Beauty From Ashes Videos


Saturday, January 1, 2011

January: National Slavery & Human Trafficking Awareness Month

Happy New Year!  Here it is 1-1-11 and President Obama declared the month of January as the National Slavery and Human Trafficking Awareness Month. Will you help raise awareness about this social injustice?  

Today it is estimated that are 27 million slaves in the world. That is more than ever in history and even though the United States abolished slavery in 1860, there are approximately 100,000 to 300,000 children forced into prostitution yearly in the United States alone! Those numbers are likely to be low due to a lack of consistency in identification.  90% of human trafficking is sex trafficking, 80% of human trafficking victims are females and 50% are children.  Here in the "Land of the Free", the average age of a prostitute is between 12 and 14.  According to the Trafficking Victim's Protection Act (TVPA) of 2000, it is considered a "severe form of human trafficking" when a minor engages in sexual relations in exchange for anything; money, drugs, food, shelter, transportation, etc.  Force, fraud or coercion are not required to prove. The adolescent's age makes the act a federal crime.  The United States of America has a national crisis regarding human trafficking and the most common victim is not international, they are our own citizens; our youth.  

Since 2005, Beauty From Ashes (BFA) has been a grass roots organization reaching, rescuing and restoring victim's of commercialized sexual exploitation and sex trafficking; adults and minors.  Dedicated to advocating for the rights of victims and engaging the community through education we are grateful that January has been set aside as a month for raising awareness.  Awareness leads to Prevention, intervention and Restoration.  

Tuesday, 1-11-11, is the National Human Trafficking Awareness Day and we are inviting you to pray with us. The body of Christ is vital to the true abolishment of slavery.  Isaiah 61:1 declares that we have been anointed to set the captives free and by joining with us, this a powerful way that you too can become a slavery abolitionist.  You can stand in the gap for the release of the prisoners from all forms of bondages; physical, spiritual, emotional, and mental.  From 9-10 am EST you can join us and others nation wide to pray in one accord for the victims, survivors, over-comers and agencies advocating, reaching, rescuing, and restoring them.  Locally, here in Southwest Florida, we will be meeting together to intercede for freedom at Barry University, Room 500-1.  Please contact Jenni Blye,, or call 239-939-9218 to register. 

Here are 7 things that you can do to become a slavery abolitionist:

GET INFORMED - Read the attached PDF, "Child Sex Trafficking: Definition, Scope, Recruitment and Control, Developmental Impact, Challenges, Intervention, Treatment and Advocacy" by BFA founder, human trafficking over-comer, and Florida Gulf Coast University graduate student, Julie Shematz.  Watch the BFA home page for the latest in domestic human trafficking news.
SIGN UP for the BFA E-Newsletter and stay informed about legislation, trainings, outREACHes, and community engagement.  To sign up, 
SPEAK UP - Share the information by talking about it in person to your friends and family and through social media.  Contact your local press and ask them to do a feature on the topic this month. 
SCHEDULE AN EVENT in your church, school, business, club or group.  For more information on BFA human trafficking presentations, CLICK HERE
VOLUNTEER with agencies like BFA that are on the front lines making a difference.
GIVE OR RAISE FUNDS to support grass root, domestic, anti-trafficking, and victim service provider agencies.
PRAY & FAST that the captives be set free.  For Prayer Guide, 

If we can be of any assistance to help you address this enormous, complex, and multilayered, social human rights issue, please contact us.  We hope that you will join us and others this month in raising awareness about human trafficking.  Together we are better and we can make a difference!  

For more information on human trafficking, visit our website

Passionate for FREEdom™,

Julie Shematz
CEO & Founder 


  1. Julie,

    Would you be able to create a blog button for your blog, so that I might put it in my blog's sidebar to raise awareness? I would like to share all that God is doing with your ministry through my blog, and a link on my blog would be even better. May God continually bless you in your amazing outreach!



  2. Great idea Erica. Once we figure out how to do it we'll do so. Can you direct us to a website on how to do this?

  3. Sure! The following links might be helpful:



    Or, you can simply type in "How to create a blog button" in Google or another search engine.

    I'm sure with your artistic ability, you won't have any problem figuring out what would look best in a button ;)

    God bless!