance, IJM staff remained determined to connect Charina* with the resources and services she needed. "We knew we did not want to give up," says IJM Director of Aftercare Mae Sampani.

 

IJM was able to place Charina* in a detox center, where she received the help she needed to overcome drug addiction. During that time, the team faithfully visited her. They began to see Charina* transform. Charina* started to believe that someone actually cared for her.

 

Charina* endured many challenges during this time. She had to move to several different aftercare homes. After a fire burned one of the shelters to the ground, Charina* moved back to her home community. It was earlier than ideal, but her IJM social worker walked closely with her during the ordeal. After many months of consistent support, Charina* started to trust. She overcame her substance abuse and started to rebuild relationships. Charina* started to hope.

 

IJM seeks to provide holistic restoration for trafficking survivors. Social workers help the young women heal by offering practical resources and providing trauma-focused counseling. But there is not one treatment or timeline that works for everyone. The social workers make a long-term commitment to each survivor who participates in IJM's aftercare program, committing to walk the difficult road together.

 

The men who tried to sell Charina* in 2007 are charged with violations under the Philippines' anti-trafficking law. The trial has progressed slowly, lasting nearly four years. IJM lawyers have supported the case, persevering through numerous postponed or cancelled hearings.

 

Charina* has courageously chosen to testify in court against the suspects. She is eager to see justice in her case – because she knows she is worth it. The trial continues.

 

"Now we can help other girls"

 

Today, Charina* is a strong young mother, determined to give her son the opportunities she should have had herself. With help from her counselors, Charina* is making plans to return to school or receive specific vocational training. Charina* says she will give anything in her power to protect her son.

 

At a recent Reintegration Support Network meeting, Charina* stood before the group of other trafficking survivors and counselors. She described how much her life has changed since her rescue. "I am happy and thankful for the positive changes in my life," she said confidently.

 

"If I was not rescued, I would still be standing over there," she said, pointing in the direction of the pier where she had once been routinely sold and exploited. Charina* described how she has learned to respect others and respect herself. She looked around the room of fellow survivors and said, "Now we can help other girls."

 

*A pseudonym has been used for the protection of this IJM client.

SHARE

#STAND4FREEDOM