Human trafficking is becoming ever more common in modern-day conversations. Thanks to mainstream media, films like Taken, Governments around the world and nonprofit organizations the horrid underworld that is the selling of human beings has had a light tilted on it. The problem is that we still aren’t opening our eyes enough.
I was talking to an acquaintance earlier today who pointed out the last time he saw human trafficking discussed on the news it focused on foreign countries or people being trafficked into the United States. It rarely, if ever, discusses the reality of human trafficking here in the United States.
Thanks to Taken I will forever be vigilant when I travel to a foreign country. The movie has shaken the fear of God into me, but why don’t I have that same awareness here at home? Do any of us?
I started asking myself these questions when I saw an article in my Twitter newsfeed that caught my eye, Angelic Dean Disappears After Leaving Cryptic Message. My first thought was, what the heck is an “Angelic Dean”. Then I was intrigued by the rest of the title. It sounded like a James Patterson novel plot.
I learned that Angelic “Anji” Dean is a 17-year-old girl who went missing in Camas, Washington on June 23rd. According to the Huffington Post that is about 25 miles Northeast of Portland, Oregon. She had apparently been hinting to people in her life, like her teachers, that something wasn’t right with her life. Then she left a note in her journal that read, “if you’re reading this, then I am either missing or dead.”
My first thought was that this so-called cryptic message was nothing more than what a girl would write in her private journal. A message stating that under no other circumstance should anyone ever read her journal. That just seems or seemed typical to me.
Then I read further into this Huffington Post article and learned that she had also sent a strange text message to her boyfriend prior to her disappearance stating that someone or some group of people were going to kill him and her family. The family thinks she is in a human trafficking type situation.
It was eye-opening to me. A girl living in the United States may have been abducted and trafficked. Am I ignorant or is this somewhat shocking? The last 60 Minutes I saw that involved trafficking talked about Asian sex slaves in San Francisco or some other city like that. It’s unbelievable to me that something like this could have possibly happened.
While we wait to hear more about the case, the police have not yet even stated that Angelic has been abducted, my heart breaks for her family. My head freezes in shock that a teen girl living in a town much like the one I did when I was in high school could possibly have been trafficked. Not while traveling in a foreign country, but in our own backyard.
If anyone knows anything about her disappearance I hope you do the right thing and contact the authorities. According to the Official Help Anji Dean Facebook Page set up to help find Angelic “Anji” if you know anything or see Anji you should contact:
Clark County Sheriff’s Office
Detective Scott Kirgiss
(360) 397-2028 – Case #S14-7073
Media and Family Inquiries: Michelle A. Bart
National Women’s Coalition Against Violence & Exploitation
Office: (360) 852-8019 or Cell: (626) 644-3472
firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com