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Thursday, July 15, 2010

US/Washington DC: Domestic Trafficking of Minors Briefing Notice

US/Washington DC: Domestic Trafficking of Minors Briefing Notice
Domestic Sex Trafficking of Minors

The Victims’ Rights Caucus and the Human Trafficking Caucus cordially invite you to attend a briefing to discuss the pervasive and troubling issue of domestic minor sex trafficking of minors.

When: Monday July 19 from 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM

Where: 2220 Rayburn House Office Building

Former Congresswoman Linda Smith, Founder and President, Shared Hope International
Sergeant Ryan Long, Vice Division, Seattle Police Department
Ernie Allen, President and CEO, National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
Emily Fitchpatrick, Director, Hope House/On Eagles Wings, North Carolina
Sidney Ford, Founder and Executive Director, You Are Never Alone, Maryland

While many know the horrors of international sex trafficking, sexual violence and trafficking of American girls remains largely invisible. Experts estimate that each year at least 100,000 children in the United States are exploited through prostitution.

These girls who are bought and sold for sex are just that - girls, most between the ages of 12 and 14. They are sexually exploited for their youth, routinely raped, beaten into submission and even tattooed like cattle by their pimps. Shockingly, those who traffic American girls are rarely prosecuted.

Domestic minor sex trafficking is a form of modern day slavery. Representatives Carolyn Maloney and Christopher Smith have introduced H.R. 5575, the Domestic Minor Sex trafficking Deterrence and Victims Support Act of 2010 to provide the framework for the targeted and effective solutions to this problem.

We invite you to attend and learn more about solutions to address this issue.
For more information or questions, please contact Amy English at or 703.351.8062.

This briefing is open to the public.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Pornography Has Devastating Effects on Society

The tentacles of pornography have poisoned our society and declared war on morality. Jobs, marriages, reputations and personal lives have all been ruined for the sake of a greedy, heartless industry.

Now the latest stats show a growing audience and links to violence at ever younger ages:

~ 800 million porn videos are rented in the U.S. every year
~ Sixty-six percent of men ages 18 to 34 peruse at least one of the 40,000+ porn Web sites every month.
~ Twenty-nine out of thirty juvenile sex offenders have viewed x-rated materials
~ Ninety percent of porn is violent, fueling violent sexual crimes

It’s a seven billion dollar business that feeds the brain and corrupts the soul. There is nothing harmless about the content. The Internet provides easy accessibility attracting first-time curious onlookers at the average age of nine. Boys tend to be more likely to gravitate toward the x-rated stuff than girls, but studies have shown a growing tendency for both. In a research study done by Pamela Paul, From Pornography to Porno to Porn: How Porn Became the Norm, is an example of an eleven-year old girl who was building a porn web site. Her friends thought it was cool, so she went along with it. For too many children, pornography is their first education about sex, leading to unrealistic expectations and unhealthy relationships. Innocence lost.

Paul has interviewed many addicts for her book Pornified and has come to this conclusion: "Pornography's effects rippled out, touching all aspects of their existence," Paul said. "Their work days became interrupted, their hobbies were tossed aside, their family lives were disrupted. Some men even lost their jobs, their wives, and their children."

No doubt about it. Men, women, teens and even pre-adolescents are negatively affected by porn. The lure of this evil has no class, gender, age or faith barrier. According to one expert, Dr. Mary Anne Layden, a psychotherapist and director of the University of Pennsylvania's Sexual Trauma and Psychopathology Program, anyone who chooses to cross over to the dark side will not be unscathed. Some type of damage occurs when pornography is seen.

Clay Crosse, Christian Recording Artist, struggled for years with pornography and it almost cost him his marriage. In his book I Surrender All, he confessed: "My life was on a collision course with disaster. It was just a matter of time … My pleasure. My desire. My lusts … Porn entertained me for awhile, but eventually I started to ask myself, "I wonder what it would be like to have two women at the same time?" Set free from the need for porn, Crosse and his wife Renee help other families through their ministry Holy Homes.

Porn is a trap that snares even the most cautious, but there are safeguards. Website blockers like Wisechoice guard against temptation. assures a hotel stay that is porn-free. Parents can keep watch over children, and couples can create accountability measures. Ministries through local churches, like Discovery Church and First Baptist Church in Orlando, have counseling.

Fighting on the legal front are groups like "The Coalition for the War on Illegal Pornography," who are working with Congress for better laws. Recently this group held a briefing titled "Pornography Harms: What Congress can do to Enforce Existing Laws." Concerned Women for America (CWA) helped sponsor the event. Dr. Janice Shaw Crouse, Senior Fellow at CWA's Beverly LaHaye Institute, said, "This briefing focuses on the harms of pornography … The data shows that porn has taken over much of the nation's entertainment; it is addictive, it's pervasive, and it's harmful."

In an industry that knows no bounds, child pornography is ever increasing. A federal task force found the area between Jacksonville and Orlando, Florida to be the country’s worst offender. A report noted that "research has consistently shown a strong connection between viewing child porn and sexually abusing children."

On the flip side of the issue are those who thought it would be glamorous to be a porn star, but found instead a lifestyle that brought degradation and disease. Just ask Shelly Lubben, former porn star and prostitute, about the ravages of a life looking for love in all the wrong places.
Quite the story to tell, Lubben explains in candid detail how a lonely young girl can get caught up into the business of sex. In her case, drug and alcohol addiction were all wrapped up into a life she no longer wanted. Suicide was something she tried more than once. "Drug overdoses, Herpes, suicide attempts and abuse on the porn set. I nearly died but by the grace of God I survived," she stated on her Web site. She surrendered to the love of Jesus and was restored to be the way God meant her to be; a loving wife and mother. It was an eight year process, but now she reaches out to help others find the Way.

"It's not harmless adult entertainment, as some would like us to believe, but a real, measurable and undeniable threat to individuals, families and society. The crucial question before us is not whether or not the state has a compelling interest in protecting society from the harm of pornography, but rather, given the overwhelming evidence of harm, why it chooses to do so little?"


Sunday, July 11, 2010

Strip Club OutREACH Report

On Saturday, July 10, 2010, Beauty From Ashes Ministries served warm homemade comfort food: chicken and dumplings, cheesy mashed potatoes, cornbread muffins, salad and butterscotch apple and fudge brownies to the employees of our adopted strip club in Fort Myers, FL. We also gave away gift bags with Bibles, beauty supplies & hair accessories to the employees. The outREACH team, including two former sex workers and the Vice President and Chair for the Faith Based Initiative of the Broward County Human Trafficking Coalition, for the first time did foot washings in the form of mini pedicures and manicures for the ladies, read the story of woman with the alabaster bottle to them, studied the bible, played praise music and served communion, all from the locker room. 6 women gave their hearts to the Lord, everyone was prayed for, including the manager! Even a customer knew the team were messengers of God when he was brought to tears after inquiring what they were doing there. He said his brother is a pastor and knew his brother prays for him faithfully. :+) To God be ALL the glory! The success of this outreach is the manifestation of God's goodness, presence, our perseverance for over 7 years of going into this particular club and TEAMWORK.

Thank you Beauty From Ashes supporters & partners. Together we are making a difference & advancing the kingdom of God!

To see pictures of the AMAZING outREACH and more news, check out our facebook fan page: CLICK HERE

One of our supporters was moved to send us this scripture which the Lord brought to his mind after viewing the pictures:

"Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?

If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.

If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.

If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and
the light become night around me,”
even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.

For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,

I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
your eyes saw my unformed body.

All the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.

Psalm 139:7-18 NLT


BFA CURRENT NEEDS: You too can join the revolution and be a slavery abolitionist. Get involved! For more information: CLICK HERE

In His love & service,
Julie Shematz & the BFA FREEdom™ Team

Beauty From Ashes™ Ministries
Where Victims Become Over-Comers
877.4BFA SOS (423.2767) Toll Free Help Line